Parents practice parenting online--not such a hot idea.

Story here. At least the virtual baby didn’t die under their car. I can’t even begin to imagine how someone could do that to their child.

Terminology note: Here in South Korea, the term for an Internet Cafe is PC Room or PC Bang.

Spelling note: Title should begin with Parents, not Parent.

Maybe they thought their internet child was their real child.

Serious fruit-loops there.

That’s just sad :(.

This isn’t the first time I’ve heard about South Koreans becoming insanely obsessed with online life - even to the point of dying because they didn’t want to get offline. Anybody been there and seen people there? What’s up with that?

A Korean guy named Kim? That should narrow it down.

How did they manage to make a baby in the first place, is what I want to know.

Well, it said that they were online 12 hours a day. So if you figure 8 hours for sleep and 3 hours, 58 minutes for eating / dressing / commuting to & from the internet cafe / begging parents for money, that’s still 2 minutes/day.

I’m wondering what they did with the other 90 seconds.

It’s nowhere near the level it is in South Korea, but gaming addiction is a huge problem in China. I’ve known tons of college students who have basically ruined their whole lives because they can’t get off the computer long enough to go to class.

I think this shows up because these societies are very rigid, and people are under a lot of pressure. Added to that, young people often don’t have the time management and social skills that could keep these things from being a problem.

In China, young people basically have to have a well-salaried professional job they can work until retirement by the time they are twenty-five, or their life goes to shit. You can’t get married without owning a house, at least half of which is cash upfront. And if you don’t get married and have a child as soon as possible, you are a failure at life and have not only completely disappointed your parents, but thousands of years of ancestors as well.

Furthermore, parents instill HUGE amounts of guilt on children, and as soon as those kids get old enough, they are absolutely expected to pay back that debt- which means they need to be able to support their parents for the rest of their lives. Added to that, hiring practices mean that the only way you can really get a decent job is connections (if you are a man) or beauty (if you are a woman- seriously, I’ve seen the hiring process- skin color and height is the first filter even for basic jobs.) So a lot of students- even bright students- are freaked out that they’ve already ruined their whole lives by the age of 20.

Added to that, college-age people have zero time management skills. High school classes in China run 7:00 AM to 10:00 PM, with a two hour break for lunch and a nap. Weekends are scheduled up with cram school. They come to college and have actually never ever had an evening to themselves to do what they please. They just have no idea what to do with themselves during the time off. Finally, many students have what we would consider to be stunted social skills. They spend almost all of their time with their family or classmates (they stay with the same classmates through every class all four years) so they are really uncomfortable in other situations. Many of my students aren’t quite sure how to make friends on their own and are also extremely uncomfortable spending time by themselves. So they feel profoundly isolated and lonely.

A lot of these young people are adrift and terrified.

Onlines games can fill a lot of needs. They provide that sense of being a part of a social group, without having to actually do any socializing. Usually people play in net cafes, so they are around a lot of people but don’t actually have to talk to them. They provide a sense of escape from the pressure, and also a series of rewards that are a lot more fulfilling than spending the rest of your life working a job you hate so you can support your parents. Finally, they fill up those long hours. This is exacerbated in China, at least, by the fact that college dormitories lock their doors at ten and if you get locked out, the only real option is to spend all night in a net cafe (much cheaper than a hotel room.) It’s easy to end up kind of half-living in one.

We have these things called PC rooms which are basically rooms filled with computers (usually each computer is in a separate mini cubicle). These rooms are dark and the windows are covered (so it’s impossible to know what time of day it is) and they charge about $1 an hour (less if you stay for over a number of hours). Most of the computers are equipped to handle the latest online games. Smoking is allowed and instant ramen is sold at the counter. It’s an optimal environment to play online games for hours and hours on end. Also it’s one of the few legal places teens can go to blow off steam.

The rest is just my half-assed guess, but Korean education has this culture of “anything can be achieved if you just work at it long enough.” Which of course isn’t true when it comes to studying, but more true when it comes to games (leveling up does take skill, but anyone with infinite time on their hands will level up eventually). Korean culture is very good at making people feel like failures if they don’t meet a set standard, and I suppose playing games and doing well in the virtual world is one way people can make up for it.

A few years ago the Korean government started a “Internet Rescue Camp” for youths who were considered dangerously addicted to the Internet. It’s basically a boot camp - they are forced to do physical activity and banned from using computers for however long they are there. I dunno how successful it’s been.