Using Video Games as Discussion Material for Anger Management

Rebecca Bell, Ph.D. has a fascinating post about how she uses discussion of video games to teach anger management. The post starts off talking about dating a pirate, who was a pirate in more ways than one, and goes on to explain how she uses discussion of video games as a way to get kids talking about violence:

[…] This all comes full circle because 99.9% of my students I work with who are referred for anger management counseling are obsessed with violent video games. There are many metaphors in these games that could explain the obsession. Typically, one earns points (status) and power (strength) with each subsequent fight or misdeed. I have pointed out this metaphor to help students understand why they fight in real life. I use the video game as a talking point for anger management, and they’re happy to do it, because it’s about their favorite topic. Through this process, I can also ascertain if the games are “appropriate” sublimation of aggression or by playing them, the student has reached a disturbing level of fascination and desensitization to violence.

Dr. Bell also provided the first inbound link to this private practice website, probably after finding us from viewing her own statistics and seeing my link to her. Thanks, Dr. Bell! Also, I’ve added a link to your website from my homepage at Kmareka and from the Learningworks blog, which is soon to be full of posts by Ira Randy Kulman, Ph.D.