16-Year-Old Beaten To Death in Chinese Camp For Internet Addicts

It’s unclear from reports whether or not Deng Senshan (left) was a gamer. It seems likely, however, given his age and the fact that many of those confined to Chinese Internet addiction camps are there for alleged obsessive play of online games.

Tragically, the Global Times reports that the 16-year-old was beaten to death by three camp teachers on Sunday for failing to run fast enough. His bereaved father, Deng Fei, spoke of his son’s death:

My son was very healthy and was not a criminal. He just had an Internet addiction when I left him at the camp. The police informed us that our child had died on Monday morning. We can’t believe our only son was beaten to death.

The teachers promised me that they would not use any physical punishment on my son when I dropped him off… We’re planning to sit before the local government for a protest tomorrow. If they don’t give us justice, we will go to the camp to confront them.

Deng Fei paid 7,000 yuan – US$1,024 – for his son to spend one month at the camp.

Meanwhile, the Wall Street Journal reports that Chinese netizens are outraged by Deng Senshan’s murder:

Many [Netizens] questioned the fairly new diagnosis of “Internet addiction” as a mental disorder.

“Internet addiction? It’s a term made up by some so-called ‘experts’, how come these parents believe what they’ve said?” said one commente… “[It] should be the parents’ problem. Why do they always exaggerate their kids’ hobbies, turning them into addictions or problems?” said another…

One netizen called for greater tolerance of Web habits: “I am sure only China has such a term: Internet addiction…. Why can’t its people accept new ideas and new things with an open mind?”

GamePolitics readers may recall that China recently outlawed electric shock therapy as a means of treating teenage video game addicts.

Via: Gizmodo

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  1. mr_mlk says:

    We should build a camp so we can beat the authoritarianismout of people!

    A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body. Benjamin Franklin

  2. mdo7 says:


    Red Corner 2: The Chinese internet killer

    starring Jake Gyllenhaal, Richard Gere, Ziyi Zhang, Maggie Q, Bai Ling, Michelle Yeoh, Anthony Wong, and Jet Li as the internet addicted Chinese American vacationing in Beijing.



  3. Shahab says:

    The thing is, it is not technically an addiction like chemical addiction, it fits under the umbrella of compulsive disorders (of which there are several).

  4. Phlopsy says:

    "Warning! Warning number 17!" 

    I wonder if I’ll be the only one to get the reference…

    In any case, I wonder how bad the other kids have been beaten who didn’t quite die?  I mean, I’m sure they didn’t start their beating procedures with causing fatal head trauma. If there’s a silver lining, it’s that in China somebody will probably be dragged out into a field and shot for this, probably within the next 24 hours. 

  5. Kincyr says:

    Internet addiction camps: the new concentration camps.

    someone had to say it…

    岩「…Where do masochists go when they die?」

  6. Coach says:

    Knowing the Chinese as well as I do, they will claim that this was a success, as in the end, they did cure him of his internet addiction.

  7. Adrian Lopez says:

    This reminds me of those boot camps that aim to force kids to lose weight or to stop misbehaving. It’s typical in these kinds of camps for children to be abused both physically and mentally, and it’s not the first time a kid has died at the hands of camp personnel.

    The more I see this type of thing, the more I’m convinced authoritarianism is a disease.

  8. Zalethon says:

    Internet addiction definitely exists. It only does a disservice to real addicts to say that it doesn’t; they are often scoffed at in support groups, even. It may be anecdotal evidence, but I have been addicted to the internet in the past. (It was more the social interaction* than anything else, as I am sure is often the case–although online shopping has been cited too)

    It’s not so widespread as to have camps for it; your beef is with them, not people who legitimately suffer from this.

    ETA: *Social interaction on the internet is uniquely different from social interaction in real life.

  9. mogbert says:

    I haven’t heard yet if charges are being brought against the people who murdered the kid. I would hope so. I was never able to run as a kid, and I’d hate the thought of being beaten to death for that.

  10. Austin_Lewis says:

    Glad to know that the Chinese were so quick to find the cure to a made up problem.  No doubt Dr. Joseph Stalin came up with this quick, yet efficient, solution to ‘internet addiction’.  No person, no problem.

    As for the parents, they ought to be mad at whatever teacher suggested the damn place to them, and that ‘camp’ sounds like it needs to be shut down for, you know, murdering a kid.  I’ve heard, in my years, some CRAZY fucking solutions to medical problems, but I haven’t been anywhere where ‘beating it out of them’ was considered viable.

    In summation, God, China continues to suck.

  11. Flamespeak says:

    What I find funny about ‘organic’ produce (apples, oranges, onions and such) is that the only difference in the bulk of the stuff is they don’t treat the vegetables with pesticides to keep insects off the crop.  That is all. 

  12. mr_mlk says:

    The whole thing reminds me of a documentary on Christian gay camps in the US. Using phycological abuse to "drive the gay out".

    A house is not a home unless it contains food and fire for the mind as well as the body. Benjamin Franklin

  13. Baruch_S says:

    You’re only doubling your food budget with organic because it generally doesn’t receive the government subsidies that huge corn farms do. Check out The Omnivore’s Dilemma if you want a good read on organic food and the current agricultural system; it’s great and makes you question our farm practices quiet a bit.

  14. ded2me says:

    Kinda funny you brought this up. Penn and Teller’s show Bullshit debunked just that last night.  I agree 98%.  Totally avoid the "Evil" food system, just grow your veggies yourself.  Sorry, I know its off topic.

  15. Craig R. says:

    "And then, we find that it makes such a tiny difference that it’s really not worth doubling your food budget to eat ‘organic’ food."

    Much like the headlines for that study the other day, this is a gross simplification of things. The study measured nutritional value only, not all factors such as food safety and such – and considering the crap we put into most of our food, the different there should be far far greater.

  16. Austin_Lewis says:

    Speaking of holistic, just look at the whole ‘organic food’ boom.  And then, we find that it makes such a tiny difference that it’s really not worth doubling your food budget to eat ‘organic’ food.

  17. hayabusa75 says:

    You have a wonderful future ahead of you in shock radio

    And yes, basically it means the law disregards trifles.  It’s a nod to the video game industry’s many victories in the judiciary, even when they don’t have to involve themselves…and of course, to the ignoble career of Jack Thompson.

    "De minimus non curat lex"

  18. Shahab says:

    Just b/c it may hurt someone’s feelings doesn’t make it less true.


    Also, "to small for the law"?

  19. Shahab says:

    Man, those parents just paid over $1,000USD to have their son beat to death, I’ll bet they feel like douches for sending him there.

  20. Wormdundee says:

    Oh, its the new therapy to replace electro shock. They simply beat the addiction out of them. 

  21. Craig R. says:

    And they’re worried about violent video games with teenagers when the adults are the ones using shock therapy and beating kids to death. Sounds like we’ve got it ass backwards here.

  22. Neeneko says:

    Keep in mind, China does not have the same consumer protections that the US had.

    As long as the camps kept a steady stream of new customers, their success rate with old customers is completely irrelevant.

    Or at minimal all they need are one or two success stories that they can hype up and that is all the anecdotal evidence they need.   Scared people love evidence like that.  Just look at a lot of treatment centers in the US (esp the unregulated ‘natural’ or ‘holistically’ variety).. all they need is a pamphlet with  a few smiling pictures of happy people and ‘see, it worked for me!’ stories and you will get customers.

  23. Roh02 says:

    I dont see how they thought they would get away with it what were they gonna do beat the games out of him? then torture him more to mentally condition the kid into not talking about what happend?.

    or were they counting on the parents to think the poor guys accusations of torture were lies?.

    I think the people they "cured" need to be asked some questions and undergo physical and mental examinations to look for signs of torture and mental conditioning that has nothing to do with so called game addiciton.

  24. Neeneko says:

    Ah ha… so you find a group that is taking advantage of hysteria to milk deperate parents, and there is surprise that they are less then truthful about their tactics?

  25. gamadaya says:

    Yeah, China’s not my friend. And it’s too bad for the people living there who value freedom (which there honestly doesn’t seem to be a lot of). People like that are pretty much fucked.


    Believe in something! Even if it’s wrong, believe in it!


    -Glenn Beck

  26. ded2me says:

    Don’t you know?  China is our friends!  They are good people!  Our economy depends on theirs!  Buy chinese! Shop Wal-Mart!  yay for china!

    Thats the vibe I got watching news regarding china.  Especially during the olympic games.  China is not our friends.  My heart goes out to these poor parents that have to endure this horrible act of cruelty.  Internet addiction camps. ha!  How long before they do something like that here in the US?

  27. Meohfumado says:

    China needs to work on their "Oppression Adiction" before tackling other addictions.


    "You know what I wish? I wish all the scum of the Earth had one throat and I had my hands about it."

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