China’s serious video-game addiction problem is once again in the news, after a 19-year old boy was found passed out in some bushes with badly infected feet, after a 6-day gaming marathon at an internet cafe.
Police discovered the avid gamer collapsed near some train tracks. They quickly called an ambulance as the man’s feet seemed badly infected and were giving off a strong putrid smell. When he woke up briefly to ask for some water, he told police officers that he had spent all his money playing video games and had not eaten or slept in several days. When he couldn’t afford to play anymore, he just started wondering around the city and eventually passed out from fatigue.
After identifying the man, local police contacted his father, who initially didn’t want to know anything about his son. It turns out all he did was play video games on the internet, and had run away from home 10 days prior. However, after hearing about the state he was found in, the man asked police to bring the teen home.
While the exact cause of his rotting feet are yet to be confirmed by doctors, Chinese media reports that it has to do with his poor hygiene and lack of sleep. Police told reporters that if they wouldn’t have found him, the boy would have probably died.
Online video games are very popular in China, but some turn their passion into an addiction for which they are willing to sacrifice everything. In the past, we wrote about a Chinese boy who had apparently been living in an internet cafe for six years, and about a couple who tried to sell their children so they could afford to play video games.
Beating video-game addiction is harder than it seems. China has several rehab centers for video game addicts, but some try to help themselves, like this teenager who chopped off his hand so he couldn’t operate the computer anymore.