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'Web Junkie': Harrowing Documentary On China's Internet Addiction Rehab Clinics

Soulskill posted about 7 months ago | from the you-are-addicted-to-breathing dept.

China 94

cold fjord writes "The Daily Beast reports on Web Junkie, a documentary showing the unsettling efforts undertaken by the Internet Addiction Treatment Center in China to break teenagers of their internet habits. Quoting: 'China was one of the first countries to brand "Internet addiction" as a clinical disorder, and to claim it's the number one threat to its teenagers today. The Chinese government has erected 400 rehabilitation boot camps like this one ... a bizarre hybrid of military barracks and mental hospital. ... Every room in the facility is monitored by cameras. ... Teens spend a minimum of three months at Daxing. ... Wires and nodes will be hooked to their head ... they're administered daily medication (without being told what it is), they have to keep their rooms spotless, partake in individual and group therapy sessions with their parents, and do boot camp-style exercise ... One kid in the film claims to have played World of Warcraft for 300 hours straight, taking only tiny naps in between. ... "Some kids are so hooked on these games they think going to the bathroom will affect their performance. So they wear a diaper. These are the same as heroin addicts. ... That's why we call it electronic heroin."' Wired has further details and a clip from the documentary."

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Google Glass used for porn? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46030017)

The web will probably be flooded with home videos. [torontosun.com]

No need google glass to get hooked on the Net (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46031583)

In China there's a name "Di Tou Zu" (sorry, /. can't display the Chinese characters) meaning "tribe who lower their head" to describe the net addicts who just have to check screen of their smartphone and/or tablets all the time.

Amazingly that tribe has spread everywhere - I saw them in Amsterdam as in LA as in Beijing - on buses, in restaurants, in shopping malls.

I do not know if China will be successful in curbing the "net addiction" phenomenon but I do wish them well.

Diapers ! (5, Funny)

vikingpower (768921) | about 7 months ago | (#46030049)

That is what I need, to keep reading /. !

Re:Diapers ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46030095)

there are people on here that post so frequently you have to wonder...

Re:Diapers ! (1)

vikingpower (768921) | about 7 months ago | (#46030105)

That's what I meant.

Re:Diapers ! (3, Funny)

ackthpt (218170) | about 7 months ago | (#46030179)

That's what I meant.

Those post on facebook walls
Roll their shit in little balls
Those who browse those walls of wit
Eat those little balls of shit.

Re:Diapers ! (1)

Larryish (1215510) | about 7 months ago | (#46033341)

I just pooped a brown troll into my diaper.

Re:Diapers ! (3, Funny)

rmdingler (1955220) | about 7 months ago | (#46030283)

Diapers?

What are the empty Monster cans for then?

Re:Diapers ! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46030903)

Those cans come filled with piss already. It would be redundant to remove the piss only to put it back. Just use the carpet and tell mom to get a steam cleaner.

The answer: ESCAPISM (2)

TrollstonButterbeans (2914995) | about 7 months ago | (#46031905)

A fairly large swath of China is overcrowded and lacking in economic fairness and social mobility.

So of course escapism is going to be a substantial problem.

And this escapism takes form via addiction. Not so different as the problems in Norway or Russia have historically had in the winters with alcoholism.

Which actually is declining because escapism in 2014 can be internet addiction, which is probably far better than alcoholism.

But I would not criticize these individuals in China very hard, in China there is no freedom to move without permission from the government. And I wouldn't fault the government too hard either, they are trying very hard to adapt but they are not magical and cannot wave a magic wand and fix things overnight.

Would you mind give us a fucking break ? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46033643)

A fairly large swath of China is overcrowded and lacking in economic fairness and social mobility.

So of course escapism is going to be a substantial problem.

And this escapism takes form via addiction.

As though there is no net addiction in the States or UK.

make love... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46030059)

...not warcraft!

Re:make love... (1)

OakDragon (885217) | about 7 months ago | (#46032811)

...not warcraft!

Make Lovecraft, not Warcraft?

Re:make love... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46034311)

...not warcraft!

Make Lovecraft, not Warcraft?

The most merciful thing in the world, I think, is the inability of the human mind to correlate all its contents. We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity, and it was not meant that we should voyage far. The sciences, each straining in its own direction, have hitherto harmed us little; but some day the piecing together of dissociated knowledge will open up such terrifying vistas of reality, and of our frightful position therein, that we shall either go mad from the revelation or flee from the deadly light into the peace and safety of a new dark age.

-- H.P. Lovecraft, "The Call of Cthulhu"

MMORPG can maybe be changed so they (2)

Joe_Dragon (2206452) | about 7 months ago | (#46030061)

MMORPG can maybe be changed so you don't need to be on 24/7 to get the most of them / fell like you are paying for it so you better play 24/7.

Other games have more breaks build in and you don't have to play 24/7.

Re:MMORPG can maybe be changed so they (3, Interesting)

interkin3tic (1469267) | about 7 months ago | (#46030251)

Only a few people are going to such extremes: the fault lies with them, not the game. I've heard suggestions that even heroin isn't universally addictive, you need to be predisposed to become addicted in order to end up selling yourself etc. I'm skeptical that one can become addicted to WOW, to the point that they wear diapers and play 300 hours straight, without some other problem. And I'm guessing that problem has other negative effects outside of "I play WOW too much."

My point is that the addicts need to change. Changing the games to try to be a nanny for the addicts seems futile: they'll just get addicted to something else.

I doubt that these extreme rehab clinics are the way to do it, I'm skeptical that they take a very scientific approach, but changing the world to cure an individuals addiction is a dumber approach.

Re:MMORPG can maybe be changed so they (1)

HiThere (15173) | about 7 months ago | (#46032513)

Actually, yes. Originally Heroin was marked as an addicition free morphine derivative. Well, the 25 (I think it was) people they tested it on didn't get addicted....

Re:MMORPG can maybe be changed so they (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46033497)

That's why we call it electronic heroin

Thats a stretch....

Heroin comes with 50/50 chance of being a full blown junkie. It is the physical effects of the drug that cause people to continue doing it. It is an opiate, and causes your digestive system to just about shut down, when your body has passed much of the drug thru your digestive system is trying to reset itself, causing massive cramping pains.

It also alters you brains/bodies chemicals causing an unbalance which also adds to the "sickness" people claim to have after the drug wears off. This Pain or Sickness causes a person to reuse it since technically it is a pain killer.

The feeling of being on the drug and the altered state in which a person enjoys him or herself is another reason for it being a 50/50 addictive drug.
And injecting the drug gives you a full dose instant effect, as opposed to smoking it or even snorting it. Coke has the same effect, snort, inject, or smoke it and you can feel slightly different effects.

However I do know people that use Heroin as a recreation drug. One of the reasons for that is because of the physical pain the drug can [can, because that's not always the case] cause.

Re:MMORPG can maybe be changed so they (1)

ultranova (717540) | about 7 months ago | (#46033795)

Only a few people are going to such extremes

Or, more likely, no one is and the article is just China selling its re-education camps with a "think of the chiiildren" moral panic.

Re:MMORPG can maybe be changed so they (3, Interesting)

ackthpt (218170) | about 7 months ago | (#46030255)

MMORPG can maybe be changed so you don't need to be on 24/7 to get the most of them / fell like you are paying for it so you better play 24/7.

Other games have more breaks build in and you don't have to play 24/7.

Here's some historical anecdotal stuff to chew on...

Long before Warcraft the were MUDs, where people played like addicted players on National Player Addiction Day. I know, I was once one. The terms Life Suck and Time Sink were well known among us, though we laughed it off as we could quit whenever we wanted, though not just yet.

Before I got sucked into mudding I traveled Europe and met a couple in a restaurant in Brugge, Belgium. As I was an American on holiday, this husband and wife wanted to know a little about what life was like in the states and what I did for a living. Their living was currently treating people for Network Addiction - those people who were so glued to every post on a Fido (or other) board they couldn't function outside of hitting Reload every 10 seconds to see if they had any replies. Flamewars were what they lived for, a reason to participate and be heard (even if today nobody remembers any of it.) This meeting was in early January, 1994. Not a new thing, so it turns out. My younger brother was one of those who would do anything (include lie and steal) to keep his connection to a BBS going. They completely understood.

Re:MMORPG can maybe be changed so they (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46034993)

Yeah, I was pretty hardcore into my MUD of choice back in college (to the point of letting it really interfere with my life). Ironically, I've tried MMORPG's and have never been able to get into them. Maybe you just grow out of some addictions.

Re:MMORPG can maybe be changed so they (5, Interesting)

Bacon Bits (926911) | about 7 months ago | (#46030315)

MMORPG can maybe be changed so you don't need to be on 24/7 to get the most of them / fell like you are paying for it so you better play 24/7.

Pretty much this. They build in pressure to play, or return to continue playing. WoW's rest XP was supposed to combat this, but in reality it just doesn't. Certainly once you hit level cap rest XP does fuck all for encouraging you to log off. Battle.Net ladders and all competitive rewards simply reward expertise gained from a small amount of talent and a tremendous amount of time. Keeping your subscription current, buying this year's multi-player FPS encourage return and repeat buyers. Mobile and web-based games like Farmville (and, I assume, Candy Crush) have incentives and micro-transactions to encourage time investments. Even games with time limits have amounts you can pay for extra time. "Fremium" games seem to be the most egregious violators. These games are built to be addicting, not entertaining.

The only real world analogs I can think of are TCGs and casino games. Is that what this is? An adapted gambling addiction?

Re:MMORPG can maybe be changed so they (2)

PrimaryConsult (1546585) | about 7 months ago | (#46030601)

I can think of another real world addiction: buying/collecting tons of useless crap, and hoard everything they see. The funny thing is, getting these people onto games like WoW would only improve their life - instead of wasting money on crap that takes up precious space in tiny apartments, for $15 / month they can satisfy the collector urge without cluttering the apartment.

The funny thing is, once I realized this effect, I was able to benefit from it without actually playing the game. Every time I think "it'd be neat to have $USELESS_THING", I'd switch my thoughts over to "or I could reactivate my WoW account and work towards $TIMESINK_ACHIEVEMENT" and with that, I avoid both wasting time and buying useless crap.

Re:MMORPG can maybe be changed so they (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 7 months ago | (#46032689)

I can think of another real world addiction: buying/collecting tons of useless crap, and hoard everything they see. The funny thing is, getting these people onto games like WoW would only improve their life - instead of wasting money on crap that takes up precious space in tiny apartments, for $15 / month they can satisfy the collector urge without cluttering the apartment.

The funny thing is, once I realized this effect, I was able to benefit from it without actually playing the game. Every time I think "it'd be neat to have $USELESS_THING", I'd switch my thoughts over to "or I could reactivate my WoW account and work towards $TIMESINK_ACHIEVEMENT" and with that, I avoid both wasting time and buying useless crap.

Several years ago the Detroit Free Press had a story on a family, presumably living on welfare, who all were massive online gaming addicts. Only one example, but the article touched on several other cases where adults as well as children were hooked and couldn't part ways with leveling, fighting NPCs (or other players) getting LEET EQZ, etc. Don't blame the gaming companies, I always hear, it's not their fault people have a genetic predisposition to gaming. (You'd think they could find a paying profession, for that kind of effort, eh?)

Re:MMORPG can maybe be changed so they (1)

Daniel Hoffmann (2902427) | about 7 months ago | (#46034027)

I agree that wow is very time consuming, but in reality unless you play multiple characters you can't find anything else to do after playing around 40 hours (which is comparable to a full-time job) per week. Even if you are in a hard-core raiding guild.

The fact is that these people either level play with multiple characters or just sit around doing nothing or talking with guildmates in the game. It's not so much an addiction, but something more like "I have nothing better to do so I might as well just keep playing".

Of course that is WoW, there are other MMOs worse. WoW actually goes to great lengths to limit the amount of time you have to invest per week to stay competitive.

Re:MMORPG can maybe be changed so they (1)

LordLucless (582312) | about 7 months ago | (#46043241)

Certainly once you hit level cap rest XP does fuck all for encouraging you to log off.

Once you hit level cap, the problem was more finding a reason to log *on*. Raiding was an exercise in frustration, except in pre-organised guild groups that ran maybe once or twice a week. There was nothing to do outside those times, other than maybe one of hundred or so rep-grinds. Many people I know only logged on for the raids; others (including me) started a new alt whenever they hit the level cap.

Re:MMORPG can maybe be changed so they (4, Insightful)

RogueyWon (735973) | about 7 months ago | (#46030403)

I've played MMORPGs on and off since 2003. If anything, the trend these days in MMOs in the West is very much against needing the kind of time commitment that was common in the early days of the genre.

In the days before WoW, MMOs generally required a very, very serious investment of time if you really wanted to get much out of them. In Final Fantasy XI, which was (by the most reliable metrics) the most successful pre-WoW MMORPG, simply reaching maximum level would require many months of playtime, most of which was spent grinding (killing enemies over and over again in a repetitive cycle). The end-game content would require many, many consecutive hours spent waiting for rare monsters to spawn. I was working a job with more or less 9-to-5 hours when I played it, which meant I could never get to the top ranks. But for the 18 months or so I played it seriously, it was by far my most time consuming leisure activity (probably peaking at around 30 hours a week).

Part of the reason behind WoW's success was that, by design, it eliminated much of the timesink component that had previously been associated with the genre. The level-up process was pretty fast; weeks rather than months for an average gamer (and probably only days when measured in time actually spent in-game). The days of camping timed monster spawns were largely gone, replaced by "instanced" end-game content that guilds could schedule at will. In theory, the time commitment required fell a lot with WoW - and almost every other global MMORPG since has followed WoW in this streamlining.

Of course, WoW certainly didn't end the "MMOs ate my life" stories. In fact, by opening the genre to a wider audience, it increased their frequency. WoW touched off a very competitive streak in a lot of people; and to be one of the most successful guilds in progress terms, you needed to put in a fairly serious schedule of raids (the instanced end-game dungeons). An average guild schedule would have 4 raids per week of 4 hours each, with a 75% attendance requirement for players. On top of this, most players would need to spend at least a couple more hours making in-game money to finance their raiding activities. And many players would have more than one character. So the time required to play at the high levels was still fairly severe. But at least players had the option of more casual play schedules, while still getting some measure of enjoyment out of the game.

And over the years, Blizzard (and their competitors) have actually worked to blunt the edges of the most punishing raid schedules and have, in essence, throttled access to end-game content so that there's much less point in sinking your whole life into the game. There are generally limits (sometimes hard, sometimes soft) on how much progress players can make in a week. You won't be locked out of the game after a certain period (outside of China, or unless parental controls are enabled), but you will rapidly run into diminishing returns. This holds true across most current MMOs; WoW, Old Republic, Lord of the Rings Online, Final Fantasy 14 and so on. The only possible exception (and I don't play it so I can't say for sure) is Eve Online.

So basically, if you are playing a modern "global" MMORPG and you are pumping your whole life into the game, you are playing it wrong. Of course, some people do still play it this way and some Asian MMORPGs are still designed around older mechanics that make a near-whole-life commitment essential. But the people who pumping their whole life into WoW, or who choose to play those Asian MMOs despite their many shortcomings compared to superior "global" offerings are almost certainly doing so because of other issues in their life rather than the game mechanics.

Re:MMORPG can maybe be changed so they (1)

cyn1c77 (928549) | about 7 months ago | (#46032775)

I've played MMORPGs on and off since 2003. If anything, the trend these days in MMOs in the West is very much against needing the kind of time commitment that was common in the early days of the genre.

In the days before WoW, MMOs generally required a very, very serious investment of time if you really wanted to get much out of them. In Final Fantasy XI, which was (by the most reliable metrics) the most successful pre-WoW MMORPG, simply reaching maximum level would require many months of playtime, most of which was spent grinding (killing enemies over and over again in a repetitive cycle). The end-game content would require many, many consecutive hours spent waiting for rare monsters to spawn. I was working a job with more or less 9-to-5 hours when I played it, which meant I could never get to the top ranks. But for the 18 months or so I played it seriously, it was by far my most time consuming leisure activity (probably peaking at around 30 hours a week).

When I was a kid, we had to walk 1,000,000,000,000,000 miles to school....

Seriously, I have played computer games since before personal computers had hard drives and many others here have too. Grinding is not a new concept.

Every RPG has an element of grinding. When you bring people together online, the grinding has to be magnified to increase the level competition among the larger player set.

FPS games became almost identical once they added online server scoreboards.

Before computer games, kids collected baseball cards. You had to by thousands of cards to get the special one. This would take MONTHS of dedicated income (as a 5 year old) to obtain the cards and tons of free time to sort and rank the cards. (Anything sound familiar?)

Companies have always been really effective at profiting over human's innate competitive drive and need to be special relative to one's peers.

Re:MMORPG can maybe be changed so they (1)

ultranova (717540) | about 7 months ago | (#46033831)

When I was a kid, we had to walk 1,000,000,000,000,000 miles to school....

At the speed of light, that academic journey would had taken 170 years. But I suppose you have a good enough excuse for not knowing it :^).

Re:MMORPG can maybe be changed so they (1)

dcw3 (649211) | about 7 months ago | (#46036031)

When I was a kid, we had to walk 1,000,000,000,000,000 miles to school....

At the speed of light, that academic journey would had taken 170 years. But I suppose you have a good enough excuse for not knowing it :^).

It was worse when we had to do it uphill both ways!

Re:MMORPG can maybe be changed so they (1)

Jamie Ian Macgregor (3389757) | about 7 months ago | (#46095987)

don't forget the snow, and our shoes were only the tops with no soles.

Re: MMORPG can maybe be changed so they (1)

dcw3 (649211) | about 7 months ago | (#46096095)

You had shoes???

Re: MMORPG can maybe be changed so they (1)

Jamie Ian Macgregor (3389757) | about 7 months ago | (#46097337)

yeah but no soles, they wore out 100,000km ago. was a luxury for a while

Re: MMORPG can maybe be changed so they (1)

dcw3 (649211) | about 7 months ago | (#46099421)

What were the shoes for? Don't tell me you had feet too!?!

Re:MMORPG can maybe be changed so they (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46036143)

When I was a kid, we had to walk 1,000,000,000,000,000 miles to school....

At the speed of light, that academic journey would had taken 170 years. But I suppose you have a good enough excuse for not knowing it :^).

HAAAAAaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa :D

Re:MMORPG can maybe be changed so they (1)

Daniel Hoffmann (2902427) | about 7 months ago | (#46034079)

I just wanted to add that if you do hard-core raiding in the first 3-5 weeks of the new raid you will be playing a lot more often than usual. But that only happens every few months. Being in the "First-kills" guilds is almost a full time job during the first few weeks of a new patch. After the new raids have been completely cleared by your guild the work-load required to stay competitive reduces gradually to almost nothing.

In hard-core pvp though once you reach a rating growth you are comfortable for the week you actually have to stop playing because you risk reducing your rating.

I did play a lot back in the old days, after some time I got tired of the game, but I still raided with my guild. It was actually the only reason I logged in for, we were not hard-core, but we did well. During this time I invested 8 hours per week maximum, the major problem was that we scheduled raids two times a week, this meant that my mondays and wednesdays nights were always committed.

Yes, hold them for three months (1)

bob_super (3391281) | about 7 months ago | (#46030075)

As soon as they're out, they'll tell us all the details on facebook.

As Russell Brand Said... (1)

makotech222 (1645085) | about 7 months ago | (#46030077)

Drugs aren't the problem, they're the solution. Life is the problem.

Sounds more like they are addicted to the freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46030131)

Sounds more like they are addicted to the freedom they get within the game.

Much better than their reality....

Re:Sounds more like they are addicted to the freed (1)

ackthpt (218170) | about 7 months ago | (#46030303)

Sounds more like they are addicted to the freedom they get within the game.

Much better than their reality....

Nah. People of all walks of life, even Americans are completely sucked into these games, too. I mudded pretty intensely, back about 1997 and know too well how the hours and days flew by. All just to get another level or piece of eq. Marathon sessions were not unknown on weekends. I told a friend who worked in the video game industry these games were going to be the next big thing, but he couldn't see how anyone could set up a nationwide network of servers for this so dismissed it. I wonder how many times he has kicked himself for not taking the gamble on it.

Re:Sounds more like they are addicted to the freed (1)

Impy the Impiuos Imp (442658) | about 7 months ago | (#46031093)

Played original Quake online. After a month downloaded capture the flag mod. I saw a guy on my team running through the no man's land back to my castle on those tiny fields, night time, flag glowing and waving behind him. I had one of 4 epiphanel moments of my life, and knew -- all games through human history had been leading up to his moment: online, team-based games with a goal.

I was up from 8 AM thru 11 PM of the next day , 39 hours straight, before I literally fell asleep at the keyboard standing in water somewhere.

Re:Sounds more like they are addicted to the freed (1)

phantomfive (622387) | about 7 months ago | (#46033501)

I had one of 4 epiphanel moments of my life, and knew -- all games through human history had been leading up to his moment: online, team-based games with a goal.

What were the other epiphanel moments?

Hate so say it but... (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46030135)

as unpopular as it is, I think it's true -- I've known several people (myself included) who have spent gawd know how many hours (1000s easily) on mmos especially. I've been playing mmos since EQ in 1999. While I may try to justify it by calling it a hobby, comparing it to other forms of media (books, movies, etc) that people 'waste' time on, it really has at times been interfered with other parts of my life -- work & family especially. I play less now because I'm bored with them since they're really the same rinse and repeat grind, but it's not because I consciously choose to stop/cut back.

Re:Hate so say it but... (1)

0racle (667029) | about 7 months ago | (#46030205)

I play less now because I'm bored with them since they're really the same rinse and repeat grind

Ya that happens to heroin addicts all the time. It's just the same damn high time after time, they get bored of it and stop.

Just admit you didn't have the self control to curtail something you wanted to do. Quit trying to hide behind some 'it's not my fault" excuse.

Re:Hate so say it but... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46030301)

LOL. Did you even READ the post, he clearly included himself as an addict -- and I didn't see him excuse it or say he wasn't at fault.

Re:Hate so say it but... (1)

Mashiki (184564) | about 7 months ago | (#46031523)

It is a hobby, I'll be I, or anyone on /. or in general can tell you the number of times I get obsessed over books, movies, etc, and kept going, and going, and going. Until it interferes with a part of their life as well.

Simply because it's one thing, doesn't mean people don't do the same thing with other hobbies. I had a girlfriend who's hobby was knitting, and knitting to the point where it actively interfered with our relationship...that's all she wanted to do. I even had buddies from back in my highschool days who were serious gearheads and that interfered with other parts of their lives including school and their jobs, including drive two into bankruptcy at the age of 20. It's not special by any stretch for any hobby.

Correlation with One Child Policy? (4, Interesting)

ScottCooperDotNet (929575) | about 7 months ago | (#46030151)

There is a longstanding trend in the USA for parents to be ever more cautious about where and what their children do, and it seems to have correlated with the century-long decrease in the number of children per woman. Many kids now spend more time inside than previous generations, so they don't develop as strong social skills as they might have. This allows the Internet to somewhat supplement face-to-face contact, and adds considerable anxiety to going outside.

So I wonder if there is a correlation with China's One Child Policy, where parents may be more likely to shelter their only child? Or is there some other cultural cause?

Re:Correlation with One Child Policy? (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 7 months ago | (#46030465)

I think it has more to do with much more electronic diversions these days from internet, games, cable TV, etc. When I grew up there were only 7 channels and if the President was on TV for an address, you had to read a book because he was on all the channels. If you wanted a video you had to go in town to the rental store. Gaming was starting to become bigger but it wasn't like it is today.

Re:Correlation with One Child Policy? (2)

drooling-dog (189103) | about 7 months ago | (#46031187)

Sigh... When I grew up there were 4 channels and if you wanted a video people looked at you strangely, because that hadn't been invented yet. Gaming was big, but it meant going outside and getting some friends together for baseball or basketball (or something that you just invented on the spot). Your parents didn't worry about where you were, as long as you were home for dinner and bedtime.

Alas, now I spend the bulk of my waking hours, at work and at home, sitting in front of a screen. Yes, I do miss the good old days...

Re:Correlation with One Child Policy? (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 7 months ago | (#46034037)

4 channels. . . psh. Someone didn't do a very good job with the rabbit ears. :P As for gaming, we spent most of the time outdoors unless the weather forced us in. And at time our parents forced us out to get us out of their hair for a while.

Re:Correlation with One Child Policy? (1)

Daniel Hoffmann (2902427) | about 7 months ago | (#46034113)

Well you have to compare to what other adults did for a living back in the old days. The white collar did sit in a desk all day, but reading and writing papers. The blue collar spent all his day operating a machine in a repetitive task, if you ask any blue collar after a few years they would say they would love to have a desk job in a air-refrigerated room.

As for what you do in your home time, you could try going out more? The only difference today is that you have more options.

Re:Correlation with One Child Policy? (2)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#46030565)

Many kids now spend more time inside than previous generations ...

I saw this story a number of years ago and it stuck with me. For some reason the map originally with it doesn't show up any more, but you can see it in the second link.

How children lost the right to roam in four generations [dailymail.co.uk] - Map [bikede.org]

Re:Correlation with One Child Policy? (0)

deconfliction (3458895) | about 7 months ago | (#46031307)

Many kids now spend more time inside than previous generations, so they don't develop as strong social skills as they might have.

The globe is getting more crowded. The children are developing the appropriate social skills to their day and age and local population density.

This allows the Internet to somewhat supplement face-to-face contact, and adds considerable anxiety to going outside.

No, I think it's the existence of the internet that allows the internet to somewhat supplant face to face contact. The internet is where life goes on these days. For our parents, that technology did not exist, and gasoline was much cheaper. As a result their lives were lived more often in cars and places you can get to with cars (your local downtown, parks and other points of interest say 50 miles away, etc).

So I wonder if there is a correlation with China's One Child Policy, where parents may be more likely to shelter their only child? Or is there some other cultural cause?

You do realize China is a pretty completely fucked up place to live right? 1989, Tiananmen Square- go watch some mainstream news coverage (from '89, not from the last 10 years) of that. Then read about the working conditions, and thoughtful 'suicide nets' at factories like Foxconn that make all those wonderful Apple and Samsung products. Then read about the history of the Great Firewall, and the history of Yahoo, Microsoft, and then Google caving into free speech pressure to do business there. I.e. Yahoo revealing the identity of yahoo-email users that were clearly only criminal (in China) for wanting to excercise what we in the U.S. consider as an 'inalienable right' (free speech). Google agreeing to censor search results for information about the Tiananmen Square Mass^H^H Incident.

Probably yes, there is some dimension of the influence of the One Child Policy here. But you won't get anywhere in understanding if you ignore the obvious importance of those other things. China wants to control it's citizen's political expression. Massively over-diagnosing schizophria, or homosexuality as a psychological illness, or those sort of things is a little too passe for state oppression. These day's you just send the free-speech loving dissidents to "internet addiction rehab".

Re:Correlation with One Child Policy? (1)

PNutts (199112) | about 7 months ago | (#46031561)

So I wonder if there is a correlation with China's One Child Policy, where parents may be more likely to shelter their only child? Or is there some other cultural cause?

Ancient Chinese secret.

Re:Correlation with One Child Policy? (1)

c0lo (1497653) | about 7 months ago | (#46033153)

So I wonder if there is a correlation with China's One Child Policy, where parents may be more likely to shelter their only child? Or is there some other cultural cause?

There will be one in the future... gaming addiction will have the effect of No Child, policy or not.

Re:Correlation with One Child Policy? (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 7 months ago | (#46033537)

Same in the UK. I'd add some blame to the media too. Scare stories drive high ratings, and they love a good sex scandal for the same reason. They've so saturated their coverage that they've got much of the UK on a pedophile witchhunt now - parents are terrified to let their children associate even with other children unless their parents have been subject to a criminal background check first.

So what ? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46030159)

Why the alarmist tone ? They are not shooting anyone, they are not spreading disease, just some wankers pissing their best years away. I fail to see how achieving success in the teenager social mob is in any way a superior activity to unlocking the "Sword of a Thousand Truths" or getting a +5 Insightful comment. There is no spoon, yeah I said it.

Sounds more like they are additcted to the freedom (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46030177)

they experience within the game.

Much better than what their reality is...

This is the future (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46030223)

Entire generations will piss their lives away on games for lack of something better to do.

No such thing as 'addiction' (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46030225)

Stop spreading this RIDICULOUS meme.

Try reading the books 'The myth of addiction' and 'Addiction is a choice'.

But careful, you might have to THINK, which we know you don't like doing. You might have to question what the T.V. tells you - that would be scary, wouldn't it...

These 'addicts' simply CHOOSE to do whatever it is that feels good to them. You call it an 'addiction' as if that makes 'addiction' a real 'thing'.

Re:No such thing as 'addiction' (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 7 months ago | (#46030383)

Really? Because countless clinical and scientific studies on how drugs like cocaine, heroin, nicotine, etc all act on the brain in chemical ways that describe addiction are just bogus compared to what a professor of psychology (Davies) and a professor of public affairs (Schaler) says that it's really about willpower and choices. Sounds like the drivel that Rush Limbaugh advocated for years--that is until he was caught trying to get thousands of pills to feed his drug habit.

Re:No such thing as 'addiction' (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 7 months ago | (#46033557)

The DSM does recognise a general catagory of "behavioral addiction." It's considered quite distinct from the more familiar substance dependency.

Re:No such thing as 'addiction' (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 7 months ago | (#46034065)

But the books that were mentioned treat all addictions as choices and mere will power. They also downplay the role that groups like AA provide to addicts with one of them calling it a cult.

Re:No such thing as 'addiction' (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 7 months ago | (#46034285)

'Cult' isn't too unfair a description of some of the twelve steps programs. They are religious in nature. The twelve steps can be summed up in four: Accept you have a problem, accept you can't overcome it alone, accept that only God can help you and all others are powerless, beg for the almighty to grant you strength and aid.

Some versions replage God with some vague higher spiritual power who is explicitly not God, so they can accept court-ordered attendees. There would be constitutional issues with courts ordering someone to attend a church, so they have to keep the religion vague enough to deny for legal purposes.

Re:No such thing as 'addiction' (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | about 7 months ago | (#46035647)

Some 12 step programs are religion based. Some are not. The problem it seems that author has is with religion and not what the program provides to addicts. AA is not for everyone, but treating alcoholism and other substance dependencies as mere choices takes away from society and individuals to deal with them effectively. Addictions like these are diseases for which they are no cures but only treatment. Other addictions not based on chemical dependency like internet addiction, shopping, etc, are harder to classify and may be more psychological than physiological.

Re:No such thing as 'addiction' (1)

dcw3 (649211) | about 7 months ago | (#46036741)

DSM has been highly criticized to the point where it's hardly credible reference material.

Wang in the Sky with Li (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46030257)

One part of the problem is Chinese parenting and Chinese society : don't say "no" to your son, over-protect them, give up when they throw a tantrum... But force your son into whatever you think is good for him, regardless of his aspirations. Actually, your son have no aspiration because he never got space for personal development, never got time for being free trying stuffs, etc. And when come the early twenties, suddenly throw him into univ., then wedding, with the mortgage/car/iPhone mandatory trilogy. Sounds cool, hu ? Well, you escape reality, so tempting when reality sucks so much. And you can't say no to your kid, so your kid just dive head first in his only escape. But when rationality and emotional intelligence are absent for the last 50 years, you can't understand that. You send your son in a jail to get some electroshock.

"Discipline is crucial for battle effectiveness!" (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46030313)

Detox.... you're doing it wrong. On the upside their clan raids are going to kick some serious ass now.

Get your fix (1)

locrien (865888) | about 7 months ago | (#46030341)

Come on man just 2 more gigabites of data! It will hold me over!
(Scratches neck like crack head)

While 'internet' addiction is too broad... (1)

atari2600a (1892574) | about 7 months ago | (#46030369)

...'electronic heroin' is spot on. Seeing rockstars talk about heroin in highschool anti-drug films pretty much sums up how I felt about WoW, having recently been cut off by my brother's cancelled subscription. While I wasn't an addict, I still had fucking DREAMS about being in the game & listening to it's beautifully orchestrated music, bright colorful graphics maxed out on my integrated intel hardware because I was so badass at systems optimization...anyone got a subscription? I'm itching man!

The heroin dealer's business model: (1)

vikingpower (768921) | about 7 months ago | (#46030441)

Hey ! PSSSST ! Want a subscription real cheap ? I got some good stuff here, man ! Wanna have a go ? Yeah, you can try it for free for 10 minutes....

Re:While 'internet' addiction is too broad... (1)

HiThere (15173) | about 7 months ago | (#46032579)

Get a clue to how your mind works:
ANYTHING you pay a lot of attention to over a reasonable period of time will start showing up in your dreams. ANYTHING. If you have a strong emotional reaction, of any sort, that just strengthens it, but I've had times when I dreamed about spreadsheets, which was difficult, because they weren't spreadsheets about anything in particular, but just spreadsheets as in numbers (illegible, uninterpreted) laid out in a grid.

If you want a really wierd experience, read James Joyce's "Finnegan's Wake" for a few weeks. Study it, and try to figure out what it means. Then watch your dreams. (Maybe James Joyce's dreams were usually like that, but mine sure weren't.)

Re:While 'internet' addiction is too broad... (1)

SuricouRaven (1897204) | about 7 months ago | (#46033563)

I've had dreams consisting entirely of text conversations with friends. It usually ends with the realisation that I'm dreaming, and the other end of the conversation is generated internally - then the realisation that this means whatever I say to them, they won't remember. Generally good for a bit of fun.

I'm addicted to a lot of things (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 7 months ago | (#46030435)

I tried to lower my "eating addiction" in order to stop my "going to the bathroom" addiction, but it only made my "I need to sleep" addiction even worst.

Daily Beast vs Wired video clip (1)

SpankiMonki (3493987) | about 7 months ago | (#46030593)

What a stark contrast. The Daily Beast article [thedailybeast.com] speaks of "prison" and "bizarre hybrid" and "wires and nodes" and "forced medication", while the promotional clip for the movie [wired.com] posted on Wired shows the supposed victims of this cruel outrage sitting around in a decent environment playing cards, happily shooting the BS, and generally enjoying their leisure time.

I think I'll put more weight on the video and less on the sensationalist Beast article.

Re:Daily Beast vs Wired video clip (1)

cold fjord (826450) | about 7 months ago | (#46032553)

I know what you mean. Look at this weight lifting scene [youtube.com] from a prison documentary. Everyone looks happy and like they want to be there. Obviously prison isn't so bad and we can safely ignore reports of crowded cells, fights, boredom, despair, and other troubles.

Re:Daily Beast vs Wired video clip (1)

SpankiMonki (3493987) | about 7 months ago | (#46036519)

I know what you mean. Look at this weight lifting scene [youtube.com] from a prison documentary. Everyone looks happy and like they want to be there. Obviously prison isn't so bad and we can safely ignore reports of crowded cells, fights, boredom, despair, and other troubles.

LOL

Maybe I misread something along the way, but the DB article appeared to me to be about the same facility as the promo video for the documentary. The same specific facility.

So with two sources of information about a specific facility presented to me, I simply said I gave more weight to the information in the video as opposed to the (IMO) clearly sensationalist Beast article. I did not say I or you or anyone else should ignore the Beast article

But nice try at putting words into my mouth (though I wounder why you would try to do such a thing in the first place).

This is ridicu- (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46030609)

Come on, an addiction center for internet users? This is getting ridicu-

Some kids are so hooked on these games they think going to the bathroom will affect their performance. So they wear a diaper.

Oh. My mistake. Carry on.

China is overreacting (1)

jd.schmidt (919212) | about 7 months ago | (#46030741)

Really, the parents can's just take away the kid's computer and money for accounts? I don't think I would trust this place with my kids. While I am sure some kids have a real problem, unlike most drugs computer games have no physically addictive properties. This sounds like overkill to me, whipping up parents fears against reason. I have two kids, two full time plus working parents and we have enought control to at least cut the kids off when we need to. I can't see how this kind of nonsense is needed.

Re:China is overreacting (1)

Erikderzweite (1146485) | about 7 months ago | (#46036023)

As someone who has worked at a casino for several years, I would say that the opposite is the case: game addiction is in some aspects worse than substance addiction *because* it does not have a chemical substance. That means no nicotine patches, no alcohol-free beer, no replacement therapy.

UMO, MMOs and farmville-like games are built on the same psychological principles as slot machines. They extract money on a slower rate therefore they end up consuming more of addict's time. But the principle of pressing a button and getting a reward is very similar.

Anyway, as it is the case with any addiction: simply trying to cut off the incentives won't help if you don't deal with underlying psychological problems. Bootcamp is a rather radical attempt of treating the addiction, it might be overkill. Would be interesting to see the stats on remissions though.

Re:China is overreacting (1)

jd.schmidt (919212) | about 7 months ago | (#46036515)

Well, to be clear I don't deny addiction can be real (as I mentioned in my post), but on the face of it this program seems more like a feel good "get tough" kind of solution than a real one based in science. Indeed the one size fits all kind of approach doesn’t sound like treating underlying issues to me.

Re:China is overreacting (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46052673)

Nobody has ever dropped dead of a heart attack, like an alcoholic can during severe delirium tremens, after going too long without placing a bet.

haha (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46030757)

The Chinese are mostly simple minded assholes.

That pretty much sums up why so many of them emigrate

Heard inside Internet Addiction Treatment Center: (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46031007)

Patient 1: You in here 'cuz of Final Fantasy IX?! Man, this is some BULLSHIT!

Patient 2: Final Fantasy is not a MMORPG. I used to suck dick for WOW. Now that's an addiction. You ever suck some dick for Final Fantasy?

sundance (1)

issicus (2031176) | about 7 months ago | (#46031365)

am I the only one who thinks it's strange how it is difficult/impossible to watch these videos online?

nope (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46031485)

china must be even more of a shithole than i originally though. fuck that place

informativeo bitchbitch (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46031881)

A great way to control your citizenry (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46032227)

So let's say that I'm a member of the government and decide to dispose of someone for three months. I announce that that said person is an internet addict and have them carted off for re-education. Since there aren't any physical symptoms of internet addiction, and since most addicts will deny that they have a problem, how are they going to prove otherwise? Furthermore, how would you even determine when someone was cured? Presumably, you aren't going to let them access a computer (which is also convenient, since it also effectively deprives them of a way of contacting the outside world).

Over-complicating it (1)

Tablizer (95088) | about 7 months ago | (#46033257)

What's with all the goofy procedures and meds? Simply send them to a regular mountain camp with tents and stuff and make them sing camp songs, hike, fish, and roast marshmallows. And if they become normal enough, they'll even try to sneak into the girl's camp.

Beatings and hard labor - its the communist way. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 7 months ago | (#46034107)

Just another story so they dont have to talk about government corruption and their economy headed for meltdown.

Re-education camps (1)

swb (14022) | about 7 months ago | (#46034303)

In a country with an ideology and political system with a history of "re-education" camps designed to purge thinking inconsistent with the party's official doctrine, I wonder how much of this is just something designed to appease party ideologues, the party equivalent of evangelical Christians, especially in an era of state sanctioned capitalism.

Although I can see how MMORPGs promote a kind of relentless, it-never-stops gameplay, especially for games where not playing can cause you to lose in-game status, either with in-game groups or with whatever in-game stuff you've built.

My nine-year-old likes to play "Clash of Clans" on my wife's iPad. We greatly restrict his amount of game play and he has gotten upset when circumstances have limited his game play over several days and he's lost some in-game status. He's kind of gotten used to it, though, although this leads me to make sure he doesn't get too involved in any of these games.

only in china? (1)

Gravis Zero (934156) | about 7 months ago | (#46035233)

why is it that i've only heard of "internet addiction" being a problem in china and it only being a problem in minors? there seems to be a large piece of the puzzle missing and possibly being swept under the rug.

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