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Researchers Use Video Game Called “Rage Control” to Help Children with Anger Issues

by Shane McGlaun

The interesting thing about research into video games is that depending on which side you listen to, video games either turn players into insanely violent criminals or video games can make you a better person. One of the latest bits of research performed using a video game comes from Boston Children’s Hospital.

In the study, researchers used traditional treatments with children ranging from age 9 to 17 that had anger control issues. The traditional treatment involved cognitive-behavioral therapy, relaxation techniques, and social skills. One group of 19 children only received the standard treatments.

A second group of 18 children received the same standard treatments and played a video game called Rage Control for the last 15 minutes of their session. The video game, which sounds rather like Space Invaders, required the children to keep their heart rate under a preset limit or lose the ability to destroy enemy spaceships. The researchers found that the group who played the video game were significantly better at keeping their heart rates down and showed clinically-significant decreases in anger scores on standardized tests.

The study appears in the October 2012 issue of Adolescent Psychiatry.

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