RAGE-Control game systems
Inventors: Joseph Gonzalez-Heydrich, Jason Kahn, Alexander Rotenberg, Peter Ducharme
Categories: Information Technology/Software, Medical Device
SubCategories: Psychiatric Disease
Keywords: Patient Care
The Regulate and Gain Emotional Control (RAGE-Control) videogame technology teaches individuals to simultaneously calm their emotions and engage their attention while performing a task designed to raise their level of anxiety, frustration, anger, or fear. The system does this by engaging subjects in an emotionally activating video game that requires their focused attention. While playing, the game provides biofeedback about the players’ level of calm. It also gives them feedback on how well they are focusing and performing in the game.
An external probe measures biometrics (e.g. heart rate) as a real-time input into a computer game. The system’s biofeedback mechanism then alters parameters in the game so that individuals succeed better in the game if they are calmer. The objectives of the game become harder to achieve as the individual's stress rises (e.g. the player becomes weaker or is less protected), inducing a type of feedback loop. To succeed in the game, players must achieve calm and focused attention simultaneously while in stressful situations.
The RAGE control video game has been validated and new, physical toys (Biological Manipulatives) and game systems are under development.
“RAGE-Control”: A Game to Build Emotional Strength. Kahn J, Ducharme P, Rotenberg A, Gonzalez-Heydrich J. Games for Health Journal. February 2013, 2(1): 53-57.
Augmenting anger control therapy with a videogame requiring emotional control: A pilot study on an inpatient psychiatric unit. Ducharme, P., Wharff, E., Kahn, J., Hutchinson, E., Logan, G., Waber, D., Holland, J., Gosselin, G., & Gonzalez-Heydrich, G 2012, 2(4): 323-332.
Videogame assisted emotional regulation training: An ACT with RAGE-Control case illustration. Ducharme, P, Wharff, E, Hutchinson, E, Kahn, J, & Gonzalez-Heydrich, J. 2011, 40(1) 75-84.
• Treatment of psychiatric mood regulation disorders and in teaching better emotional regulation to the wider population.
• The use of this feedback during the game trains the individual to inhibit anger, anxiety, frustration, and fear while simultaneously increasing their level of focused attention.
• Managing stress within the game environment generalizes to external stimuli/stressful situations.
• Best practice for treating severe pathological aggression is a combination of cognitive behavioral therapy (CBT) and medication.
o Medication is the most effective treatment, but has undesirable side effects (for example, atypical antipsychotics lead to weight gain, increase the risk of diabetes, and can create a permanent movement disorder called tardive dyskinesia).
o Medication treatments do not teach the patient emotional regulation skills. Because of this, dysregulated emotional behavior and aggression usually resurface when the medication stopped.
o CBT is a didactic approach that is effective in fostering regulation skills, but motivation to practice and learn and also requires a level of cognitive functioning typically not seen until a child is 10 to 12 years old.
• Children with developmental disorders as well as typically developing preschool and early grade school children learn best through exploration by manipulating physical objects in their environment. There is a great need for objects that help children manipulate, develop, and explore emotion regulation skills. The Emotional Manipulatives responsive toy project aims to build physical tools that help a child externalize emotional regulation so that they can interact with their self-control and get better at it.
Key Publications: RAGE Control: Regulate and Gain Emotional Control. Kahn J, Ducharme P, Travers B, Gonzalez-Heydrich J. Stud Health Technol Inform. 2009;149:335-43.
IPStatus: Pat. Pend.