South Korea has a “Web addiction” center that (mostly) sounds an awful lot like a summer family camp.
It’s not uncommon these days to hear claims about how someone is “addicted” to one form of technology or the other (usually, this is leveled against videogames or the internet). As a result, treatment centers specializing in treating addictions like these are still few and far between. South Korea, however, has just opened a new facility specializing in helping “Web addicts” wean themselves away from the Information Superhighway and all its various pitfalls.
The center is actually a camp that focuses more on treating potential addicts rather than full-blown junkies. Basically, children of various ages attend the camp, but doctors say the majority of them are only “starting to show signs of a soon-to-be-uncontrollable habit.”
Accordingly, the camp apparently focuses on things like non-technological “family activities”, including reading books, playing board games, and outdoor events.
While creating a camp solely devoted to getting kids away from videogames and technology may sound a bit extreme, Geek explains why the camp’s establishment is seeing a lot of families taking part in its activities:
Online gaming is a huge deal in South Korea. Blizzard’s StarCraft and Starcraft II real time strategy games are such a hit there that South Korea even has TV channels that just show people playing the game live with commentary. For many of South Korean’s younger generations, the game is their entire lives, and it’s no surprise that parents, who grew up without any computers or video games, are concerned about their children.
However, the BBC video documenting the camp shows that there are some other children who are considered full-fledged Web addicts who receive active treatments and are studied to better understand why they behave the way they do.