A lengthy article at IGN.com looks at a paper describing an early-stage study of whether playing video games actually helps young children diagnosed with dyslexia read better. Dyslexia is, for better or worse, widely regarded as a disorder that affects the ability to read– to the dyslexic, it can appear that words are mis-formed, with letters out-of-order, often causing words to be mistaken for one another, creating distraction and anxiety while attempting to read.
The essential thrust of the paper is that children who are fully engaged in action gaming (measured by a few distinct criteria), have their reading ability (speed, fluency, etc.) improved following their gameplay engagement.
This conclusion is not without controversy, naturally, but it points in an interesting direction– one that has an air of, “well duh” to it– which is “does an activity that intensely engages parts of the brain in turn affect how the brain functions in subsequent activity?” It is too early to say with certainty, but the early results do look like it’s a question that should garner further inquiry.
You can read more details at IGN.