Internet war games blind warrior
XIAO Yu, an Internet war game addict in Beijing, became blind due to a detachment of the retina after obsessive Internet playing.
His parents sent him to the hospital on July 11.
Ever since the summer holiday began, Xiao Yu, a senior high school student of 16 or 17, had spent more than 10 hours a day playing an online game called "World of Warcraft."
The sudden loss of his vision ended his computer gaming on the Internet.
There are many Net addicts like Xiao Yu in China. A 2005 ****** by the China Youth Association of the Internet says that of the 16.5 million junior Netizens, about 13 percent between 13 and 17 suffer from Internet Addiction Disorder (IAD).
Another 13 percent is vulnerable to addiction. Those juniors "hooked" on the virtual world, especially violent games, tend to live according to the rules of the games.
They fight to defeat other players in order to strengthen their own gaming position.
They see the loss of lives as common as they gain new lives of their own when they kill each other.
Some parents worry that IAD among teens is a rising cause leading to juvenile suicides, crimes and family violence.
Some players hurt themselves, others hurt others.
In June this year, Xiao Song, a sophomore of Beijing University, cut his wrist with broken glass on the night he was sent to the hospital by his father for IAD treatment.
The deeply addicted young man had tried to end his life when his Internet link was cut.
In June 2003, Li Yang, a junior high student in Beijing, killed five of his family members in order to get enough money to play online games in a Net bar.
Zhang Xiaoyi, a 13-year-old boy from Tianjin, jumped from the 24th floor after he played games non-stop for 36 hours in 2003.
Last Wednesday, China Internet Network Information Center released a report, saying the number of Netizens reached 123 million by the end of June, a rise of about 19 percent over last year.
It also says that of the 200 million primary and secondary students across the country, 30 million surf the Net regularly.
Among those junior Netizens, half are senior high students aged between 16 and 18. Wednesday's figures indicate a continual increasing of the junior Netizens and further worries.
Shao Dehai, director of the China Youth Association of Internet, said that the Internet is a double-edged sword.
On the one side, the Internet provides children with a wealth of helpful and fun educational opportunities.
On the other side, some violent online games are demolishing basic moral standards of the teens and are taking them away from the real world.
Given the scope of the problem, Internet experts say national intervention is essential.
Parents and teachers should be fully aware of the danger of young people getting addicted to violent Internet games.
The authorities should set a violence scale for the games and ban net bars that admit youth under 18, some of whom actually live in the bars.
Let us hope the scene that happened in a Net bar should never repeated: A boy was staring at the computer screen while screaming "Kill him!"