And you think America spends too much time online? Consider China, and the case of 14-year-old Pu Liang, who was often out all night playing games at a local internet cafe. Seeking to cure Pu of his “addiction,” his mother, Li Shubing, shipped him off to a summer camp notorious for its “extreme methods.” How extreme? Well, as the LA Times reports:
Pu now lies hospitalized in critical condition with broken ribs, kidney damage and internal bleeding. Removed from the camp by police last week, he told his parents he had been beaten by a counselor and fellow campers after he was unable to complete a rigorous regimen of push-ups.
Li remains as upset as she is baffled, “I never imagined they could be so cruel to treat a child like this. I only wanted him to straighten out his life.” Perhaps she should have more closely read the camp literature—or consulted the internet herself. There are now roughly 300 such camps in China, many of them employing such, ahem, proven internet-weaning methods as enforced standing and shock treatment.
But Wu Yongjin, who runs the Chinese Unconventional Education Training Center, defends these methods, calling them, “more important nowadays when children are so spoiled. It’s okay to beat them, just as long as you make sure they don’t really get hurt.”
Hmm…they say excessive gaming desensitizes you to violence and diminishes your capacity for empathy. Well, Pu, look on the bright side—once those kidneys heal, you’ll have no problem landing a job at the Unconventional Training Center!
In the LA Times: China’s Internet-addiction Camps Turn Dangerous