South Korea claims tax on Virtual Goods

Worlds In Motion (which I’ll get back to later) reports that Korea’s National Tax Service (NTS) “has begun adding the new tax automatically to all virtual transactions involving real money as of July 1st, says the report, translated as follows:

Sellers who do between 6 and 12 million won ($6,500 – $13,000)/half year in
business will have VAT auto applied by transaction’s middle-man.

Sellers who do more than 12 million won/half year in business will need a
business will need a business license and will pay the tax by themselves”

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Korean Energy Commercial

So…I’m on the trail of fact finding! Sigh! I didn’t know it would be this hard? What? Am I too tired to think straight? Anyways – going through some previous blog stuff – like Korea’s legislature on MMOs, which ofcourse led me GameStudy – a study group for gaming culture of Korea which in turn led me to this commercial! It translates to: “All of Youth, It is time for taking “Enerzen”. While your competitors are sleeping, You, brave new worker, should recharge your energy for the win”.

First off – hahahahhahahahaha! Brave new worker!!!! Hehe! How lovely!!!
And then there’s the Americanized singing in the end! Hoooo hooo! Oh, I know I should take these things much more seriously – I’m just tired! And I want to find my freakin facts!!!!!! Anyways…enjoy!

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.

Bland day part 2

Oh, I knew this was coming! I just knew it! And darnit for not blogging my predictions to prove to you that I really knew this was coming!
Clickable Culture has a story about Korean mothers helping their children powerlevel, because being a part of the game and being good at it means so much within the social circles of these kids! It has everything to do with respect and acceptance so if they’re stuck, affectionate mothers come to their aid! I swear…it’s not long before we’re going to be asked what we play and how good we are at playing in job applications and probably even for schools! I’m not sure if I think it’s a good or bad thing. I don’t want to force people to play games – and I kinda feel like that’s beginning to be the case.
Before Christmas I had a conversation with a very conservative and very important business man who incidently is also a father of a nine-year old (in all honesty I truely respect and admire this man, but he’s the exact opposite of hippie, if you get my drift). So we talked about what kind of games he could buy for his son, I suggested Narnia (because I knew both he and I were hardcore The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe fans). But he looked at me sceptically and said “But my boy is smart! He gets things other kids don’t get!”, which kinda threw me off guard because even I was looking forward to playing Narnia! He continued to say something like, “No, I’ve been thinking about getting him World of Warcraft. I think it’s crucial that he develops cyber social skills and he will be quite challenged from a gaming perspective!”. This blew me away! Yes! If I’m explaining this messy, let me say it another way! This guy wanted to buy World of Warcraft for his 9 year old son because he found it crucial that his kid learn and know such cybersocieties! I was just flabbergasted!

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