Tuesday, August 04, 2009

There Are No Words

In a rare moment, I'm going to be perfectly serious with you guys. I'm severely pissed off right now and I need to vent.

The term Internet Addiction is thrown around WAY too loosely. It's a buzzword more than it is a diagnosis and is bandied about by ignorant people who would rather blame their children's problems on a console or computer than shoddy parenting.

It doesn't take much to be a good parent. You talk to your kids and then you listen to your kids. You spend time trying to understand what they like instead of complaining that they should like something else.

And you take responsibility for your kids.

That's it. Print it up and slap a "Parenting for Dummies" cover on it.

Instead, people send their kids off to treatment facilities or get them prescribed the latest in medical parenting.

Who needs quality time and proper nurturing when you can give your kid a pill every day?

Can kids go overboard with it? Of course they can.


They go overboard on everything.

It is your job as a parent to curb and manage that behavior so that it doesn't become problematic. You put down your blackberry or your remote long enough to make sure your kid isn't going psycho.


You don't ship your kids off and, in case you did not understand that, you damned well make sure the place you are sending them is going to take good care of them.

Now, you may wonder what managed to get me so angry.

It seems a young man in China was sent to a "camp" for people suffering from Internet Addiction. His parents wanted to cure him of his quote unquote addiction.

At that camp, he was beaten to death by three of the instructors.

Yes, beaten to death.

And why?

Because he ran too slow.

I wish I was making this up. I wish I had some witty punchline ready to go, but sadly, this is all too real.

One young man, someone you may have spoken with in a chatroom or in a game, was beaten to death because he wasn't what everyone else thought he should be and didn't do what they wanted him to do.

This should not happen.


Are there computers in China without wires? Are there magic internet signals that come freely to every house and cannot be stopped?


Is your child suffering from Internet Addiction? Here's the solution:


Apply to computer externally until problem is resolved.

Or... And this is just an idea... BE A PARENT!

If you kid is using something too much, TAKE IT THE F&%@ AWAY!

It doesn't matter if they get mad. It doesn't matter if they scream and cry and say they hate you.

It doesn't matter if they actually hate you.

That's part of being a parent. You lay down the law and you suffer the consequences.

But that's your job.

Let's imagine that this young man actually DID need professional help. Let's imagine that he was so dangerously caught up in his addiction that he needed to be sent away to a camp.



How exactly did beating the living shit out of a kid become a better plan than letting them play some video games or letting them watch Youtube all day?

I am so freaking sick and tired of dealing with a world where people can deny all responsibility for their children and then other people can justify physical violence in the name of helping.

I am saddened that this young man had to die. I am saddened that he was punished for nothing more than doing something he enjoyed.

I am saddened that this is the world we live in today.


At 8:05 PM, Blogger Leut said...

"Dave, I'm taking your computer away. You're addicted to it or that silly little game thing you do or something. I don't know, I'm normal. If you resist I'm sending you to fat camp....again.


He asked me to post this for you to read.

At 8:29 PM, Blogger LD Josh said...


At 8:33 PM, Blogger Bufuman said...

That sounds more like a problem with the camp rather than the parenting. But yeah, I agree that parents are a little too eager to find someone else to do their jobs for them.

At 8:42 PM, Blogger Sword said...

Agreed, people get away kind of sh*t way to much in this day and age. It's not just parents avoiding responsibility, it's society in general.

How do you think people like Madolf and Enron's top executives keep gettin away with stuff like this, it's because that one guy does'nt go "Hey, this is f**ked up. I should do something about it."

At 8:47 PM, Blogger Chris said...

It's never 'my' fault. It's always someone else's fault. I don't understand that thing he's doing. Damned if I'm gonna learn, I'm just gonna send him off to un-learn them fancy ideas from his noggin'.

Seriously, if they could get away with it, there would be camps like this all over the area where I live.

At 9:39 PM, Blogger Vince said...

If you ask me, another thing is that the parents weren't mad enough. They wanted to sit and protest! Man, if I were them, I'd be waiting outside those teacher's houses with a .33 calibur revolver with my trigger finger itching to pull it. You would think WWII ended those 'camps' but apparently, being the idiots that people are, they don't learn from their mistakes. Let's go and throw an atom bomb over a city now.

At 9:56 PM, Blogger Orugachino said...

Parenting is probably one of the most important things in a persons life. Without good parenting, or even mediocre parenting, kids don't become adults. We become level [corpse]. Kids aren't born with knowledge, just the same way we aren't born with evil. It's all learned as we grow-up and enter the wonderful world of "adult-hood."
Parents need to pay attention to their child(ren), not just send 'em to (insert name) group here for (generic problem). That's irresponsible. These days, everyone blames things on a non-evil and dumps their problems on other people, and it makes me worry about the future of our species. There are plenty of young people who will no doubt follow the same trend of horrendous parenting out today, and thus lead their kids into a life of being whiny bitches who just get everything they want OR get completely neglected and become complete social outcasts incapable of truly entering society (a bit of a dramatization, I’m sure). And I don’t think I need to clarify how that will end up. Basically, parents of the world (and those that read this blog) need to treat their kids with the respect they don’t deserve yet and actually be a beneficial part of their lives.
Video games often get bashed in the media for turning kids and teenagers into “MURDERING MACHINES”, but good parenting can easily prevent any situation like that. I know this may be a bit out of date (I don’t know how out of date), but “Penn & Teller: BS” did an episode on Video Games (surprise?). It had Jack Thompson (surprise again?) and several other… Anti-Game supporters posing the argument that games are bad, etc., as well as featuring supporters of gaming, some (not a lot) of factual evidence, and (most importantly to my point) shows a regular nine year old gamer firing a live rifle down range at a target (with approval from his mum). The kid has a good family, and I highly doubt he’s going to go postal anytime soon due to video games. It’s Penn & Teller:BS Season 7 Episode 3 . Check it out.

Also... I think I need to lay off the rant. I should just leave this kind of thing to Dave. He kinda knows what he's doin'.

At 10:24 PM, Blogger Katherine said...

Ok, it's the internet, but I'm going to say something about myself before I leave my comment. I'm an adult college student without any children who was a neglected child (think zero supervision - think "you can stay up if you keep your sister out of our faces, have a beer if you're thirsty, where's my lighter" zero supervision).

Every single semester I find a way to incorporate video game information into either a paper or presentation or educational lesson plan (working on becoming a teacher if that made no sense while you were reading it) just so that people who have no clue what internet use for gaming and/or socializing and playing video games with others is about can get some knowledge about the topic. Why? Because it is important to be educated. It is important to shed ignorance about these subjects that are already ingrained in our society and aren't going anywhere.

Internet addiction can be a serious issue, but like ADD and other "child behavior disorders" it is highly over diagnosed and in most cases completely incorrect assessment of the issue a child is having. A world that never stops means busy parents, busy parents mean a child is likely not getting the interaction and stimulation they need to develop healthy social skills and brain function in the socialization centers. They seek that out somewhere else. If you're addicted to anything, that thing is filling a void that exists already somewhere in your makeup - whatever it is, different things fill different voids. Parent's need to wake up to the fact that their children are not malfunctioning, they are responding to shortcoming somewhere - more often than not that shortcoming is in an area the parents could themselves address if they weren't so eager to shed blame and jump to the conclusion that their child has a problem from some external or uncontrollable source.

Education, and as a future teacher I believe this, is so critical on these issues - because these children's parents don't NOT love them, they just don't have the information they need to address their children's issues, and so they listen to the first answer they hear - which is usually: it's not your fault, there's something wrong with them.

It IS sad, but it is also preventable. We need to be proactive as gamers and as human beings to counter that attitude and that ignorance whenever we can.

At 10:29 PM, Blogger Plastic Rat said...

Guys, the key word you're missing here is 'China'.

Rules of rational thinking, moderation and logic do not apply here. Trust me.

Go and educate yourself a bit about Chinese policies, general parenting approach, hell, their government policies. You find it surprising that a country with a government willing to forcibly install net-nanny software on every single citizen's computer has parents that expect a military camp 'cure their son of internet addiction'?

At 10:36 PM, Blogger tyranastrasz said...

"That sounds more like a problem with the camp rather than the parenting."

If the parents were good parents they'd have dealt with their son's "addiction" themselves instead of packing him off to boot camp.

You know what my mother did when I was in my teens and she decided I was spending too much time on the internet? She unplugged our DSL modem every morning and locked it up until she got home from work that afternoon.

At 5:29 AM, Blogger RyRy said...

People are losing all Knowledge of how to care for others nowadays, I agree...The amount of familys where i live that are fucked up as hell is unreal and its just saddening to look at because The parents are the ones to blame and dont do fuck all sept take Drugs and drink. Personally i wanna round em all up and put all the degenerate and Waster people in a camp like that ><.

At 6:49 AM, Blogger Cidolfas said...

Amen, man.

It took my mother until I was about 21 to finally realize that this video game stuff I do is not an "addiction", I do not "seclude" myself in a room in order to drown out the world, and it isn't inherently unhealthy.

On the other hand, if kids really are going too far, it's definitely up to the parent to pay attention and, you know, stop him/her from doing it.

The problem is that parents today aren't interested in tough love. They want to be their kid's best friend. They want everything to be peaches and cream and (most importantly) never to be subjected to temper tantrums. Hence TV being introduced as a nice cheap babysitter.

This is obviously an extreme example; I don't think the parents expected their kid to be beaten to death in this place. But they do need to get a grip on what this whole "raising a child" thing means.

At 6:51 AM, Blogger matt said...

Never seen GM Dave so pissed before...wow

At 8:48 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

I knew these camps were a bad idea... >.> Damnit China gaming addiction isn't your problem lack of social support is your problem..

At 9:15 AM, Blogger ^Veronika Teixeira^ =) said...

I'm with you Dave. The world we live in now is damn sick.
People need to start being parents and stop being whiny bitches. And in any case the kid did need professional help, those fuckers didn't have the right to beat him. In any way.
There are better ways to deal with.
Violence is never the answer.

At 9:20 AM, Blogger Moroianu said...

I just can't believe it...

At 9:22 AM, Blogger ^Veronika Teixeira^ =) said...

And I agree with tyranastrasz. That's my mum operation mode. If she thinks we're playing too much, she'll just unplug the fucking cable and lock it up until she feels like we deserve an hour or two of gaming.
And before we even think of sitting down in the computer we must clean our rooms, wash the dishes, clean up the house in general.
And we also have to be fed (breakfast/lunch/anything) but you can't sit down in the computer without haven't eaten, cleaned your room and (if you can) showered.
There's also a curfew for gaming hours. Unless there's a special event or something.
But most of the time by 10 (11 the latest) we're done with the computers for the day.
I think parenting has somewhat to do with my mum's plan.

At 9:36 AM, Blogger Daniel said...

The whole article in the Global Times is based on idiots that don't want to take responsibility. First, the parents that didn't want to take the time to be parents, the doctor that told them the kid had internet addiction because he was too stupid, and then the camp itself.
He was sent to the hospital because of a fever? And then died of the fever? With BLOOD all over him!? Are you freaking retarded!?

I hate people...

At 1:29 PM, Blogger Klink said...

It seems a young man in China was sent to a "camp" for people suffering from Internet Addiction. His parents wanted to cure him of his quote unquote addiction.

I don't want to make light of this story, but I did want to point out that... there is absolutely no point in typing "quote unquote." Instead, simply put real quotes around addiction. "addiction."

At 1:56 PM, Blogger Hyrina said...

I don't have anything witty to add, here... But I feel I have to say that this news saddens, sickens and horrifies me.

At 5:47 PM, Blogger Michael said...

This sucks, but seriously...


The only place in the world where you can only have one child, yet still parenting is too hard for some people.

At 7:07 PM, Blogger Klarth said...

Michael, that's a damn good point. (Not that it would be any less tragic otherwise.) How could you let your one chance at parenthood be lost so irresponsibly? Did they really think that place was what was best for him? And they didn't even investigate? That is worse than all the boarding school stories you hear (which I didn't think possible).

At 6:12 AM, Blogger Hylian said...

i find it interesting that the camp reassured them that they "do not use torturous or physically abusive methods" just before they left. why did they feel the need to defend something like that when i don't believe the parents even brought it up? that's like talking to a police officer in a store and then randomly saying "i TOTALLY don't have a meth lab in my basement." -- red flag, morons!

as for parenting... i keep hearing about "busy parents" not being able to spend time with their children... and i say that's horse sh*t. my mother was a single parent, and she was able to raise me just fine. she was the one who introduced gaming to me from a very young age. games like zelda, final fantasy, lolo... other games like this that introduce puzzles and logic. sure, i was at a daycare all during the day, but when i came home, there was mom, and we always did something together... or if not, i was in the living room playing nintendo right where she could watch me.

you wanna know how to punish your children? send em to their room, and then go to the circuit box and flip the circuit to their room. the only thing they can possibly do is read a book... and since when is reading a bad thing? they sure as hell can't go to the internet with it, or watch tv, or anything.

and as far as video games making children into "murder machines"... well, it isn't the GAME that does that too 'em... it's the lack of parental involvement to understand "gee, my kid is mentally insane, and i better lock him up for his own good and for the good of society... otherwise, we get another VA tech shooting!" interesting fact: the columbine shootings didn't happen until they took those kids games away. the games were a way of escaping whatever it was and outletting their rage. and then they took it away. are you nuts? everyone is capable of doing something terrible, but we sane people find ways to outlet these horrible feelings in a constructive way so that we DON'T hurt anyone. i know a few people who had severe road rage problems until they picked up grand theft auto.

although, what if society did a 180 and blamed the parents for everything about the kid... "your kid has a lisp! bad parent, BAD!"

meh, i'd say that's better than ignorance.

At 6:28 AM, Blogger amy said...

Horrible, just horrible. And, I wanted to point out...does anyone else find it ironic that they found information about the "internet addiction camp" ON THE INTERNET? Just sayin....

At 9:38 AM, Blogger Charlie said...


Perhaps the camp specifically mentioned it because other camps of similar natures do openly involve that sort of "retraining." They were trying to differentiate themselves from other camps who beat children.

Of course, if that is the case, they failed miserably in that.

At 8:19 PM, Blogger Jason said...

China has more people than they can feed/house/support. So, human life is valued differtly by the government and society. We're talking about a country where parents murder their daughters just so they can have another chance at having a male child.

Young people have been killed in the US during physical training. There's more than one story of the different branches of the US military running people until they die of heat stroke or their heart fails. No one goes to jail for that.

But I do agreed with Dave. There seems to be a lot of self-centered parents out there who want to turn their kids into drugged-out zombies (Don't get me started on the whole "War on Drugs" fiasco). Funny how you have to be put under a microscope to adopt a child, but any crackhead-redneck-hateful-jerkoff can drop a crotchfruit.

At 7:50 AM, Blogger jasonx254 said...

Its china, why does any of this surprise people anymore?

Socially China is still stuck in the barbaric dark ages ffs. (I tried to tell hat to someone about the middle east and he responded with "SO thats why they have some really advanced tech"...some people are just plain stupid)

But yeah, chinese socialiatly =/= educated well rounded individuals

At 11:00 AM, Blogger sam said...

Im with you Dave, if nothing else, the time is ripe for you to take over the world, starting with china.

At 11:16 AM, Blogger macros said...

Well Dave I've been reading your blog for awhile now (years comes to mind). I felt the need to comment today. I'm a parent and just recently a grandparent. I've been playing FFXI since NA release. I remember sitting down with my 2 boys and playing super mario (failing badly) with my sons and all of us laughing like crazy cause dad sucked at jumping.We played alot of games together I was just as excited as they were the christmas they got their first play station. When we got a pc and then finally the net my boys had to share the pc and I made sure I knew what games they were playing. We also found out that dad's not so good at FPS games. They were given a time limit.I even had the audacity to pull up the internet history to see what sites they were going through (being teenage boys and all). It was my oldest son who got me interested in ffxi and said I'd really enjoy it (i just quit the game in june). I'm not saying I'm a perfect parent, far from it, but I was always concerned about what my boys were doing whether it was in games or in life itself.I always tried to make time to find out what they were up to (feeling very sorry for the parents of the girls they were dating). Parenting does not come with a manual, you try to do the best you can and hope you don't screw it up too bad. For me it was about letting them try and find their own way with a gentle nudge here and there to keep them from falling off the cliff. I have empathy for the parents the child who was killed. They'll have to live with the knowledge that by giving their problem to some else they've lost their son.

At 10:30 AM, Blogger Jakk Frost said...


"Young people have been killed in the US during physical training. There's more than one story of the different branches of the US military running people until they die of heat stroke or their heart fails."

That's completely beside the point though. He didn't die of natural causes or causes brought on by stress. He was beaten within an inch of his life and then not taken to the hospital for at least 3 hours, during which time that last inch dwindled to nothing...

At 7:10 PM, Blogger Cidolfas said...

@macros: Good on you. That sounds like intelligent parenting, understanding the technology and making sure it's used in a positive way. If more people had your attitude we'd have a lot less misunderstanding and failures with kids growing up in the 'oughts.

At 6:51 PM, Blogger Sierra said...

That disgusts me. I didnt know about that til you wrote this. Im tired of parents not being... parents! Im a teenager and yeah, my parents were tough. They didnt beat me or anything but I know the meaning of NO. This reminds me of the kid a few years back that buried his friend in the sand and it got into his lungs and he got all screwed up. You know what the parents did? They tried to sue Naruto cause that's where he got the idea. Where were you when this kid was burying his best friend?! Gah. I should stop xD before I cant.

At 5:28 AM, Blogger Tyler said...

Upon reading this blog post, I thought to myself "this is sick". I mean, I just couldn't fathom what the hell those people were thinking.

And then I read the article and I shifted from disgust to fright. Wow, that's just terrible. They sent him to solitary confinement, handcuffed him, and then beat him until he could barely breathe, then died in the hospital. AND THEN THE CAMP DENIED THAT THEY DID ANYTHING OF THE SORT. That's just sick. What the bloody hell?

At 5:21 AM, Blogger i love me :D said...

Oh please, that was in China. Anything goes.

At 12:49 PM, Blogger Carlos said...

"TAKE IT THE F&%@ AWAY!" doesnt seem like a good solution, yeah sure, it will fix the problem, but the addiction will stay, if he cant, in this case, use internet in his house, he will find an alternative.

The parent was wrong, but would you SERIOUSLY expect someone to die in a freaking summer camp?

At 11:10 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

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