By Jiawei Liu
Image credit: International Business Times.
“Come arrest me and lock me up for a few months, I can’t keep myself off of the Internet,” said Ah Mao (pseudonym) when he called 110, the emergency number for reporting crimes in China.
The 22 year old Ah Mao has a serious problem with game addiction. He once spent eight days and nights in an internet cafe playing video games. As time passed, games took up most of Ah Mao’s salary. He said he’d tried to control his game addiction himself, but failed.
Tech In Asia:
Starting on the 26th, he spent several days in an Internet cafe playing games, and when he emerged on the 29 he decided since it was clear he had no self-control, it was time for the police to get involved. He called 110 — China’s emergency number for crimes.
The operator suggested he go to a local police substation, where he met with officers and a counselor. Needless to say, they refused to actually throw him in prison, but the counselor did recommend a three-step approach to recovery based on creating distance, self-control, and supervision. Ah Mao has already tried the first two, of course, but he has lacked external supervision. With the help of family and friends, he may finally be able to kick the habit.
According to the China Internet Network Information Center video game addiction is a common and worrying problem among the young. China has more than 330 million online gamers, of whom 150 million are believed to be below the age of 19.