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. Bummer.
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 instill a sense of discipline in folks who’d rather just play World of Warcraft.
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 center by their parents. Someone sound The Price Is Right’s fail horn for me, would you please?
Hey! You! Get off of the game box! Or at least, get off of it after using the machine for an hour and 59 minutes. Why so? According to Steve Pope, a counselor and therapist in the United Kingdom, if you gamed for two hours, you just did the equivalent of a line of cocaine.
DUN DUN DUNDUNDUNNNNNNNNN.
“A lot of young people get themselves into a situation where they use video games as an escape from the world and they get hooked on the release of adrenaline it gives,” says Pope. “Spending two hours on a game station is equivalent to taking a line of cocaine in the high it produces.”
Pope goes on to claim that gaming is the “fastest growing addiction” in the UK and is affecting youth mentally as well as causing problems like obesity.
“I saw one 14-year-old Preston boy who played on games for 24 hours non stop and had not eaten and was showing signs of dehydration,” he adds. “When his parents tried to take his console away, he became aggressive and threatened to jump out of a window.”
There are also children, he warns, that have been stealing from their parents to buy video games. Just imagine if they were actually doing coke! There are even therapists who are addicted to making all sorts of melodramatic claims. Shock! Shock and horror!
Clearly, gaming is one helluva drug.