Counter-Strike China-style: Kids sent to military rehab to kick computer game addiction

10 Oct, 2015 16:21 / Updated 8 years ago

Don't know what to do with your kids who sit glued to their computer screens and other gadgets all day, killing everything that moves in those nasty video games? Send them to rehab to play with a real rifle!

Well at least that's what they do in China... Like in this private military-style correctional facility for internet-addicted children on the outskirts of Beijing.

The Xicheng Military Training Base is just one example of over 250 camps for internet and computer game-addicted children currently functioning in China.

"Nowadays so many children are completely addicted to smartphones and computer games. But they are not allowed to use any electronic devices here," Mr Jiang, founder of the Xicheng base, told RT's Ruptly video agency. Spot the man with a smartphone, though? Maybe the boys are aiming in the wrong direction?

The military rehab is packed during holidays in China, when parents choose to send their offspring further away from virtual reality. Challenging the addicts aged from six to 13 years old to live without computer games and smartphones, a five-day intensive experience includes a number of combat missions.

Embracing a full military lifestyle and specially tailored programs, Chinese kids exercise with rifles, practice Kung Fu and do lots of military training. And, occasionally, they are lectured on Chinese history - during breaks from physical training.

But forget the books! Intellectual development is not a priority at this military school, it's all about physical strength. "Instead of focusing on hard study, these kids' parents hope to train their children's personality and build up their independence through military training. They think this is much more appropriate for their future development," Mr Jiang, who is an ex-People's Liberation Army (PLA) soldier,  said.

The business idea does work - children don't mind such 'hardship.' "I enjoy the military camp so much because here I can play games just like Counter-Strike or tank games and it is much funnier than the computer games because it is real life," one boy said. In fact, who would want to play with a joystick on a sofa when you can sit in a bush with a rifle instead?