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New Game Helps Kids Cope with Divorce

Zipland Interactive recently completed the world's first research-based psychological computer game designed to help 7-13 year olds from separated or divorce families cope indirectly with the emotional issues that arise from their new reality.

"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 a child whose parents are separated or divorced, 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.

"The benefits and advantages of this sort of game are numerous," says Hazel Zemel, an MSW, CSW, RSW and an accredited family therapist and supervisor with more than 30 years of experience. "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 edutainment computer games, aimed at helping children deal with common emotional and psychological issues in day-to-day life. For further information, go to www.ziplandinteractive.com.

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