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Former college student gets a grip after gaming addiction

By Zhang Yiqian  (Global Times)

09:49, April 13, 2013

The dirt road that leads to the cave-house in which Jin Aibing lived for more than 20 years looked the same to him as the van approached Yujiatun village near Zhangjiakou, Hebei Province.

The last time he saw it was in 2008, when he came back home briefly after he finished attending Jilin University in Changchun, capital of Northeast China's Jilin Province, before returning to his college town in order to find a job. His parents had accompanied him to Beijing before parting ways on the train and did not see him again for four and a half years.

Jin became addicted to online gaming in college and flunked several classes required for his degree, resulting in his failure to graduate - a detail he hid from his parents. Without a degree, he had trouble finding a job and ended up living in an Internet cafe for those four and a half years. After local media reported on his strange life, his parents finally got wind of his whereabouts and reached out to him. On March 28, Jin, now 29, returned home.

Talk of the town

"The second day I got back home, I went to our farm to help," he told the Global Times in his bedroom, his hands red from helping his parents with farm work.

The roughly 500 people in his village make a living by planting sunflowers and corn. Jin's family has been farming the land for generations.

From a young age, Jin was a good student, always getting good grades and ranking at the top of his class. But despite having studied hard for the gaokao, China's college entrance examinations, he was admitted into only an average college. Determined to achieve greater academic success, Jin retook the gaokao the following year.

"We were all pressured pretty hard," he said. "People who chose to retake the gaokao have an ideal school in mind."

His hard work paid off with a high score that landed him at Jilin University, a well-respected university in China. He became the pride of his family and the talk of the town.

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