Who's Playing

Who's Playing
Gamer Nation

Allen Varney | 26 Jul 2005 12:01
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Then, too, Koreans have been game-crazy since well before the Internet. Some argue the new cybergaming culture is just existing Korean culture with a coat of fresh pixels. Before PC baangs there were noraebaangs (karaoke lounges), DVD baangs (for watching movies in private rooms, just you and your lover), boardgame baangs, and a general baang culture.

But don't the StarCraft TV channels (for instance) represent a potent symbol of a new gaming culture, a possible model for America? Not necessarily; there's also a channel for Korea's chess-like boardgame, Paduk. Hmmm, a nation where TV viewers were already watching Chinese checkers - what lessons do we really want to take from them?

Still, it's worth looking closely at Korea to see a truly game-tolerant society. Korea's embrace of gaming at all levels proves the pastime isn't inherently geeky; it's not inevitably a reason to feel outcast. It's part of a culture's attitudes, and can be changed like any other arbitrary attitude.

Let's get to it.

Allen Varney

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