On­line game ad­dicts are not lu­natics

China Daily (Canada) - - COMMENT -

Re­cently, a 19-year-old girl died in a boot camp that helps teenagers to give up their ad­dic­tion to on­line games in Henan province. Me­dia re­ports say that she was prac­ti­cally tor­tured to death, be­cause the boot camp officials be­lieve in us­ing force­ful meth­ods to “dis­ci­pline” stu­dents. Be­cause of their poor un­der­stand­ing of the term “ad­dic­tion” in re­la­tion to on­line games, re­hab officials are push­ing many chil­dren into an abyss of suf­fer­ing, says an ar­ti­cle in Peo­ple’s Daily. Ex­cerpts:

Many re­ha­bil­i­ta­tion cen­ters for on­line game ad­dicts use the most in­tense and hu­mil­i­at­ing means to force chil­dren into obe­di­ence. Cases sim­i­lar to the one in Henan have been re­ported be­fore. Re­hab cen­ters are even known to force chil­dren to “drop” on the floor re­peat­edly un­til they suf­fer griev­ous in­juries in order to wean them away from on­line games.

The mis­in­ter­pre­ta­tion of the word “ad­dic­tion” has be­come the foun­tain of for­tune for boot camps, which ex­ploit the ig­no­rance and fear of par­ents. Such re­hab cen­ters brain­wash des­per­ate par­ents by com­par­ing their chil­dren to drug ad­dicts so that they’d pay huge sums to “save” their off­spring. The truth is that there are fun­da­men­tal dif­fer­ences be­tween drug ad­dic­tion and on­line game ad­dic­tion.

The med­i­cal term for al­ler­gic re­ac­tion in Chi­nese is biantai, which can also mean “psy­chopath”. There­fore, there is need to change the sign­boards in al­lergy de­part­ments of hos­pi­tals from “Al­ler­gic Re­ac­tion De­part­ment” to “Al­lergy De­part­ment”.

On­line game ad­dic­tion can be cured only by im­prov­ing chil­dren’s psy­cho­log­i­cal health, such as boost­ing their self­es­teem and in­spir­ing them to suc­cess. Love, un­der­stand­ing and in­spi­ra­tion, not tor­ture and hu­mil­i­a­tion, are needed to bring on­line game ad­dicts back on the right track.

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