Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Inside China's internet addiction treatment center

Here's a look inside a Beijing rehab center where internet and game addicts are treated using a variety of methods including counseling, playing group games like laser tag and doing physical exercise. From CS Monitor:
"They believe the virtual world is beautiful and fair," said Tao. "In the real world, they become depressed, upset, and restless – they are very unhappy."

Jia Chunyang, a teenager from the coastal city Qingdao, is a typical patient. Wearing a military-green jumpsuit and hip black-framed glasses, he explains that Counterstrike is his "drug" of choice. A couple years ago his gaming habit – which he indulged at least five or six hours a day – started to seriously affect his life.

"My relations with friends weren't good; I only communicated with them online," says Jia. "I stole money from my family and skipped school. And the games also affected my personality. If I couldn't play for a while, I would feel upset."

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