Videogame or internet addiction isn’t recognized formally for classification by the American Psychiatric Association yet. In China though, they’re ready to cure your free-to-play habit. The China Young Mental Development Base has a strict regimen of exercise, corporal punishment, and will-crushing designed to break you of your gaming addiction in a scant six months. Vice sent a reporter into the camp to experience the gentle hand of reeducation as administered by Professor Tao Ran, a former army colonel. In the camp, mouse-clicking junkies like you see the error of their ways.
“The two most popular games among patients are League of Legends and World of Warcraft,” said Tao, who comes across as a gentle, friendly figure despite the reputation his job and views might suggest. “Some kids are so addicted to them that they wear diapers to avoid having to stop playing to go to the toilet. Their parents wonder why their teenager is buying diapers.”
Sounds serious! With results like this, the camp seems to be well on the way to curing this dread disease.
“This is the third time he has been here,” a patient sitting next to me said, pointing to his mate opposite. Tao claims an 85-90 percent cure success rate for the base, but the statistic hasn’t been verified. “I suffer from serious depression,” the patient’s friend said when I ask why he’s come back so many times. “Why am I depressed? I don’t know. I’ve been here one year in total.”
Riot, the developers of League of Legends, should watch out. Their monthly revenue stream is going to dry up with camps like this working against them.