Shanghai (China) – Locked cells, electrocution and freezing temperatures, no this isn’t a military torture chamber, but China’s new way of dealing with Internet addicts. In the past year, several clinics have opened up that treat people who are addicted to online games, chatting and web surfing. Some of the patients come willing, but most have been forced to attend by their parents or even government officials.
The Chinese government has launched an anti-Internet addiction campaign which includes eight such clinics. Here patients are subjected to yelling, psychiatric counseling and the ever so helpful electrical shock treatments. Many patients are even given antidepressant drugs that you would commonly see in mental institutions. But it doesn’t stop there, some of the patients are actually de-facto prisoners because they are housed on military bases with metal bars for doors and windows.
Despite rigorous online censorship, millions of Chinese surf the web and play online games, mainly in state-licensed Internet cafes. There are more than 3.5 million World of Warcraft players in China.