South Korean gaming culture

The New York Times has an interesting piece on the gaming culture in South Korea. It’s so well written and balanced that it just deserves a mention here!

Seth Schiesel
really makes an effort in understanding why pc gaming is such a vital part of Korean culture. Several interesting points, really.

Lee Chung Gi, owner of the Intercool bang, said: “It’s impossible for students in any country to study all the time, so they are looking for interesting things to do together. In America they have lots of fields and grass and outdoor space. They have lots of room to play soccer and baseball and other sports. We don’t have that here. Here, there are very few places for young people to go and very little for them to do, so they found PC games, and it’s their way to spend time together and relax.”

Which reminded me of Henry Jenkins’ “Complete Freedom of Movement”.

He also mentions the Korean student work culture and how parents are encouraging their kids to play to ease the stress of expectations. But he doesn’t deny that there is a problem with gaming addiction as well.

Great lazy Sunday reading and there’s even a multimedia presentation! And you just have to love the fact that they have loveseats in PcBangs, like in this picture! I’ve got to take a tour of Internet Cafés here in Bergen to see if anything similar exists here!

Brought to my attention by fascinating blogger Alice in Wonderland.

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