Internet addicts are being trated in Korea with Horse Therapy.
Many of us may have become slightly obsessed with a new toy or videogame as children. I remember seeing little Age of Empire men walking around in my head once I’d go to sleep after playing a few maps, but nowadays, with more games, more access and more problems, children seem to becoming increasingly at risk of becoming addicted to the latest version of Halo or the new release of Warcraft.
Korea seems to have a large problem with video game addiction in children, as the official results state that 680,000 children in the country aged between 10 and 19 are addicted to surfing the net, while almost two-thirds of the population own a smartphone. The government tried to tackle the problem with the 'Shutdown Law' it introduced last year, which blocks online gamers under 16 from playing between midnight and 6am, but it seems not to have helped.
And this is where Horse Therapy comes in. For all of us who have enjoyed horse-riding, it is an incredible feeling: to be out in nature, at one with a horse who you have to trust and which, begrudgingly at first, trusts you in return. Horse Therapy is used all over the globe as a means to treat emotional and behavioural problems or even conditions such as autism, and in Korea it’s proving as a solution to children’s gaming addiction.
The happiness and challenge that horse riding offers are certainly helpful to many children with serious conditions, but for the internet addicts, this goes to show that some good old physical activity, a dose of responsibility, like taking care of an animal and some quality time spent in the fresh air can go a long way towards avoiding these 21st century afflictions.