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Online Gaming Addiction Intervention Case Study

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Updated: Jun 29th, 2022

Client Information

The client HC, commonly referred to by his mother, is a 16-year-old male of Korean origin (Lee, 2011). Although he currently resides in the United States with his mother and brother, the client did not want to relocate from Korea. HC is a student and has a process addiction known as internet gaming addiction.


As noted above, HC suffers from online game addiction. Its principal physiological procedure is playing online video games at the expense of time spent used for other healthy activities (Lee, 2011). Although HC suffers from addiction, he is surrounded by an appropriate environment to stop this addiction. He has a supportive family (his brother, mother, and father) ready to help him overcome his obsession. For instance, his mother promises to reward him for the successful completion of therapy. His father is trying to reach out to him to perform healthy activities and spend time together (Lee, 2011). It is important to note that HC does not have friends suffering from online gaming addiction; instead, they spend time playing outdoor activities such as basketball. HC does not work and his friends at school adhere to the same principles as those who play basketball, meaning they discourage internet gaming addiction (Lee, 2011). HC’s philosophical stand is to stop the addiction, meaning that he is motivated and hopes that the obsession will end.

Addiction Information

Although the gaming disorder was recently acknowledged by the World Health Organization (WHO) in the 11th revision of the International Statistical Classification of Diseases and Related Health Problems (ICD-11), released in June 2018, computers games development started in the 1960s (Griffiths & Pontes, 2020). At the time, computer games had not yet evolved to become online until the 1990s when networking of computers started. By this time, people had started suffering from gaming addiction described as the excessive use of time in playing computer games than healthy activities. The World Health Assembly approved online gaming addiction in 2019 as stipulated in ICD-11 that is set to take effect in 2022. It is worth noting that the American Psychiatric Association (APA) does not recognize it as a disorder but categorizes it as an ailment requiring further studies (Griffiths & Pontes, 2020).

HC Addiction History

The addiction process started at a very young age of 7 years, back when HC and his family members were in Korea before shifting to the US (Lee, 2011). When he moved to the US, he did not speak proper English, making it difficult for him to make friends. His social relationship skills continued to deteriorate, and he became a loner. Since his mother and brother came home in the evening, most of the time he was bored at home (Lee, 2011). HC resulted in playing online video games to kill the boredom, which in turn resulted in addiction.

HC’s internet gaming addiction has had adverse physiological effects on his behavior and mental processes since he is avoiding performing his daily chores such as homework. His mental process fails to comprehend simple physical activities that can lead to severe physical health complications. Online gaming addiction causes severe effects on HC behavior and cognitive function. HC has poor socializing skills and provides a negative response when confronted about his addiction to his socializing capabilities (Lee, 2011). Moreover, HC spends less time sleeping and fails to complete the homework provided.


At first, HC had a positive response to the treatment provided by completing several milestones, resulting in several badges. For instance, he started spending less time on online gaming activities during weekdays (Lee, 2011). The most notable milestone is his interest to learn golfing with his mother rather than spending time on online gaming activities. HC relapsed on the therapy sessions, but he could reduce the time spent on internet video games (Lee, 2011). For this reason, the therapy sessions could reduce the amount of homework to motivate the client from attending the session and increase the number of sessions since online gaming addiction is not something that can end within a short period; its behavioral modification requires time.


Griffiths, M. D., & Pontes, H. M. (2020). The Oxford Handbook of Digital Technologies and Mental Health. Oxford University Press.

Lee, E. J. (2011). A case study of internet game addiction. Journal of Addictions Nursing, 22(4), 208-213.

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