Heart and Seoul

Heart and Seoul
World of StarCraft

Daeran Wang | 26 Aug 2008 13:45
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Through his efforts, sc2gg was reborn. Today, it is a joint project between volunteer contributors. All the staff, including the writers and commentators, pursue projects for sc2gg because they believe in their work, their community and spreading the enjoyment of StarCraft. The site now hosts forums, a news section including write-ups on all the games and, of course, English commentaries for almost all Korean professional games, completely free. The site is home to 25 staff and 2,000 active forum members, and the numbers are steadily increasing.

One World, Our World


Looking at their community, I asked diggity and Klazart if there was one thing that they would change. Their answers were clear, straightforward and nearly identical. "I would try to bring a greater cohesiveness within the community," Klazart said. For whatever reason, games like StarCraft with a hardcore fan base often develop an elitist culture that creates an imaginary schism between "elitists" and "noobs."

"Not only is this attitude divisive but it's counterproductive" he continued. "It serves no purpose beyond boosting egos and padding insecurities."

diggity agreed. "I feel like e-sports have been stunted to a major degree because of these attitudes in the community. When casual players or spectators come across this type of treatment from the established players in whatever community, they tend to think that everyone here is a bunch of jerks and they just leave."

On the subject of e-sports outside of Korea, both felt that over-commercialization is hurting their development. Currently, the goal of any televised e-sport is the marketing and sale of a new product, typically a recently released one. Klazart lamented that the industry is not really trying to build a strong fan base around a lasting game. "Who in their right minds is going to watch a tournament of some kids playing FIFA Football 2008? If I wanted to watch a football match, I would go and watch a real football match."

For Klazart, StarCraft is an ambassador: a game that has not only withstood the test of time, but is also capable of bringing some flavor of Korean e-sports to the rest of the world. It has all the qualities of a strategy game like chess; the innumerable variations in strategy and execution make for a great game that can be played over and over. And just like chess, complex new strategies are developing all time.

In my lifetime, I have seen ESPN televise not only chess, but also Magic: the Gathering, numerous spelling bees and even Scrabble. Maybe soon, we'll see StarCraft. I'm crossing my fingers.

Daeran Wang is an artist's soul living in an engineer's mind. He tempers his positronic brain by reading lots of David Mitchell and keeping his room messy.

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