|South Korean boot camp to treat video game addiction|
"A Chinese teenager has been rushed to hospital after chopping off his hand in a desperate attempt to cure his addiction to the internet.
There are currently an estimated 24 million young “web junkies” in China according to official estimates and a growing number of clinics and military-style “boot camps” designed to rehabilitate them.
Campaigners say Asian countries such as China, which boasts some 649 million internet users, are in the midst of a major online addiction epidemic.
Tao Ran, an army psychologist who runs a well-known Beijing rehab centre for internet addicts, estimated that around 14 per cent of his country’s youth were now hooked.
Symptoms ranged from young people who skipped lessons at school to others who were so severely addicted that they rarely left their bedrooms and inhabited an almost entirely virtual universe.
“They only do two things: sleeping and playing,” said Mr Tao, who traced the crisis back around a decade.
Politicians are also starting to take note. Last month Taiwanese lawmakers approved changes to legislation that meant authorities could fine parents who allowed their children to spend excessive amounts of time using “electronic products”.
In Japan, internet “fasting camps” have been set up in response to claims that hundreds of thousands of teenagers are abandoning the real world for the virtual one."