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  • The Reading Agency


  • The Reading Adventure game

What we did:

  • User experience
  • Creative design
  • Game development
  • Admin database


Engaging young people to read through gamification

The Reading Agency's vision is for a world where everyone is reading their way to a better life.

In 2021, The Reading Agency were keen to support children transitioning from primary to secondary school with their reading. This period is notoriously a difficult time for some young people as many enter their first year of secondary school with very different reading abilities and interest. At that age, their appetite and aptitude for reading is highly correlated with the interest of those around them at home, or at the previous school, so the gap in skills can be significant.


The Reading Agency wanted to create a game for young people between the ages of 11 and 13 who struggle to engage with reading. Designed to be used in schools, libraries and by children at home, it was essential that the game was inclusive and accessible to people who might not have access to the best technology, the fastest internet or those with an overzealous firewall. Yet it needed to be simple, engaging, intuitive and fun.

The premise of the game is to reward children for completing reading activities. The activities are grouped into different topics and each activity asks the child to do something a little different, to engage them in the subject and realise that reading doesn't always mean books! although we love books!

The Reading Adventure is set in a children's room, and for each activity they complete they win coins which they can use to customise their room and make it their own.

User experience 

Children have high expectations when it comes to games and are quick to share what they like and what they don't, which is great in the discovery and user testing phases. It allows us to see through the eyes of an 11-year-old, and ensures that the game meets their needs and brings them joy.

Through workshops with young people during discovery, we learned the types of games they liked and what they would like to see in the game and in their room, and what they definitely didn't want to see.

We piloted the first iteration of the game with young people and teachers in schools in Islington, who provided invaluable insight and feedback that has been used to build out the next iteration.

The results

"The Reading Adventure provides a new way for young people to engage with the joys of reading at a crucial age where reading for pleasure often drops off. We know how important reading is for confidence and social connection to others, and hope that this game will inspire children in Islington to embrace a life-long reading journey."

The Reading Agency team