Korean Game Addiction Treatment Looks Pretty Extreme

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Korean Game Addiction Treatment Looks Pretty Extreme

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Just be glad you never got sent to boot camp when you missed a homework assignment due to your gaming habits.

It's common knowledge that some countries take a more extreme view on videogame addiction than others. In South Korea, game addiction has made some shocking headlines over the years. However, the country's response to the problem is surprisingly harsh, based on a series of photos that have recently appeared on the Web.

The photos show a number of Korean children going through what seem to be bizarre military training exercises. Included in the pictures are images of kids, some of them quite small, standing and laying in snow while shirtless (a standard practice in Korean Army training, apparently), performing exercises in mud, and often looking like they're in quite a bit of pain.

From All Voices, which published these pictures:

In South Korea, kids who miss school, become addicted to video games or join gangs they will end up in specialized military training camps for some discipline and education. In these camps, the teens are trained military-style with standard soldier routines complete with army uniforms under extreme conditions.

This training program is aimed to make the young soldiers stronger and more responsible. During the course, the trainees are not allowed to get any form of dependence from parents. They are on their own.

According to one 15-year-old at a camp, he was forced into the program by his mother because he played too many videogames. "I hope this course would better me, so I could quit playing and give more focus on studying," he said.

One of the guards/instructors spoke to the reporter and explained the philosophy of these camps: "Nowadays, the children are selfish and really dependent to parents. They even become violent and disrespect the older. Moreover they easily quit whenever encountering problems. It can be accepted in our country. For that reason, the parents would like to send their children to the military training course to help them to be better and win themselves."

Source: All Voices via GamePolitics

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'To make them stronger and more responsible'

More like fuck them up for the rest of there lives.

Shit it's just getting sent to military school, happens all the time in the states

South Korea requires mandatory military service any way, so this will just give them a leg up when they head to real boot camp.

Edit: That said this almost seems like an excuse to avoid parenting, a parent should be able to instill discipline in their children themselves. If they really are heading off on the wrong track (joining a gang, etc) then this type of punishment and social reform would be quite valuable and more useful then Juvi

I can't stop laughing at the guy on the top left of the picture putting ice on himself.
OT:It looks like it's for the good and they do have a very crazy country directly North of them that decides to attack them sometimes,giving the country pre-trained soldiers to fight a possible future war.

So how long 'till they adopt something similar in the States?

Oh wait, they call it "rehab" here, and it's as effective as a wet paper bag in the middle of the ocean.

While I am tempted to pass this off as "It's a different culture, different societies, etc...", I'd have to say that it's a bit extreme.

I like there way. If your that addicted to games not to go to school, then why not just send you to military camp >:D

I like this idea. Even it out a bit and add a bit of liberality (perhaps on the part of parent "enlistment", and it could actually be quite good as a social phenomenon.

Really an iffy subject for me. I don't see it as good or bad, just pointless. Yeah, nothing says "responsibility" and "discipline" like removing individuality making every male and female the same, a soldier. Those "methods" for me are less about making a stronger individual over forcing a single type of view point into them.

They have those same types of camps in China, and people actually died in those.

In the states that would be called child abuse.

But how effective are these military camps? I understand that breaking away and having no easy access has a way of halting the problem, but how many kids just go home and return to gaming/gangs/whatever now that the access is back? Maybe part of the military training put their minds to where they simply don't want to repeat whatever bad habits, or just the thought of having to go back will be enough deterrent. It's probably more effective than raising kids with the belief that anything they do is okay through lack of punishment.

I'm wondering just how effective these camps really are in the long run...

It's a good thing they explained what was going on in that picture cause if I had to take a guess I would have gotten hit with the ban hammer so hard... D:

Up to a certain age, making sure your children are well balanced is the *parents'* problem.

If the children are 'weak' what does that make the parents?

Let me put it this way: I realise that military training in every country is, to some, pretty harsh and barbaric anyway. In a sense, it has to be. War is not a caring, sharing place.
However, putting children through this 'training' to 'cure' then of videogaming addiction? there's such a thing as growing up too fast. Maybe the videogame 'rehab', if really necessary, could focus more on things like sports or cooking or something - something that would be useful to them in later life and not just thrash them.

I know we should say "different culture, different ways of looking at things". But I just cant help but think that this is really sad that Korean parents send there kinds to boot camp just because of one to many hours of playing video games.

Ldude893:
They have those same types of camps in China, and people actually died in those.

And that was in a "Communist" country where humans rights mean shit. South Korea is a democratic piece of a country and I believe follow human rights and they have practicly the same damn way of dealing with the problem.

Another sign of parents failure:dump their problem on to somebody else's lap

Now everyone start singing "God Bless America"

Now can we please layoff America, you have a new crazy country to mock.

Part of me agrees with the South Koreans, the other part of me is telling the first part to "shut the h*** up" and that he is crazy.

I just called myself crazy.

Well they were on the top in the education department last time I heard.

You know what would stop the problem? Promoting and supporting more forms of entertainment in the country, and providing other things for people to do other than playing videogames. I mean, for example, I don't know how big the music industry is in South Korea, but maybe if there were more decent music groups there, then people would be more inclined to listen to music instead of playing video games. Or films, I'm pretty sure South Korea doesn't exactly have the most booming of film industries, especially given the dominance in the Asian market by the Japanese and, to some degree, studios in places like Bangkok and Shanghai. Maybe if South Korea had a more dominant film market, people would watch films instead of playing video games.

Also, they should stop the endless promotion of game tournaments and competitive gaming as a career and pastime in the country. If people can't make money by playing Starcraft anymore, then they'd have to go out and get proper jobs (which boosts the South Korean economy) and spend less time gaming (which is better for the people, and their health and well-being).

Of course, many may claim I'm talking out of my arse here, but seriously, these are not difficult things to attempt and promote. And maybe if we do see these things happening then we'll see less news like this story being broadcast to the world. Of course, the approach currently being taken assumes that video game addiction is real, when it's not been proven that such a thing is real, and indeed makes as much sense as, say, music addiction (where people can't go five minutes without listening to music, else they get withdrawal symptoms) or the like. That is, no sense whatsoever. Not that anyone in power will listen to that, because you know, people in power rarely listen to the truth or to common sense...

Well it's how THEY deal with the problem. You can't really treat any addiction, once your addicted to ANYTHING then it will always be apart of your life. Maybe this method will work, maybe not. But the outcome will help people see whether or not such practices can actually 'cure' someone of a videogame addiction. In S.Korea it seems to actually be a valid concern after the large number of teens and people that are in fact becoming legal addicts to something that 90% of us 'Western' gamers would consider a part time hobby.

(My phrase 'Western' includes Europe, United States, Canada. Because those are where the majority of casual or regular gamers are from. Not to say that other countries are excluded at all)

That kid on the left hand side of the picture looks like he's enjoying himself way too much.

Scrythe:
So how long 'till they adopt something similar in the States?

Oh wait, they call it "rehab" here, and it's as effective as a wet paper bag in the middle of the ocean.

No it's called military school. They also have those boot camps that day time talk show hosts send troubled kids too.

The big complaint here actually seems to be kids acting like kids. I can see the issue in a country where the idea of leisure time, technology, and similar things are new. A culture used to the ideal of back breaking labour as soon as one is physically capable of it, doubtlessly finds something decadent in kids spending a lot of time playing video games, despite that this is what they arguably worked for in improving their standard of living. What's more while someone who had never had access to an educational system values that kind of thing highly, once educational systems become standardized and taken for granted, those who come up with them see the situation a lot differantly. This is especially true when it comes to skills that even kids realize they are likely to never use, and/or competitive systems where the people who are going to go somewhere are identified rather quickly and everyone else is just degrees of average. The recognized inabillity to succeed or achieve anything of note is what creates the entire "slacker" mindset. A lot of societies very much want to put kids through a bunch of loops so they can make the pretensions that they can go somewhere and things haven't already been decided, for their own conscience more than the kids. People do catch on to this, and realizing there is nothing to motivate them and refuse to jump through hoops. The ironic thing is that for all comments about getting kids to stop playing video games and put more effort into schoolwork (in all countries), it probably really doesn't matter beyond the age of like 12 or 13 other than basic skills due to the elite and geniuses having been selected. While it makes a conveinent scapegoat to avoid addressing societal problems (video games are the current boogieman, something is always used for this) like this, the amount of time spent blowing off schoolwork for games or whatever isn't going to make a differance for the average person who will never use 99% of what they learn, and isn't going to have any more options simply because nobody stamped "Genius" on their record. Yes I'm a cynic.

At any rate, South Korea is what I see as being a "Neo Barbarian" country even if some people resent that term. The term meaning a backwards culture, trying to progress, and frequently in possession of technology in excess of the societal development to deal with it. While insulting to some,I think it's a label that needs to be used more often, especially as it can help in recognizing issues and understanding what your seeing. Just a few decades ago Korea was (during war time) a nation where little boys were sent to work as soon as they could, and little girls were as often as not prostituted by their parents as soon as they could physically handle it. There are plenty of shocking stories about the culture from back when we were fighting a war down there, and most of it was pretty much par for the course in second and third world countries. Korea was one of the many nations that inspired video "shockographies" like the "Shocking Asia" series and so on, because it was both a culture shock and also relatively safe to visit for a long time. It's not surprisng that with such rapid progress technologically and socially, that your seeing a whole "correct the behavior with torture" attitude here... and that's what it pretty much is, the pictures go well beyond what you'd see in an American or European "military school" (or any that I am aware of) or even "boot camp" type detoxication and deprogramming (for people rescued from cults) programs. Not to mention that it's all over a non-issue, that pretty much exists due to the culture becoming culture-shocked with itself over a generation due to rapid progress.

Ashsaver:
Another sign of parents failure:dump their problem on to somebody else's lap

This.

Even Asia seems to have soccer moms out the ass. Is there no end to the irresponsibility virus?

I can't condemn these as being cruel, interestingly enough. It's certainly less cruel than letting your child think that life is all video games and nothing else.

Scrythe:
... as effective as a wet paper bag in the middle of the ocean.

Effective in what way? If the sole purpose is being wet and papery, then it's pretty damn effective. And it does hold water.
__
OT: That kid in the camp sounded oddly mind-controlled by the situation. Or he's just playing nice to get out of the camp and finally get his human paladin to level 85.

Considering their neighbors to the north are constantly thinking of ways to piss the world off and someday invade the south I'd want my youth to be in better shape instead of dying from fatigue from videogames. But in the end the parents should be out their too since they're enablers.

AK47Marine:
Shit it's just getting sent to military school, happens all the time in the states

South Korea requires mandatory military service any way, so this will just give them a leg up when they head to real boot camp.

Edit: That said this almost seems like an excuse to avoid parenting, a parent should be able to instill discipline in their children themselves. If they really are heading off on the wrong track (joining a gang, etc) then this type of punishment and social reform would be quite valuable and more useful then Juvi

Yeah, I dont see the big deal. Not with the training, Im sure the camp is hard considering its a boot camp, and I sure as hell wouldnt want to do it, but I mean the concept. Really, happens all the time over here, and sometimes if the parents cant or wont do it, the kids need a push in th eright direction.

Seems kinda odd, given that SK has mandatory military service anyway.

Holy shit I'm thankful I'm in NZ! And I thought they couldn't get harsher >.>

But it's not that bad, military service is compulsory over there. Nevertheless, the parents should fix the 'problem' by their self.
But I don't know squat about that aspect of culture over there so the first 2 sentences are the ones you can quote on.

Jumplion:
While I am tempted to pass this off as "It's a different culture, different societies, etc...", I'd have to say that it's a bit extreme.

I thought we had boot camp in the states.

Reminds me of boot camp for sure. Fun times. Except that I could go out and get HAMMERED on weekends.

Ugh, early Monday Morning "Beat the Booze Out PT" was NOT nice.

Finally they do something right over there.

Now I just wish America would have mandatory boot camp, maybe then our kids wouldn't be such spoiled f***tards.

For both genders of course, gotta have equality.

dalek sec:
I'm wondering just how effective these camps really are in the long run...

I would think that they would make an excellent deterrent! If one of my mates came back from a camp for videogame addiction with tales like that Korean camp then I would cut down my videogame usage!

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