July 06, 2005


China Treats Addicted Video-Game Players

Don't let the headline fool you, though; the clinc's for Internet addiction. And it's for kids.

The 12 teenagers and young adults, some in ripped jeans and baggy T-shirts, sit in a circle, chewing gum and fidgeting as they shyly introduce themselves. "I'm 12 years old," one boy announces with a smile. "I love playing computer games. That's it.""It's been good to sleep" says another, a 17-year-old with spiky hair, now that he's no longer on the computer all day.

The youths are patients at China's first officially licensed clinic for Internet addiction, a downside of the online frenzy that has accompanied the nation's breathtaking economic boom.

"All the children here have left school because they are playing games or in chat rooms everyday," says the clinic's director, Dr. Tao Ran. "They are suffering from depression, nervousness, fear and unwillingness to interact with others, panic and agitation. They also have sleep disorders, the shakes and numbness in their hands."
There's a picture of a person with electrodes attached to his feet. He's 12, and he's receiving electric shock therapy for Internet addiction.

A bit scary. No, a lot scary.


Posted by hln at July 6, 2005 01:50 PM | Technology | TrackBack









Posted by: Stephen Macklin at July 6, 2005 06:17 PM

"They also have sleep disorders, the shakes and numbness in their hands."

Completely unrelated to the electric shock therapy. Sure it is.

Posted by: physics geek at July 6, 2005 07:44 PM

I wonder how many of them play the popular video game Blogger.

Posted by: Brian J. at July 7, 2005 11:43 AM
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