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Anger issues? Play a video game

Video game to monitor heart rate to keep kids' anger in check - medical translation
The lines between consumer electronics and healthcare are blurring.

We have in the past written about medical applications of the Nintendo DS, Xbox 360, Wii Balance Board, and iPhone. We're seeing this trend continuing and even accelerating.

The latest example of this trend is a video game called RAGE (Regulate and Gain Emotional) Control. Researchers at Boston Children's Hospital are using heart rate monitoring in the video game to teach children with anger issues how to temper their emotions.

The game tasks players with blasting hostile spaceships while keeping their heart rate from exceeding a predefined limit. If a gamer's pulse exceeds that limit, they'll lose the ability to shoot until they can lower their pulse.

According to a paper in the Journal of Adolescent Psychiatry, a group of 18 kids who received standard treatments and played the game for five, 15-minute-long sessions had better control of their heart rate and lower anger levels than a group that only used traditional treatments. Currently, a controlled clinical trial of RAGE Control is underway and there are plans to take the concept a step further with toys and games suited for younger children.

[Tip o' the hat to Engadget]

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