Via Ars Technica comes a Chinese article on one of the latest (and potentially least offensive) ways officials are trying to combat internet addiction and people dropping dead of gaming binges: freshmen at a number of Chinese universities aren't allowed to bring computers with them to school. Zhejiang University, Nanjing University, and Shanghai Jiaotong University recently joined the growing ranks of Chinese universities who have instituted such a ban. On the surface, I guess it makes sense - no computer = no easy access to the magical online = no WoW binges, at least in theory. But the plethora of internet cafes and quick and easy access to those oh-so-seductive games means many are suspicious about the efficacy of such bans:
... the "ban" has not achieved satisfactory results. Research indicates that most who surf the Internet or play games in the university computer rooms or net bars around the universities are freshmen. According to a poll of 15 university students, after they finished the first year most bought computers and began to spend a long time playing games. Twelve of the fifteen have failed exams at least once and nine of them claimed that they bought computers specifically to play games. They also said that a large number of boys are obsessed with the Internet.
I do remember from my short time at Shanghai's Fudan University that curfews were adhered to and there wasn't much opportunity to spend 20 hours in a fit of WoW fever. However, university students across the globe manage to flunk out in a variety of creative ways, and I'm in the camp that has doubts that banning personal PCs is going to make a dent in the proportion of students too careless to get it together.