Addicted gamers wearing diapers to avoid pauses...
IT BEGINS with a roll call.
A whistle echoes through the corridors.
Dressed head to toe in military green, hoards of Chinese teenagers emerge from their cells.
They march; they stand at attention and obey orders thrown at them.
But this is no prison or army camp. This is a rehabilitation clinic for gaming addicts.
China was the first country in the world to officially recognise internet addiction as a clinical condition and opened a boot camp-style centre to help problem gamers overcome their web-dependence.
Director of the China Youth Rehabilitation Base Tao Ran said with 700 million internet users in the country - and growing - internet and gaming addiction was more widespread than that of alcohol or drugs.
"Most of these kids have dropped out of school, the adults lost their jobs. They played 24/7," Mr Ran said in a documentary by RT called China's Digital Detox.
"They often played online games and if one of the players needed to pee during the game, he was so afraid of interrupting the game, that he'd put on a diaper."
The documentary is a look into the harsh reality that, while not as common, is still very evident in Australia.
An online poll by leading academic Professor Vladan Starcevic and a team at the Psychological Medicine department of Sydney's Nepean hospital revealed up to one in 10 gamers showed signs of addiction.
Have you seen video game addiction first hand? Tell us your experience below.
Symptoms of gaming addiction, according to Counselling Sydney:
- Play online games when you know you should be doing something else?
- Play online games instead of socialising or talking to your family or friends?
- Think a lot about your game when you are away from it?
- Feel nervous or uptight when you are not playing?
- Often hear your family or friends complaining that you are always online?
If you feel anxious or restless when you are separated from your game by family, social, work or other obligations, and dedicate a significant amount, if not almost all, your free time to gaming, then you most likely do suffer from an addiction to gaming.
Additionally, if you find yourself unable to derive pleasure from other activities and rely on video and/or online gaming as your sole or primary source of enjoyment, then you may also be afflicted with a compulsive addiction to gaming.
If you, or someone you know has a gaming addiction, phone your local GP.