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While some gamers may spend up to eight hours in the day playing a game – and some people might consider that binge playing – one gamer spent an entire decade living out of internet cafes after running away from home as a teenager, following a vicious fight with their parents.
Shangaiist did a report on the rather prickly situation that involved a teenager fleeing from her home after getting engaged in a heated and vicious argument with her mother. The teenager ended up going to an internet cafe to stay while she was away from home and proceeded to survive by getting handouts from the denizens of various internet cafes. According to the article, this is how she ate and slept for more than a decade.
Eventually the police caught up with her after they originally declared her missing and presumed dead. It turns out that she was using a fake ID and was fined 1,000 yuan for the trouble. In addition to this, the police escorted her back to her family, where the 24-year-old was reunited with both parents who were originally told that she had been dead for the past decade.
The article states that the mother told reporters that she won't ever fight with her daughter again.
This case isn't all that uncommon in Asia. There are supposedly some startling statistics in China about children being addicted to the internet and internet cafes, with more than 24 million kids supposedly being addicted to online computer activity. There are similar stories about the same thing happening in South Korea.
In the case of South Korea, they have internet usage and video game curfews for youths. China, however, has taken it a vast step further and their Cultural Ministry have opened up internet rehabilitation facilities to correct the wrong-think of internet addiction. The personality reformation program is supposedly designed to help kids break away from their connection to online activities. These facilities are militarized like boot camps.
According to a report by ABC News, a young boy died while in one of the internet rehabilitation enforcement camps. Witnesses claim the boy – before his death – was found vomiting after severe beatings, due to failing to break his addiction. Four of the individuals working at the militarized internet rehabilitation camp – designed to coerce psychological reformation on internet use – were detained in connection with the boy's death.
According to Tao Ran, the director of one of the internet addiction treatment clinics, he told ABC News that problems arise in these rehabilitation facilities and addiction reformation camps due to kids being hyper-active, stating...
They are only one-fourth or one-fifth as efficient in their academic life, […] Once you put these kids to the training camps or schools, they are bound to have problems with the teachers, because ... they can't be still, while the training is all about keeping still.
According to the Telegraph, these militarized camps that have a high concentration of youths addicted to the internet are becoming ever more prevalent in China. The country reportedly suffers from more than 24 million youths being addicted to internet cafes, gaming and web surfing in general.
The article states that one young boy managed to successfully saw through his left hand with a kitchen knife to curb his addiction. After severing the hand he left it at a park bench. Before undertaking the action, the boy left a note for his mother explaining that he would be all right. However, the police were able to recover the hand and surgeons were able to re-attach it.
The laws in Asia are starting to stricken regarding internet use by youths, while their militarized reformation camps and civil rehabilitation facilities to reprogram youths are growing in number.
In the case of the young girl living out of internet cafes for a decade, she's probably thankful she didn't end up in one of the camps or worse. Thankfully she managed to return home safely to her parents.