Chinese father beats 14-year-old with stick over gaming habit


When you combine kids, games, internet cafes, and parents, there always seems to be trouble in China. Last week I wrote about the tragic story of a mother and son who drowned in an argument over League of Legends, and this week Netease Games is reporting the sad tale of a boy who was rather brutally beaten by his father after trying to sneak away to an internet cafe.

The boy in question, surnamed Cai, is a 14-year-old middle-school student in Shenzhen. He lives with his father, Mr. Cai, while his mother is away working. The younger Cai apparently went to an internet cafe somewhat recently and was introduced to online gaming; since then, his grades had been slipping. His father found out and forbade him to go back, but in the evening on Tuesday, the younger Cai attempted to slip out of the house for a secret trip to the internet cafe.

(See: Chinese man murders wife over her gaming habit)

Unfortunately for him, his father found out, and when neighbors in the area heard the sounds of cursing and crying at the Cai home, they came running and found the elder Cai beating his son with a wooden rod. By the time the neighbors were finally able to stop him, the boy’s hands were bleeding and his body was covered in marks and bruises. Fearing his arm might be fractured, neighbors called the police, and the younger Cai was taken the hospital while Mr. Cai was taken to the police station.

The boy’s arm wasn’t fractured, and after his hands were bandaged, he was discharged. Amazingly, because his mother was not in Shenzhen and he needed someone to take care of him, police released the boy’s father so that Mr. Cai—the man who had just beaten him bloody with a stick—could look after him. The police had, according to the article, at least made Mr. Cai promise not to beat his son again before releasing him.

“Filial sons are made under the rod” is an old adage in China, something like the Chinese version of “spare the rod, spoil the child.” When these traditional attitudes and Chinese parents’ high expectations clash with China’s younger generation (who are surrounded by smartphones, online games, and other distractions), the results are often unpleasant.

But whatever China’s parents think about video games, it’s obvious games can’t possibly have as negative an impact on a child as beating them bloody with a stick. So parents, if you’re concerned about your child’s gaming habits, try talking to them about it in a friendly way. If parents can genuinely understand why their kids want to play these games, that should be the first step towards coming to a mutually acceptable solution that doesn’t end with one child in the hospital and one parent in the police station—or worse.

(via Netease Games)


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