Feeds

China opens net addiction clinic

Acupuncture and Winnie the Pooh aid web junkies

  • alert
  • submit to reddit

High performance access to file storage

Proof that China continues to wholeheartedly embrace all that is good about Western capitalism comes with the news that the nascent economic superpower now has a clinic where net-frazzled comrades can tackle their web addiction.

The state-run facility in Beijing currently has 12 inmates who rise at 6am for a programme of sports, acupuncture and medication - all designed to wean them off the net and back into the real world, AP reports.

The clinic's director, Dr. Tao Ran, explained: "All the children here have left school because they are playing games or in chat rooms everyday. They are suffering from depression, nervousness, fear and unwillingness to interact with others, panic and agitation. They also have sleep disorders, the shakes and numbness in their hands."

One 20-year-old, who reportedly spent 20 hours a day gaming online to the detriment of his studies, said: "I wasn't normal. In school I didn't pay attention when teachers were talking. All I could do was think about playing the next game. Playing made me happy, I forgot my problems." Another 21-year-old confessed: "I would stay up for 24 hours. I would eat only in front of the computer."

Tao's addiction-killing therapy includes "sessions on a machine that stimulates nerve impulses with 30-volt charges to pressure points" and intravenous administration of an unnamed "clear fluid" said to "adjust the unbalanced status of brain secretions". Between bouts of having their brain secretions rebalanced, patients can lounge about in rooms which are "sunny, decorated with artificial flowers, Winnie the Pooh comforters and a 17-inch television".

We're not sure that Winnie the Pooh comforters are an adequate substitute for an 18-hour session on Counterstrike, but at a cool $48 per day (the average city worker's weekly wage is $20), you'd expect a bit of cuddly toy and TV action for your bucks.

Quite what the Chinese authorities make of all this is not recorded, but it will certainly add credence to their assertion that China's youth are having their morals eroded by exposure to the internet. Mind you, they only have themselves to blame. In countries where having more than one child will not result in the parents being clipped round the ear with a copy of the Little Red Book, kids might at least have a younger brother to torment rather than taking out their frustrations with a virtual assault rifle.

For his part, Tao reckons there might be 2.5 million Chinese suffering from net addiction, although this may not be as apocalyptic as the good doc suggests. Kuang Wenbo, a professor of mass media at Beijing's Renmin University, said: "As the number of the netizens grows, the number of the addicted people will grow as well, but we should not worry about the issue too much. The young men at the age of growing up have their own problems. Even if there was no internet they will get addicted to other things." ®

Related stories

Microsoft deletes 'freedom' and 'democracy' in China
China hits net gambling hard
China shuts 12,500 'illegal' cybercafes

High performance access to file storage

More from The Register

next story
Sorry London, Europe's top tech city is Munich
New 'Atlas of ICT Activity' finds innovation isn't happening at Silicon Roundabout
MtGox chief Karpelès refuses to come to US for g-men's grilling
Bitcoin baron says he needs another lawyer for FinCEN chat
Dropbox defends fantastically badly timed Condoleezza Rice appointment
'Nothing is going to change with Dr. Rice's appointment,' file sharer promises
Audio fans, prepare yourself for the Second Coming ... of Blu-ray
High Fidelity Pure Audio – is this what your ears have been waiting for?
Did a date calculation bug just cost hard-up Co-op Bank £110m?
And just when Brit banking org needs £400m to stay afloat
Zucker punched: Google gobbles Facebook-wooed Titan Aerospace
Up, up and away in my beautiful balloon flying broadband-bot
Apple DOMINATES the Valley, rakes in more profit than Google, HP, Intel, Cisco COMBINED
Cook & Co. also pay more taxes than those four worthies PLUS eBay and Oracle
prev story

Whitepapers

Securing web applications made simple and scalable
In this whitepaper learn how automated security testing can provide a simple and scalable way to protect your web applications.
Five 3D headsets to be won!
We were so impressed by the Durovis Dive headset we’ve asked the company to give some away to Reg readers.
HP ArcSight ESM solution helps Finansbank
Based on their experience using HP ArcSight Enterprise Security Manager for IT security operations, Finansbank moved to HP ArcSight ESM for fraud management.
The benefits of software based PBX
Why you should break free from your proprietary PBX and how to leverage your existing server hardware.
Mobile application security study
Download this report to see the alarming realities regarding the sheer number of applications vulnerable to attack, as well as the most common and easily addressable vulnerability errors.