Understanding Clients’ Involvement with Role-Playing Games

Today’s blog is a twofer, in a couple of ways.  I wanted to be able to discuss what playing online games like World of Warcraft might mean to patients, and how to approach them clinically.  And I wanted to take the day off.

So I am attaching a two-part article that appeared in the MA NASW Focus Newsletter this September and October.  It is co-written by my colleague Bet MacArthur and myself.  Bet is a very interesting and dynamic clinician, and you can find out more about her here.  Special Thanks to Carol Trust and MA NASW for allowing the reprint and making it available to clinicians outside of the Massachusetts area!  Check out the NASW MA website, even if you can’t go in the Members Only Section there is a lot of good stuff to peruse.

I hope you find these articles helpful, and let me know if you have any questions or thoughts on them.

Understanding Client’s Involvement in Online RPGs Part 1

Understanding Client’s Involvement in RPGs Part 2


  1. This is a great article. You’ve done a lot of work here with the analytical understanding of some player profiles. As an avid WoW player ( I don’t play any longer after two hacks), I have found my share of clearly pathological people behind the toons, but probably no more than in my practice or among the average person you might meet at a bus stop. I have also found all computer games to be a great reward for my childrens’ academic and musical achievements. “No WoW until piano practice is done” usually gets them at the piano pdq. I have also met people who’s friendship I value, who have become rl friends later.

    Again, good job, thank you for the post.

  2. While we are taking on the topic of Understanding Clients’ Involvement with Role-Playing Games Mike Langlois, LICSW, In earlier days, the most popular form of video games was computer games. Initially, computer games were essentially computer-controlled. Players would interact with the device to achieve predetermined targets and goals. Video games too are a form of computer games wherein a video display with interactive and vibrant visuals is the main focus. The display itself is designed to provide a player with feedback as the game continues.


  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Beatriz A., Mike Langlois, LICSW. Mike Langlois, LICSW said: Understanding Clients' Involvement with Role-Playing Games: http://t.co/u5rU12W […]

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