China has shown us electroshock and beatings just don't work in expelling Internet addiction from a teenager's fragile mind. Fortunately, South Korea seems well aware, so they're taking a non-scary approach to combating Internet and video game addiction.
Going along with Asia's fear of addiction to the virtual, Korea's government estimates that around 2 million Koreans are can be considered addicted. Industry experts claim that number is even higher; according to Eo Gee-Jun, president of Korea's Computer Life Institute, three of out ten adults are addicted, while just under 62 percent of teens suffer some form of it.
As such, the powers that be are developing two different programs to aid addicts in their... recovery. Totally consensual, of course. One is a shutdown program that monitors time spent online, based on time limits preset by the user. The second, called "Internet Fatigue," is designed to wean gamers from their addiction through boredom.
On a grander scale, the government's i-ACTION 2012 plan seeks to "educate" up to 10 million people, counsel 300,000 so-called Internet addicts, and create up to 10,000 jobs. The issue of Internet/gaming addiction is seen as a serious social problem.
Just recently, a Korean couple allowed their baby to starve to death while gaming in a nearby room. Authorities say the husband and wife played 12 hours or more at a time, neglecting their child.