It's been a crazy couple of weeks. With Korea being such a small country compared to America, everything that happens is within 2 hours. And Koreans LOVE their festivals. Gaming has taken a bit of a backseat when it comes to the big platforms, though my mobile gaming is in full swing.
So, this last post is going to attempt to delve into the idea of Gaming as it fits into Korean Society. It's an interesting topic for me because I feel that in America, gamers are looked down upon by the average person. You know, there's just a bit of, " oh, you're a gamer? you must not do much with your life." Korea's evolved past this stage. The fact that I'm a gamer is not something I have to hide from people. In fact, any time I do tell someone, they want more details. They want to know what I play, what level I am in this game, and when I'm online. It's a fresh change, for sure.
The first thing to note is that they have a full out gaming Channel on their cable. I'm talking all games, all the time. And not just the mention of games, but the live showing of major game tournaments all over Korea. If anyone follows a particular game that's also popular in Korea, then you'd know that the best teams in the major Korean Games (i.e. Starcraft 1 and 2, and LoL) are invited over to play on the live stage. They have tournaments basically every week where they duke it out for a sizable prize pool that's given to the winner. These are no small tournaments either. They're actually a pretty big deal. It gets the same crowd as any major sporting event that occurs in Korea. And they treat as such. They bring signs and banners, noise makers, and wear their favorite team's jersey. It's quite the spectacle.
This leads into another point: Korean pro gamers are celebrities over here. People know the best players, they get groupies, they have a constant following, and they are adored by the masses. Given, Korean gamers don't exactly get much time off, but when they do, they are always swarmed with people. It's not just the Korean players either. If you've done well for yourself in one of their games and have made some TV appearances, they'll know who you are. If you don't believe me, it's happened to CLG.EU when they trained over here with Azubu.
That's just the MLG scene, though. As far as the rest of society goes, you'd be surprised about how many people actually play. Every person I tell about my gaming has come back with "OH DO YOU PLAY STARCRAFT?!" Now, I'm terrible at Starcraft, I'll be the first to admit that. But I do appreciate a good player when I meet them. So I end up asking about it, and everyone offers tips on how to get better, what I'm doing wrong, and which race would be best for my caliber(it's protoss).
They also love them some mobile games, as I've mentioned before. Any time people are travelling, 75% of them are playing the latest mobile game. And they want to dominate those leaderboards. The latest game is DragonFlight, which, if you've played Dragonflight, is a bit interesting. Apart from the nice artwork, it's a pretty run-of-the-mill upgrade game. These people LOVE that game. Hell, a rather pretty girl that I've met over here has levelled the gun up to 35 already, has 2 dragon babies, and has some ridiculously high score. And it blew my mind immediately. They just happen to love beating their friends on games. Now this may be due to the social chat app that they all use, titled KakaoTalk. This app hosts all of the games and high scores so that you automatically include your entire group of friends when playing. It may not be the most hardcore of games that they love, but they are passionate about the ones that do come along.
Another solid wall of text. That's it for my miniseries, though. If there are any questions, feel free to ask me. If I don't know the answer, I'll find someone who does.
Thanks again for listening.