Internet Game Addiction


This paper centers on the assessment used in internet addiction. Thesubject under analysis is a young male Korean teenager aged 16 yearsold. He moved with his mother and brother to the US to live andstudy. The boy had a process addiction in internet gaming. Internetaddiction is defined as the overuse and the urge to use more of theinternet at the expense of one`s physiological, psychological,social, economic, and spiritual health. Meanwhile, video gameaddiction is the excessive and compulsive use of video and internetgames to the extent of interfering with an individual`s normal lifein the social and academic settings. According to Lee (2011),internet game addiction is one of the major problems in the US andSouth Korea, regions with vast internet access. Many articles andstudies have proven that addiction to gaming interferes mainly withacademics and social lives of young people (Lee, 2011 Video GameAddiction, n.d, n.d), and especially in male students(Schmitt &amp Livingston, 2015). Like any other addiction, internetgame addiction affects the lives of young people, and as such,requires a dexterous multifaceted intervention to treat it.


To feed his addiction, the subject in the case study plays internetgames for between 3-5 hours and more than 13 hours during theweekdays and weekends, respectively. Apparently, the environment inwhich the subject spends his time is an enabler of his addiction. Inthe US, internet access is vast (Lee, 2011). Since the subject hasunlimited access to the internet, provided to him by his family aswell, and when his mother and brother are out and because he did notknow how to drive, most of his time is spent in the house alone, andconsequently, his internet game addiction is reinforced. Nonetheless,his family is supportive in managing his addiction having soughtprofessional intervention for him. The addiction, further, is notassociated with peer pressure. His philosophical stand about hisaddiction is that it is difficult to control mainly during theweekends (Lee, 2011). Even so, he is motivated to get help with amoderate sense of hope.

Addiction information

Internet game addiction is a process addiction which dates back inthe mid-1990s following the offset of wide internet use. The firstresearch on internet addiction was presented by Dr. Kimberly Young ofthe Internet Addiction Recovery (Frihost, n.d). Its physiologicaleffects include fatigue and poor health while its psychologicaleffects include tolerance, withdrawal, anger, tension, and depression(Lee, 2011). Apparently, DSM-V demonstrates that internet addictionhas more psychological effects than the physiological effects.Internet game addiction physiologically and psychologically affectedthe subject`s behavior and mental processes. Physiologically, the boybecame less respectful to his elders, spent many hours gaming, andconcentrated less in his studies. Psychologically, the boy playedlonger hours and lost control of his habit to satisfy hisperfectionism of performing better. For example, in a blog on InsideHigher ED, an anonymous parent blogger demonstrated how addiction toonline computer game saw their child not only miss out on his finalweeks of classes and his exams but also received an academic warningletter (Anonymous, 2012). The negative impact of video game use andaddiction on the academic performance is confirmed in the Schmitt &ampLivingston (2015) longitudinal study involving 477 male collegestudents participants the correlation between video game use andaddiction, and college engagement and GPA were negative.


Gaming addictions should be handled like any other addiction becausegame addicts like other addicts often attempt to evade their gamingproblem (Video Game Addiction, n.d). In Lee (2011), the Korean boywanted to overcome his addiction. Considering that addiction is acomplex disease, it requires a multifaceted approach to its treatment(elements Behavioral Health, n.d). In that regard, the Lee (2011)utilized three interventions โ€“ behavior modification, cognitivebehavioral therapy, and the 12-Step program. In the firstintervention, the therapist centered in helping the client unlearnthe undesired behavior through reinforcement and extinction. In CBT,the therapist focused on assisting the boy in changing his irrationalbeliefs about internet gaming by discussing the unhealthy outcomes ofgaming. Meanwhile, the last intervention assisted the boy inadmitting his lack of control and the need for assistance. He wasdiscouraged by the distance from home to the center and theoverwhelming tasks including homework. He was also bored in thesessions but managed to spend more time on golf. Besides, consideringhe lost faith in God, he did not feel the need for prayer.Apparently, his response to these approaches were moderate becausewhile the sessions were terminated prematurely and the client neitherdid his homework nor kept his promise to reduce game hours, a 2-monthfollow-up demonstrated a reduction in game time since he startedgolfing. Thus, the subject did not relapse.


The case study has shed light on the challenges and effectiveness ofinterventions for addictions. The BM, CBT, and 12-Step program whenused collectively, were effective based on the follow-up โ€“ therewas an improvement in game addiction. Even so, when used inisolation, they presented various challenges that led to prematuretermination of the sessions. In managing internet game addiction, amultifaceted approach has the best outcomes for the complex disease.


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