Posted by Euphorio (77 posts) -

So the LoL finals ended. Azubu Frost came in 2nd to the Taipei Assassins. If that wasn't a shocking conclusion to the tournament, then you probably don't follow too much LoL. Regardless, I've come back to continue my little essay on the way games work in Korea. I'm attempting to highlight this fantastic culture in the best way I can because I feel like, as a gamer, it's such an eye-opening experience to see how other countries handle video games. So, without further ado, let's get into the conversation about the people who game in Korea.

The shortest answer I can give: Everyone.

The long answer: People of all ages game. This includes kids, mothers, fathers, college students, grandparents, the elderly, and anyone else that can find their way to a PC room or cell phone. Each group does have a certain niche of game they prefer, though. As I sit in a PC room, it's always entertaining to look around and see what the others are playing. Sure, some games are familiar to me. Then there are those games that look just straight up ridiculous, and then there are the ones where I can only think, "gee, you came to a PC room to play THAT?" In any case let's take a quick analysis of these different groups and see where they stand.

First off, the youngest group is that of the children. These are the people who still aren't in High School, but venture out into Korea with their group of friends to game, eat food, and generally cause a ruckus. Now, as stated, they come in packs. You rarely see just one kid playing a game. There will always be a set of 3 or 4 and they will be playing some team game that looks rather simplistic (and it probably is). Their favorite time of day is right after school lets out, so about 3pm, and they stay in the rooms up until dinner, when I assume their parents tell them to come home.

Quick Note: South Korea is extremely safe, so it's not uncommon to see kids of any age above 7 walking around on their own.

Now, the games they do play generally feature your normal little avatars that can be decked out in clothes, hairstyles, and weapons. The games, as I said, are simple. There's one that is a lot like Super Smash Bros.. They're in a 2D environment, and they have buttons for regular attack and special attack. There's another which I believe goes by the name of Elsword. It's in the style of a manga, where the action takes place in a comic panel. They do play their fair share of both Sudden Attack and that Gundam Seed game I talked about earlier. It's pretty entertaining to watch the pack of players yelling at each other as they fight, even if I have no clue what they're saying.

The elderly also really enjoy themselves some games. Their choices are rather unique, though, and can be broken down to 2 categories: Traditional Korean games, and Gambling. That's right, gambling. I'm not actually sure if it uses real money or not, but it is complete with a full virtual horse race and a poker game with some hilariously large cards. Their preferred time to game generally run very late. They are the night crowd. They come late, and it's not unusual to see them stay until the wee hours of morning. They almost always smoke (half of any pc room is smoking). They also love to play card games and that strategy game Go!, which I will never understand.

The college students and high schoolers are your typical gamers in Korea. They come at all hours, they play a large variety of games, and they love to have friends there, but don't care if they're alone. If I had to figure out the biggest games for them, it'd be League, Starcraft, and Diablo 3. Yes, they did take very well to Diablo 3. What I find odd is that I have yet to see someone play a class that isn't the Wizard. Also, I'd like to note that that game looks tremendously boring once you get to top level stuff. These guys just roll their fingers across 1,2, and 3, and click the mouse. Boring. Like I said before, we are talking Starcraft 1. I still remember being in a PC room during my 3rd week here and seeing 4 guys dressed in full suits at 1am. They walked into a PC room, sat down together, opened up some starcraft, and just duked it out. I am not sure how long they played because I actually left before them. These guys are just straight intense about games they love. This group does play almost any game at these rooms, and they are the main players for FIFA.

My favorite group has got to be the parents. I've seen, on many occasions, parents joining their kids in playing different games. A slice of Korean culture: it's common practice for kids to stay with their parents until they are married. That can mean that you may be 32 and still living with your Mom and Dad, and no one would mind it. You aren't a bum, you just couldn't find love.

This group actually loves to play MMOs. This can range from Aion, to Blade and Soul, and then to many Korean MMOs, of which I'm not too familiar. They could be Lineage, but I haven't seen enough of Lineage to be able to point it out. They also love them some card games, and they normally compete amongst each other in the pc room.

This is just for PC rooms, mind you. There is, of course, a large market for mobile gaming, but only on cell phones. Most people from about 16 to 30 love to play mobile games on the subways and buses. It's actually common to see couples playing cellphone games together. In fact, couples in Korea do almost everything together. But that's a completely different post.

Anyways, I know this is quite the wall of text, but if it interests you, I thank you for reading!

Until next time

#1 Posted by Euphorio (77 posts) -

So the LoL finals ended. Azubu Frost came in 2nd to the Taipei Assassins. If that wasn't a shocking conclusion to the tournament, then you probably don't follow too much LoL. Regardless, I've come back to continue my little essay on the way games work in Korea. I'm attempting to highlight this fantastic culture in the best way I can because I feel like, as a gamer, it's such an eye-opening experience to see how other countries handle video games. So, without further ado, let's get into the conversation about the people who game in Korea.

The shortest answer I can give: Everyone.

The long answer: People of all ages game. This includes kids, mothers, fathers, college students, grandparents, the elderly, and anyone else that can find their way to a PC room or cell phone. Each group does have a certain niche of game they prefer, though. As I sit in a PC room, it's always entertaining to look around and see what the others are playing. Sure, some games are familiar to me. Then there are those games that look just straight up ridiculous, and then there are the ones where I can only think, "gee, you came to a PC room to play THAT?" In any case let's take a quick analysis of these different groups and see where they stand.

First off, the youngest group is that of the children. These are the people who still aren't in High School, but venture out into Korea with their group of friends to game, eat food, and generally cause a ruckus. Now, as stated, they come in packs. You rarely see just one kid playing a game. There will always be a set of 3 or 4 and they will be playing some team game that looks rather simplistic (and it probably is). Their favorite time of day is right after school lets out, so about 3pm, and they stay in the rooms up until dinner, when I assume their parents tell them to come home.

Quick Note: South Korea is extremely safe, so it's not uncommon to see kids of any age above 7 walking around on their own.

Now, the games they do play generally feature your normal little avatars that can be decked out in clothes, hairstyles, and weapons. The games, as I said, are simple. There's one that is a lot like Super Smash Bros.. They're in a 2D environment, and they have buttons for regular attack and special attack. There's another which I believe goes by the name of Elsword. It's in the style of a manga, where the action takes place in a comic panel. They do play their fair share of both Sudden Attack and that Gundam Seed game I talked about earlier. It's pretty entertaining to watch the pack of players yelling at each other as they fight, even if I have no clue what they're saying.

The elderly also really enjoy themselves some games. Their choices are rather unique, though, and can be broken down to 2 categories: Traditional Korean games, and Gambling. That's right, gambling. I'm not actually sure if it uses real money or not, but it is complete with a full virtual horse race and a poker game with some hilariously large cards. Their preferred time to game generally run very late. They are the night crowd. They come late, and it's not unusual to see them stay until the wee hours of morning. They almost always smoke (half of any pc room is smoking). They also love to play card games and that strategy game Go!, which I will never understand.

The college students and high schoolers are your typical gamers in Korea. They come at all hours, they play a large variety of games, and they love to have friends there, but don't care if they're alone. If I had to figure out the biggest games for them, it'd be League, Starcraft, and Diablo 3. Yes, they did take very well to Diablo 3. What I find odd is that I have yet to see someone play a class that isn't the Wizard. Also, I'd like to note that that game looks tremendously boring once you get to top level stuff. These guys just roll their fingers across 1,2, and 3, and click the mouse. Boring. Like I said before, we are talking Starcraft 1. I still remember being in a PC room during my 3rd week here and seeing 4 guys dressed in full suits at 1am. They walked into a PC room, sat down together, opened up some starcraft, and just duked it out. I am not sure how long they played because I actually left before them. These guys are just straight intense about games they love. This group does play almost any game at these rooms, and they are the main players for FIFA.

My favorite group has got to be the parents. I've seen, on many occasions, parents joining their kids in playing different games. A slice of Korean culture: it's common practice for kids to stay with their parents until they are married. That can mean that you may be 32 and still living with your Mom and Dad, and no one would mind it. You aren't a bum, you just couldn't find love.

This group actually loves to play MMOs. This can range from Aion, to Blade and Soul, and then to many Korean MMOs, of which I'm not too familiar. They could be Lineage, but I haven't seen enough of Lineage to be able to point it out. They also love them some card games, and they normally compete amongst each other in the pc room.

This is just for PC rooms, mind you. There is, of course, a large market for mobile gaming, but only on cell phones. Most people from about 16 to 30 love to play mobile games on the subways and buses. It's actually common to see couples playing cellphone games together. In fact, couples in Korea do almost everything together. But that's a completely different post.

Anyways, I know this is quite the wall of text, but if it interests you, I thank you for reading!

Until next time

#2 Posted by Giantstalker (1533 posts) -

That was a really interesting read, thanks for typing it up. I guess FPS aren't as popular over there. I will say, though, this part

Quick Note: South Korea is extremely safe, so it's not uncommon to see kids of any age above 7 walking around on their own.

Just made me think of this guy:

#3 Posted by Euphorio (77 posts) -

Ha ok yes, North Korea has lost it's marbles, but other than the tourist-driven DMZ, it's really not discussed. And yeah, they only play a couple online ones, and they're extremely similar to Counter Strike

#4 Posted by Skorpichu (6 posts) -

Do the people of South Korea at a certain point make a rule that if you lose this amount of times you have to do the "Gangnam Style" dance all the way back home? Please say yes so :)

#5 Posted by Euphorio (77 posts) -

haha surprisingly, it's probably become a bigger thing in America than over here. PSY has been a long-time artist over here, so people haven't taken to it as such an hilarious thing as Americans. However, if the song comes on in a club, we all jump on Gangnam style like it's a coordinated dance. And of course, if you mention it, 95% of people are forced to do the dance immediately.

#6 Edited by SathingtonWaltz (2053 posts) -

I've got a few Korean buddies I play League with sometimes. They were really really good, but kind of boring honestly. There was absolutely no creativity at all from these guys, nothing but numbers and efficiency and "the proper way to play". It's hard to describe exactly what it was. It's like how some people approach a video game as an experience while others treat it like a problem that needs to be solved. Had some great games with them, but they got really boring fast.

#7 Posted by CL60 (16906 posts) -
@Euphorio

haha surprisingly, it's probably become a bigger thing in America than over here. PSY has been a long-time artist over here, so people haven't taken to it as such an hilarious thing as Americans. However, if the song comes on in a club, we all jump on Gangnam style like it's a coordinated dance. And of course, if you mention it, 95% of people are forced to do the dance immediately.

It's like that for every song in a Korean club. It's terrifying. A popular song comes on and everybody does the dance in sync with eachother.
#8 Posted by Euphorio (77 posts) -

Yeah that's the thing about Korean League players. They play the best champions and that's it. In America, it's common to see people just play champs that they find fun. You see a ton of variety. Over here, I can almost call out with 95% accuracy exactly what champs will be played on any given round of LoL. They LOVE Ezreal, Vayne, Blitz, Ahri, Darius, Skarner, and just generally anyone that's seen as OP or top Tier. You never see people like Heimerdinger or Twitch because they aren't the best champs. I still have yet to see about half of the champs because these guys are so set in their ways. I love Karma even though she's trash, but people lose their minds when I pick her...It's a bit humorous.

But yeah, set in their ways. No Nasus, Kayle, Kassadin, Malz, Morde, Nautilus....they just dont play em