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Healthy Internet Labs Set up in Middle Schools

The Library Society of China, a national non-governmental academic organization, will set up "E-labs" in 16 local middle schools to provide a healthy environment for students to surf the Internet and play computer games.

The labs will also provide access to up to 22,000 electronic books for students to read online.

Three computer games designed by the world's largest entertainment game developer Electronic Arts -- including basketball game "NBA," soccer game "FIFA" and car-racing game "Need for Speed" -- will also be available in the labs.

The system will be installed in local schools' campus information centers, which are open to students before and after school, on weekends and during summer and winter vacations for free.

Luo Guiming, secretary of the society's elementary school committee, said that the labs can protect young teenagers from harmful, violent or pornographic content on the Internet.

"Since children have the natural-born interest to play, it's futile to simply ban them from playing computer games," Luo said, adding that a better solution is to create a healthy Internet environment and guide their online behavior.

Erick Hachenburg, an executive with EA China, said the labs could increase students' exposure to modern lifestyles, but in a safe and healthy way.

As well as the 15 local middle schools, the labs will be set up in 60 schools in other parts of the country.

Officials said that they will also kick off e-book reading contests and e-sports meeting online to add a little more color to students' Internet lives.

(Shanghai Daily January 18, 2006)

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