Extreme Cyber-Parenting: Combatting Gaming Addiction
“If you can’t beat ’em, join ’em” takes on a new and decidedly digital flavour. One Chinese parent went to drastic measures to deal with a son who was more dedicated to playing his online war game than to finding a job.
The 23-year-old son who gamed at elite levels started noticing that he could barely begin his games before being picked off by snipers. After questioning a long string of assassins, he uncovered a covert operation.
His own father had hired hit men to take him out as soon as he started playing. Dad figured his son would quickly tire of the game if he stopped winning all the time. The scheme didn’t work; the son is still playing.
The Chinese government has its own way of dealing with the burgeoning problem of computer addiction. In 2007, it set up clinics offering, among other things, electroshock therapy as treatment for computer addiction. According to a report in The Telegraph, the practice was abandoned in 2009, but the clinics continue. Boot camp-style centres known to dole out physical punishment and isolation have also been popular treatment models, according to an article in Wired magazine.
As shocking as a father’s hiring assassins might seem, it most definitely beats getting zapped in a government rehabilitation clinic or beaten to a pulp at “camp.”
PIU – Problematic Internet Use
So how much is too much? Researchers have made a distinction: when the heavy use has a “clinically significant impact on one’s daily social and psychological functioning,” it is deemed problematic. Australia’s Dr Philip Tam is a world authority on PIU. He is a Child/ Adolescent Psychiatrist and President/ Co-Founder of nirra, the Network for Internet Investigation and Research Australia.
Read Dr Tam’s summary of PIU here.
For more from eQuipped on this topic, see this post called 4 Steps to Avoid Gaming Addiction in Your Teen.