National Literacy Trust, Ukie and Penguin Random House Children’s create partnership to research relationship between video games and literacy

National Literacy Trust, Ukie and Penguin Random House Children’s create partnership to research relationship between video games and literacy


  • Charity dedicated to boosting literacy teams up with leading publisher and video games industry trade body for new research initiative.
  • Pilot survey aims to discover how children’s literacy is shaped by their interactions with games, both in game and outside of it.
  • Results of preliminary research to be announced in 2020 and used to shape further activity.

Tuesday 16 October 2019, 11am

The National Literacy Trust, Penguin Random House Children’s and the Association of UK Interactive Entertainment (Ukie) have partnered up to commence research into the relationship between video games and literacy engagement amongst school children.

Secondary school children from across the UK will be surveyed in the coming months to discover how their interactive entertainment relates to their reading and writing. 

The questions will be drawn up by the National Literacy Trust, with advice from a small selection of industry figures from both the publishing and games industries.

The data will then be collated in early 2020, with the results of this preliminary research due to be released in Spring 2020. This data will then be used to further shape activity between the partners, including exploring ways that video games could be used to support children’s literacy and to raise money to research this area in more depth.

The partnership emerged after an earlier survey from the National Literacy Trust indicated that games – and additional content around games, such as forum posts – formed a notable part of children’s reading habits when interacting through screens. 

The survey of 2,000+ young people aged 11-16 found that almost three-quarters (73%) play video games regularly and two-thirds (63.3%) of these young people prefer playing video games to reading books because the games make them feel more part of the story. 

The purpose of this research is to further investigate the ways that children read and write as a result of playing games in order to help explore the potential benefits games may have for literacy engagement.

Jonathan Douglas, Chief Executive of the National Literacy Trust, said: 

“Giving children and young people opportunities to read texts that reflect their interests can increase their reading engagement and attainment – whether they’re interested in dance, sport or video games. Video games are part of everyday life for many, and our initial research shows that they are providing young people with exciting opportunities to become part of a story and to read more widely. We are keen to explore the relationship between video games and literacy further through our partnership with Ukie and Penguin Random House Children’s.”

Francesca Dow, Managing Director, Penguin Random House Children’s said:

“Penguin Random House Children’s has a long and celebrated history of publishing some of the world’s best-loved children’s books and is always finding new ways to reach more young readers. With this exciting new partnership we believe that together we can have a positive impact in supporting literacy, sparking imaginations and bringing stories to life for children everywhere.”

Dr Jo Twist OBE, CEO of Ukie, said:

“Games are not only enormous fun, feeding the imaginations of millions of people; they can also tell profound, engaging stories that captivate players across all age groups at a global scale. This research will give us an opportunity to understand the relationship between games and literacy. This will provide valuable evidence to inform educators, caregivers and others to help understand how we can shape literacy engagement through something young people already find hugely compelling.”


About UK Interactive Entertainment (Ukie)

Ukie (UK Interactive Entertainment) is the trade body for the UK's games and interactive entertainment industry.

A not-for-profit, it represents businesses of all sizes from small start-ups to large multinational developers, publishers and service companies, working across online, mobile apps, consoles, PC, esports, VR and AR.

Ukie also supports a number of additional initiatives aimed at supporting the sector including Digital Schoolhouse (DSH), and Games London (created in partnership with Film London).



About Penguin Random House Children’s

Penguin Random House Children’s UK is a Penguin Random House company and includes Puffin and Ladybird the two most iconic and well-known children’s book brands in the UK today.

Penguin Random House is the world’s number one publisher. We champion authors, shaping and sharing writing that sparks thoughts, dreams, conversations and learning. We are a vibrant community of publishing houses, representing distinguished publishing histories marked by unparalleled success. We are a home to all kinds of authors. From the best new fiction or picture book writers, to political commentators, trailblazing entrepreneurs, health experts and bold illustrators, we enable talented people from all walks of life to tell their stories – and we make sure they are heard. We sell and license books in over 120 countries, connecting great books with a growing and global audience. 

We bring words to life.

  • For more information, please visit our website
  • Follow Puffin: on Twitter & Facebook @PuffinBooks Instagram @puffinbooksuk
  • Follow Ladybird on Twitter, Facebook & Instagram: @LadybirdBooks 

About the National Literacy Trust 

The National Literacy Trust is an independent charity dedicated to raising literacy levels in the UK and giving children and young people from disadvantaged communities the literacy skills to succeed in life. 

Our research and analysis make us the leading authority on literacy. We run projects in the UK’s poorest communities, campaign to make literacy a priority for politicians, businesses and parents, and support schools. 

Visit to find out more, donate or sign up for our free email newsletter. You can also find us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram

The National Literacy Trust is a registered charity no. 1116260 and a company limited by guarantee no. 5836486 registered in England and Wales and a registered charity in Scotland no. SC042944.  Registered address: 68 South Lambeth Road, London SW8 1RL.