[photopress:MBA_tsinghua_university_1.jpg,full,alignright]Zhang Fei, who comes from Sichuan, is one of 3,000 freshmen at Tsinghua University, part of which is pictured here. He has been there before. He was expelled from Tsinghua in 2005 and and Peking University in 2003.
He is one of the top performers in the college entrance examinations but he is an Internet gaming addict and once at the college his performance drops.
Now he is trying again and has changed his name and will major in environmental science and engineering.
The Beijing Youth Daily reported that he said, ‘I don’t want to be disturbed any more. I just want to get settled in to university life as soon as possible, and complete my courses successfully.’
Zhang, who has not been online since July, said he would never again play computer games. Which is fascinating. Because, once again, the popular press has referred to his problem as Internet addiction. Which it is not. It is online game addiction which is something totally different.
Role playing games on the Internet are a way of escaping from the realities of life and, beyond debate, are addictive. But that is not to say the Internet is addictive.
Yes, it can become an essential part of doing business and there are many who feel lost without it. But addiction is something else. As in 24 hour sessions without rest and, indeed, without proper food.
So Zhang Fei is trying again. All he needs to do is keep away from those damn multi-payer Internet games. An addiction that is apparently not easy to break.