Literacy and my upbringing —in education, at least, had a weird relationship with each other growing up. Going by the bare bones definition, I was certainly literate in English by late-elementary school, being able to somewhat read, write, and speak English. But that’s a questionable benchmark, isn’t it? If I was dropped to America at that age, I probably wouldn’t be able to communicate or write with others effectively enough to get my point across (granted I was eight or something, but still).
In middle school it was much of the same, as I struggled to write a thesis statement for a solid two years. During that period of thesis existential crisis I was introduced to World of Warcraft. At first I played with friends, though after some time I started to interact more with the community and learn from them — as I’d reached end level, most of my time was spent conversing and chatting with others. Gradually, through communicating with other WoW speakers, my English comprehension rose to native fluency and I was able to effectively read light novels, visual novels, and so forth.
My English education was more of a foundation for me to experience the basics of English, while games, manga, and entertainment was what invested me into the language in the long run. Prior to WRD I was a game dev major, and before that I’d plan to major in bio engineering. Literacy’s taken me in some weird turns.