Computer rage

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Computer rage is a heightened physiological response with associated feelings of anger and frustration[1] resulting from using a computer or other complex electronic device. It may result in the physical assault of the computer or similar item, most likely leading to the device incurring more damage than it had before.[2]

Manifestation and causes[edit]

A blue stop error screen, a very common cause of computer rage

Computer rage may manifest itself in angry utterances at the object,[3] and in some extreme cases, violent actions towards the hardware itself, usually either by thumping the keyboard, punching or slapping the monitor, or slamming the mouse on the table/desk. In online interactions, enraged persons may flame and abuse other users, shouting at them through headsets, sending rude messages, or rage-quitting (exiting a game prematurely out of anger).

Computer rage may be caused by distress due to a hardware or software problem which the enraged person is unable to correct. Persons may bang or kick the computer in an attempt to get it to function normally, though this action carries the distinct risk of destroying the computer's hard disk drive via a head crash. Another common occurrence of computer rage is while playing computer games, mainly first-person shooters and MMORPGs. In shooters as well as other games involving some control, computer rage may be incited by the character dying repeatedly or the game suddenly crashing to desktop without a chance for the operator to save their progress. Computer rage in this case is normally induced when a gamer fails an objective, but this can also result from similar phenomena in addictive puzzle games such as Pepper Panic, Farm Heroes, and Candy Crush Saga. Rage like this may prompt users to send rude messages to friends or post angry messages on one's own timeline or angry tweets they may not otherwise post.

Tech support personnel and systems administrators may be subjected to customers' anger at a malfunctioning system, commonly including verbal abuse.[4]

Blue Screen of Death is a very common cause of computer rage.[5]

One common cause of mouse rage is in the use of the World Wide Web, where the website being visited may be loading more slowly than expected, or have a confusing design, causing the user to get impatient and often give up entirely on the site.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lazar, Jones, Bessiere, Ceaparu, & Shneiderman, 2004
  2. ^ Sanghera, Sathnam. 1999. "Computer Rage Staff Are Venting their Anger on Workplace." Financial Times (May 28):13. (cited in Best, Joel. How Claims Spread. page 109.).
  3. ^ Brinks, 2004
  4. ^ Cha, Ariana Eunjung (May 1, 2005). "Repair Teams Try to Calm 'Computer Rage'". The Washington Post (NOVATO, Calif.). Retrieved 6 November 2010. 
  5. ^ "Computer Rage: Reported Acts of Rage Against Computers
  6. ^ "Mouse Rage" And The Three-Click Rule

External links[edit]