Computer rage

anger directed towards a computer

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, possibly leading to the device incurring more damage than it had before.[2]

Manifestation and causesEdit

Computer rage may manifest itself in verbal abuse and occasionally physical violence towards the object,[3] in some cases violent actions towards the hardware itself, usually either thumping the keyboard, shaking the monitor or banging 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 quit (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 whilst playing computer games, mainly first-person shooters and mmorpgs. Computer rage is normally induced when a gamer either fails an objective or is killed repeatedly.

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

Related pagesEdit


  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.

Other websitesEdit