Daxing Bootcamp, located in the suburbs of Beijing, is probably a place you’ve never heard of. But growing numbers of parents in China who are at wits’ end have heard of it or of the 400 rehabilitation camps like it. The government has set up the centers to treat teenagers with internet addiction disorder. Internet addiction in China is defined as “spending more than six hours a day on the internet for non-work or -study purposes.”
China is the first country to declare internet addiction as a clinical disorder claiming it is the number one public health threat to its teenage population.
Calling it a bootcamp is no misnomer. The admitted young men (and a few young women) rise early, have scheduled exercises, meals, chores, classes, and therapy sessions. Those who are disobedient to the rules are punished with chores or worse, put in isolation. Those who wind up here have been dragged, tricked, or even drugged into the rehabilitation center, usually by their parents. At first glance, it seems harsh, or even an overreaction, that teenagers who play videogames are subjected to such treatment. After all, aren’t the teenage years bad enough as it is? READ MORE