New PC Game Helps Kids Cope with Divorce
Submitted to: Technology 
Posted: March 15 2007


March 15 2007 ( - Years of research have led a small group of dedicated child psychologists and therapists to develop the first game that is specially designed to help children of separated and divorced parents to cope with the new reality in their lives. Introducing the launch of "Earthquake in Zipland", one of the most innovative and important interactive computer games of our time.

"Earthquake in Zipland" is unique in the sense that it deals with a situation no other game has ever dealt with, in an entertaining yet effective way," says Chaya Harash, MSW Family Therapist and CEO of Zipland Interactive, with 25 years of experience dealing with family, children, couples and divorce therapy. "Everyone knows that divorce has a terrible impact on the children involved. Now, parents and psychologists have a tool that can actually interact with the child in order to help him handle the drastic changes in his or her life".

The game takes the child on a metaphorical adventure full of colorful characters and challenging tasks, while dealing indirectly with a number of important issues surrounding divorce and separation; issues such as anger, guilt, loyalty conflicts, the fantasy to reunite the divorced parents and other emotional effects of divorce on children. A comprehensive Parent's Guide is available to parents with tips and information on how to use the game with their child most effectively, as well as a video gallery of game episodes and explanations.

Though "Earthquake in Zipland" looks like an ordinary computer game, it is really an important therapeutic tool that helps children, parents and therapists alike to interact and opens avenues of dialogue otherwise not taken. "The benefits and advantages of this sort of game are numerous", says Hazel Zemel, an MSW, CSW, RSW and an accredited family therapist. "For the children, it is the first attempt at talking to them in their own "language", dealing with a severe subject through humor and wit. For the parents, the game broadens their understanding of the impact of the separation on their child, and offers a way to communicate and talk about painful issues the child might be otherwise reluctant to express. For therapists, this game can be used a strategy to get children to participate more actively in the therapy process, by discussing their feelings and thoughts through playing the game. It can be used either in the clinic or as a home "assignment", allowing the child to open up more freely without feeling intimidated."

Zipland Interactive is in the process of developing other high quality edutainment computer games, aimed at helping children deal with common emotional and psychological issues in day to day life. The combination of the two different fields within the group - psychology and game play - has helped to produce a unique approach that is both entertaining and effective.

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    Chaya Harash
    Zipland Interactive

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