Online gaming addiction is a serious thing, and in China where they limit gaming time and access, it's no laughing matter. But what happens when you're addicted to gaming but you don't have the money? Tecent recently reported a disturbing trend happening to China's "Second Generation Farmers (农二代)" and their addiction to online gaming.
"Second generation farmers" (SGF) are the children of current farmers and migrant workers in China who hail from the countryside. Often times many of these SGF will work in the cities as migrant workers, working on everything from factory work to restaurant help. One of the problems nowadays is that the children born during the 80s and 90s lack discipline—some SGF are unmotivated. Some even drop out of school and runaway from their villages.
Motivated by a desire to make easy money, many of these SGF head into the city, but because they are uneducated, they turn to a life of prostitution.
While prostitution has bought considerable income to some, sometimes they might even make 3000 RMB ($476 US) a month, the frequency of "pick-ups" and an addiction to online games, has made this occupation taxing upon the body.
The following translated excerpt, which have been reorganized for flow, comes from Tecent's QQ games channel; the original reporting comes from Southern Rural (南方农村报).
Xiao Guan's Story
At around 7 PM, just outside of Baiyun District Guangzhou China, an alarm sound rings out from a shabby rental apartment. 20-year-old Xiao Guan gets out of bed to get ready for work.
"This is around the time I get up daily," he said.
After he washes up and gets dressed in his work uniform—a black vest, pants, and a white jacket—he checks himself out in the mirror.
Xiao Guan looks handsome, well dressed, and is about a 180cm tall. From the outside, he looks normal respectable, but he engages in an occupation that many despise: he is a male prostitute or as they call it in China, a "duck". After dropping out of school and heading into the city to find work, Xiao Guan began working as a "duck". He says he never considered working as duck or doing something else; instead, it seems that life just arranged for him to do what he does.
Xiao Guan came to Guangzhou at the age of 13 and a half after dropping out of school. Originally too scared to find work on his own, Xiao Guan through the help of a "Sister" he was living with, found a job at a hair salon. When he turned 15 he started working inside a nightclub. When he turned 17, he began working as a gigolo.
Now 20, Xiao Guan has been working as a "duck" for about 3 years. He's been making money drinking and doing things for quite a while, but he hasn't been saving it. On top of that, the toll on his body is getting worse as he exhibits some of the bad habits such as online gaming.
Xiao Guan, says he starts off his night around 10pm, entertains clients such as bored housewives and mistresses. He makes about 500 RMB a night in tips if he only drinks with his clients, if he spends the night he can make upwards to 1500 RMB. He says if the women are ugly he will ask for more money.
Once Xiao Guan is done with his business for the night, he says he visits a net cafe to play online games until the next afternoon. Then he starts his "day" again.