Tag Archives: video games

Video Games – Cathartic or Destructive?

Posted by: Priya Senroy on August 14, 2013 3:14 pm

Hello…..and welcome to the last summer blog…..cannot believe that its passed in the blink of an eye…..it has been an interesting summer…..I have discovered the world of video games in a very different way….have moved past angry birds and zombies, build and destroyed playing civilization series and then moved though the  call of duty…..BUT the most interesting of them which I have also suggested to some of my mature older  gamer clients to use as an  therapeutic activity  is  a video game called Asura’s Wrath.  In my last blog I had talked about how video games are being used for therapeutic reason and this fits into the category in my perspective. We wanted to make a game based around the theme of anger,” offers Hiroshi Matsuyama, as a description, one of the lead creators of the game.  He says with conviction when he shares that “I think what happens is that when you’re a child you don’t really have control of your emotions and you just let all the emotions out as you encounter them,” he said. “But as you become an adult, you make a concerted effort to rein yourself in and control yourself, so you’re not always getting angry. Some people do, but for the most part you don’t get pissed off at people. The plan with Asura’s wrath was that we wanted to make a game where players could take out their stress. Asura is the avatar of the player’s anger.” I guess there are many ways of looking at this. The lead character of a violent video game is a pathway, a channel through which the player is able to express his anger. That substantiates  (pros)many theories about why people play video games, both pros and cons. It falls in line(cons)  to the fears of those who shudder at the thought of either playing or letting their children play violent games, of those who believe damaged people are further damaged by cultivating their inner violence with the virtual violence games allow them to express.

For me its personal choice that clients can make for themselves…..whether to accept or reject…play or not play….find it therapeutic or destructive…..and I am not a serious gamer and cannot comment on the quality of the gaming…but from a humaniod perspective who gets angry at times, this seems to be something that  I saw myself using to release the aggression, a way to own my shadow, my negative archetypes and yet do it in a safe, non threatening environment in a video game setup….. You might or might not agree with me but I would encourage you to try out video games which has streak of aggression in them  to see if  it can provide creative outlets to those emotions that we tend to hide and sit on till they burst in flames engulfing us and others around us.

*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA

Dungeons and Dragons: The Wii Habilitation of Video Game Therapy

Posted by: Priya Senroy on July 12, 2013 1:03 pm

Hello readers!

I hope that you are spending as much time as outdoors as possible whenever you are able to take time away from work or in my case from video games. Am I getting addicted…..hope not but playing Dungeons and Dragons has definitely picked my curiosity and all this because I wanted to research it for a case. A client of mine has been grappling with cyber addiction and in my quest to find out what it is….I have succumbed to it too..

Interestingly…..it’s not as bad as it seems. Did you know that Video games have found their way into the clinical care of youth in most medical fields, and academic interest in their use is increasing steadily? The popularity of video games among youth may qualify them as a useful tool in psychotherapy for children and adolescents (Ceranoglu., 2010). In fact, psychotherapists and counselors have started using this medium as an assessment, intervention as well as rehabilitative tool while working with adolescent clients.   Now I found that there were not much research available in this area and there were few article on this subject so there is not evidence based practice to support the efficacy.

Studies have been conducted using it to teach focusing skills to children with ADD  to using it as a rehabilitative tool while working with patients with Parkinson’s disease, In fact  it called Wii Habilitation.

But what interested me the most was a portion of an article which states that certain games, which are still in clinical trial have physiological sensors that are built into the game hardware which allows  players  to  learn how to monitor the physiological manifestations of anxiety and stress, or what is commonly called their “fight or flight” response. The players use those same sensors as controllers to move themselves through the game by monitoring and controlling their characters and the stress responses they represent ( Sugarman, 2011).

So with  the new found knowledge I am trying to discover for myself the ‘benefits’ of being a gamer ,  get better understanding of my client as well as use it as a part of my counselling tools and techniques

Further Readings





*The views expressed by our authors are personal opinions and do not necessarily reflect the views of the CCPA