Can video games make children smarter? This is the question the American Library Association is looking into, conducting tests in various library systems throughout the country to see if getting children into the library helps promote literacy or just results in having a bunch of kids in the library playing video games. Tucson's News-4 posted a special report today on how the project is going at the Pima County Quincy Douglas branch, where children can come and somehow gain literacy by playing Guitar Hero and "Karaoke".
I'm not all that clear on how Guitar Hero is going to promote literacy. When you think about it, the very concept of Guitar Hero is about dumbing-down an activity so every one can do it, which would make it the literary equivalent of a McDonald's picture menu, but it sure does give News-4's reporter an excellent chance to stand on camera with a guitar controller. Hit the jump for the video report, condemned there due to its auto-starting nature.
I think overall the answer to the question, at least in regards to the games they are playing, is not really, but I think we should all lie and make it seem like the children are smarter just so we can stop by our local libraries and play Guitar Hero in the future.