Military style boot-camps are flourishing in China in order to break teenagers off their internet addiction. Some 250 camps are now packed to their brims in the country alone. Parents pay about 10,000 yuan (US$1,600) for their kids to stay there, which is about twice the average Beijing monthly salary.
‘My parents wanted me to study at home all day, and I was not allowed to play outside’, one teenager told Reuters. He said that made him turn to the Internet as a source of escape.
‘As I became addicted to the game, my school grades tumbled. But I gained another feeling of achievement by advancing to the next level in the game’, he added. He admitted to once playing for more than three days in a row during which he slept for only one hour. His addiction resulted in his eventual admission to the Qide Education Center in Beijing.
An official at the center told Reuters that the children typically arrive in a poor physical state: ‘Their obsession with the Internet has harmed their health and they end up losing their ability to participate in a normal life. Education and living in a military environment makes them more disciplined and restores their ability to live a normal life’.