How can we encourage teenagers to (occasionally) trade their controllers for books?

Invaders News

Ask any 15-year-old about their favorite pastime, and they'll likely start talking about their massive Steam collection or the countless hours spent in GTA Online. Reading? That's probably only on their agenda if they absolutely have to. But the idea that games hinder a love for books is being challenged by Readification. Instead of seeing games as a barrier, Readification views them as a valuable ally in promoting reading among youth.

Readification blends the worlds of gaming and literature, captivating young readers by leveraging the gripping narratives of popular games like Assassin's Creed and Skull and Bones. Gamers, rather than playing on their consoles, dive into these immersive worlds through the Ubisoft Special-app. There, they discover stories crafted specifically for them by acclaimed authors such as Ronald Giphart, Rima Orie, and Marion Pauw. And to bridge the gap further, video and audio elements are incorporated to enhance the overall reading experience.

Readification proves games can stimulate reading

With over 300,000 stories downloaded so far, Readification has sparked the interest of young readers. An impressive 90.9% of positive reviews indicate that this approach resonates with the audience. The assumption that reading can be stimulated through the world of gaming is supported by research agency Qrius, which found that the target audience is more likely to read these stories due to their connection with gaming interests. The positive feedback suggests that Readification has not only succeeded in getting young people to read, but has also created a favorable reading experience.

Encouraging a positive reading experience is crucial for the future reading habits of young individuals. The decline in reading skills among Dutch youth is a cause for concern, impacting their overall development and potentially hindering their ability to function effectively in society. This concerning trend has led a collaboration of De Leescoalitie, NBD Biblion, game developer Ubisoft, and The Invaders to launch the Readification pilot in 2021. The start of a campaign that not only aims to counter the decline in reading skills, but also to create a positive shift in the reading culture among the youth.

This pilot consisted of two stories set in the world of Assassin’s Creed Valhalla. The initial results immediately made it clear that there is a need among young people to engage with reading in new ways. With the financial support of five provincial support institutions, six additional stories were created. This time, not only set in Assassin’s Creed Valhalla but also in Skull and Bones and Assassin’s Creed Mirage. These were added in December 2022, May 2023, and September 2023.

Start reading, keep gaming

Readification proves that merging gaming and literature is an effective approach. By harnessing the allure of gaming narratives, it has successfully captured the attention of young readers, providing them with an engaging and positive reading experience. As the campaign continues to grow, it not only addresses the immediate concern of declining reading skills but also helps to create a love for reading among the youth, ensuring a brighter literary future for generations to come.

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