Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Internet Cafes Evil

So I'm sitting in my favorite Saigon eating establishment called The Underground and I'm reading the March 12 Vietnam News. There's a Reuters story with a Beijing byline that is titled "Tough Love for China Net Addicts." You can imagine that this is a story that captured my attention. Here's a couple of the juicier quotes.

  • "Combining sympathy with discipline, a military-style boot camp near Beijing is at the front-line of China's battle against Internet addiction, a disorder afflicting millions of the nation's youth."
  • "The government-funded Daxing centre, run by an army colonel under the Beijing Military Hospital, is one of a handful of clinics treating patients with Internet addictions in China. Patients, overwhelmingly male and aged 14 to 19, wake up in common dormitories at 6.15 a.m. to do morning calisthenics and march on the cracked concrete grounds wearing khaki fatigues."
  • "Many of the Internet addicts here have rarely considered other peoples' feelings. The military training allows them to feel what it's like to be a part of a team," said Xu Leiting, a psychologist at the hospital. "It also helps their bodies recover and makes them stronger."
  • "The rising tide of Internet-addicted youth has prompted the government to ban new Internet cafes in 2007, which are seen in China as breeding grounds for social delinquency."
  • "The main cause of Internet addiction is that parents' expectations for their children are too high," said Xu.
Interesting that the Reuters online version of this story uses a subtitle of "Parental Pressure" near the end of the story. In the Vietnam News that subtitle was changed to "Internet Cafes Evil." I thought that was too funny to not make fun of.

Here's my furl archive of the story in case the link gets broken above. Also, my apologies for using pictures from Vietnam for this story about China, but I was taken by the Internet games places here in Vietnam and I figure it is only a matter of time until all of these people go crazy too; in fact doesn't this little boy look rather sinister already?

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