A group of adolescents interred at an internet addiction boot camp rose up against their oppressors last week, restraining their supervisor and fleeing the facility to taste sweet, sweet freedom. At least until their parents sent them back.
China admits it has an internet addiction problem, which is the first step towards recovery. The popular second step right now is sending teens and adults addicted to the internet and online gaming to boot camps, where instructors use military techniques to try and instil a sense of discipline in folks who’d rather just play World of Warcraft.
“We need to teach them some discipline and help them to establish a regular lifestyle,” the paper quoted an employee at the camp as saying. “We have to use military-style methods such as total immersion and physical training on these young people.”
According to the Global Times, a group of 14 addicts aged 15 to 22 interred at the Huai’an Internet Addiction Treatment Centre in China’s Jiangsu province decided they’d had enough last week, tying their supervisor to his bed and fleeing the grounds.
Their freedom was short-lived, however. All 14 were caught by police after failing to pay the fare for a taxi they used in their daring escape. Thirteen of those have already been returned to the centre by their parents.
The China Youth Association for Network Development says that up to 24 million Chinese adolescents are addicted to the internet. Half of those are addicted to online gaming, which makes us wonder what the other half are doing.
Internet addiction treatment centres both official and unregistered are popping up all over China to help deal with the issue. Reports of abuse at unregistered facilities were rampant last year, with one 15-year-old addict beaten to death by instructors at a camp in the southern region of Guangxi.
Internet addicts stage uprising at China boot camp [Yahoo! News]