What effects are computer games having on children? A new PBS documentary explores the subject in a special to be shown on Monday. "Web Junkie" shows what happens when kids spend hours every day playing video games, often non-stop, with no food or bathroom breaks.
China is the first country in the world to declare Internet addiction a national health crisis. They believe excessive Internet time distorts reality, making the real world seem fake, and stops normal social development.
The Chinese government has established a three-month military-like rehabilitation program called Daxing Boot Camp to jolt kids back to reality.
"Web Junkie" producers interviewed Tao Ran, the founder of the world's first Internet addiction clinic. He believes that Internet addiction is China's No. 1 health problem. "It has surpassed any other problem," he told PBS.
"They are the same as heroin addicts," he said, except they are addicted to games.