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The Life of a South Korean Pro Gamer

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the zerg-or-be-zerged dept.

PC Games (Games) 133

chajath writes with this excerpt from a South Korean newspaper about the lives of professional StarCraft players: "Prospective gamers take tests based on the skills they have picked up in PC rooms, and passing scores allow them entry into 'clans,' or guilds. Those who aspire to become pro gamers pay move-in fees and go to live at group dormitories, where they practice playing games all day long. Following a 'courage match' for semi-pro certification, the hopefuls must take a test to become apprentices in a pro-gaming group. ... 'The standard in pro gaming groups is for people to live together 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with no traveling to or from work, and for those ranked Group 2 or lower, their entire daily routine consists of eating, cleaning, laundry, and games,' said Kim Jeong-geun. 'Because of this structure of bringing in young people, developing them, and then replacing them when their lifespan is spent and they have been squeezed dry, it has earned the name of "the chicken coop."'"

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Do Niggers Game too? (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32411984)

I'm curious..

Re:Do Niggers Game too? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32413862)

No, we point and laugh while y'all waste your time playing games.

Nice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32411988)

Why don't we use this for every workplace.

Re:Nice. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32412094)

Why don't we use this for every workplace.

Exactly, how does this contrast to Chinese, Korean and Japanese workers life? E.g. Foxconn?

Re:Nice. (1)

KDR_11k (778916) | more than 4 years ago | (#32415642)

Didn't we do that during the industrial revolution?

More like work (4, Insightful)

boyter (964910) | more than 4 years ago | (#32411994)

This sounds more like work then "an amusement or pastime" which games usually are. To be honest, even if I had the skill to play at that level I don't think I would want to since I like to play games in spare time. What do these guys do in their spare time if any... code?

Re:More like work (5, Insightful)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412060)

I think if they were smart enough to be able to code, they'd probably have been smart enough to avoid this sort of bullshit situation in which they're basically held captive to play stupid games all day like some sort of digital bondage slave.

Re:More like work (1)

Pinky's Brain (1158667) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413116)

Smart people can make very dumb choices in life (or more often, avoid making choices as much as possible).

No matter how well explored the metagame in a RTS gets I doubt you can be among the best without a high IQ.

Re:More like work (0, Flamebait)

OrangeCatholic (1495411) | more than 4 years ago | (#32415000)

>Smart people can make very dumb choices in life

No they can't actually, that's the opposite of what "smart" means.

Re:More like work (2, Insightful)

oji-sama (1151023) | more than 4 years ago | (#32415614)

>Smart people can make very dumb choices in life

No they can't actually, that's the opposite of what "smart" means.

No-one makes smart decisions all the time. Even if in theory you would make smart decisions every time, it's always based on the current situation and current knowledge (which could be misleading).

(What about 'Intelligent people can make very dumb choices in life'?)

Re:More like work (1)

the_humeister (922869) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413932)

The description sounds like being a sumo wrestler, except for the video game part.

Re:More like work (1)

OnePumpChump (1560417) | more than 4 years ago | (#32414996)

Sumo wrestlers definitely eat better.

Re:More like work (1)

Hognoxious (631665) | more than 4 years ago | (#32416628)

Sumo wrestlers definitely eat butter.

FTFY.

Talking about bullshit situations .. (1)

sakari (194257) | more than 4 years ago | (#32415810)

.. chained to your computer and spewing out zeros and ones for The Company is not digital bondage slavery? :) Don't think the top players of Korea are not smart. This all started out as a hobby and got quickly out of hand when people realized there could be money in the business. This is where things went bad.. and did you that basically anyone knows the best players in Korea ? They send matches to everyone with a television. I believe the best ones are truly enjoying themselves. The ones that have to start from the beginning now .. now them I don't really know about.

Re:More like work (2, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32412118)

This sounds more like work then "an amusement or pastime" which games usually are. To be honest, even if I had the skill to play at that level I don't think I would want to since I like to play games in spare time. What do these guys do in their spare time if any... code?

Pfft, you're just jealous that you don't have their l33t game skillz. You know you'd trade it all in just to beat one of them someday.

Re:More like work (2, Funny)

Xonstantine (947614) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412266)

Keke.

Re:More like work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32412430)

I could probably kick their asses in a Doom deathmatch.

Re:More like work (5, Insightful)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412138)

You cannot be a professional in anything without commitment.
people play sports as "an amusement or pastime" but that does not mean that professional sports players do not replace working 9-5 with practicing whenever they feel like it.

Pro gaming can get quite intense through out all the world (I would say mainly since they all have to be young, and therefore more easily taken advantage of).

But that description does not sound all that different from descriptions I have heard of other professional sport athletes in china, not sure how this compares to South Korea.

Re:More like work (1)

gandhi_2 (1108023) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412688)

Indeed. [lepak.tv]

Re:More like work (1)

gravos (912628) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413294)

It's true. Actually, most ANY multilayer gaming tends to require a huge amount of effort and commitment if you want to rise near the top ranks, even among the so called "casual" players who don't make any money or win any prizes or get any kind of real-life reward. Look at any of the FPSs or MMORPGs that have something approaching a ladder: you won't even get in the top 10,000 unless you spend 40 hours a week on it for a significant amount of time.

40 hours a week is a pretty serious commitment.

Re:More like work (0, Flamebait)

ciuci$_ (1265330) | more than 4 years ago | (#32414814)

it does not compare to South Korea! South Korea is a democratic country. And please keep in mind that the western world is not the center of the earth.

Commitment is one thing, slavery is another (1)

George_Ou (849225) | more than 4 years ago | (#32415578)

Professional football, baseball, basketball, hockey, singers, dancers, MMA fighters, boxers, etc all live in their own homes. They can have families if they like and they usually do. What these S. Korean pro-gamers are doing should be against the labor laws of any civilized nation. They shouldn't be doing this for more than 10 hours a day 6 days a week.

Re:More like work (1)

skids (119237) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412190)

Leave it to the gambling/entertainment industry to take a leisure activity and make it into an uber-competitive hellscape.

Oh, to your query, I don't think they are allowed "spare time."

Re:More like work (4, Funny)

Fluffeh (1273756) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412302)

Leave it to the gambling/entertainment industry to take a leisure activity and make it into an uber-competitive hellscape.

Oh, to your query, I don't think they are allowed "spare time."

Gambling Industry? What are you on about, this sounds pretty much exactly what my World of Warcraft guild was like - except we didn't get paid, and I don't think half of then knew what fresh laundry was...

Re:More like work (5, Informative)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412200)

What do these guys do in their spare time if any... code?

Surprisingly, yes!

A lot of the SC Original Pro's write their own AI scripts to make the AI in Starcraft a lot harder, capable of advanced techniques and deeper theory. Those little nifty tricks they've learned to beat PC's can now be done to them

Re:More like work (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32412404)

Surprisingly, yes!

A lot of the SC Original Pro's write their own AI scripts to make the AI in Starcraft a lot harder, capable of advanced techniques and deeper theory. Those little nifty tricks they've learned to beat PC's can now be done to them.

Ah, so you mean they fumble stuff together. AKA, hackers. Coding implies an act of talented programming or scripting. Doing it poorly does not make someone a 'coder.' Just as someone who paints a stick-figure is not a painter.

In fact, over the last 12 years, I would have expected a real coder to create several decent games -- not rewritten a few AI routines in a batch-like 'scripting' language.

Re:More like work (1)

iwannasexwithyourmom (1804754) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413504)

wowo, piss in your cornflakes huh?

Re:More like work (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32413538)

Some old-school foreign pros like Testie used to code their own AI, but the Korean pros haven't done this since the very early days (if ever). Why write AI when you can just get a B-teamer and tell him what strategy to do against you?

They basically get kids at 14, 15 yrs old, and train them all day every day until they burnout at age 18/19. At that point they are an expert at the game but knowing nothing else and having a poor education. A few rise above the rest to fame and glory, but for the vast majority of progamers it's a pretty dismal existence with no future.

Re:More like work (1)

uncqual (836337) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413690)

In other words, a bit like kids trying to get into professional sports in the US!

Re:More like work (1)

OrangeCatholic (1495411) | more than 4 years ago | (#32415030)

>They basically get kids at 14, 15 yrs old, and train them all day every day until they burnout at age 18/19. At that point they are an expert at the game but knowing nothing else and having a poor education.

Sounds like they are giving them engineering degrees.

>for the vast majority of progamers it's a pretty dismal existence with no future.

Like I said...engineering.

Re:More like work (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32415922)

In other words, a bit like kids trying to get into professional sports in the US!

But without the crippling injuries. And without the prospect of making literally millions of dollars even to just sit on the bench.

I guess I might understand the desire to "go Pro" as a gamer, but the problem is that there isn't anything for a "pro" gamer to do as a career. Well, unless you go into gold-farming, but you don't need to be a Pro, you just need to be able to write scripts & have a good grasp of money laundering.

And I really don't think these kids are actually "burning out" at 18 or 19, they're doing the exact same thing as kids in the US do- they spend their teenage years fucking around & living off their parents, and then they hit adulthood and realize that 'Hey, playing WoW in mom's basement isn't going to ever get me anywhere"... at which point they go out and get a job, possible meet an actual woman, and end up moving on in life. Most of them probably will continue to game quite heavily, but will have at least a semblance of a real life in addition to that hobby.

Better AI for other games (1)

LongearedBat (1665481) | more than 4 years ago | (#32414326)

It would be good if those lessons (the more general ones at least) could be made public to game developers, so that other games could have better AI.

Happens to anything that becomes a job (5, Interesting)

Sycraft-fu (314770) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412324)

While you can enjoy a job, it'll always be work. That is just life. Many people think that being a game tester would be fun. I mean you get paid to play videogames, right? Wrong, you get paid to test broken ass video games and to do things over and over again. It is extremely tedious much of the time. You aren't getting paid to just play as you like, you'll be given specific tasks like "Sometimes this item doesn't work, so use it on everything in the game, document when it does and doesn't work and try find the common thread."

This is why I'm not a games tester. It was a career I'd considered. I like games, and I have the requisite skills and understanding to do good testing. I am good at documenting problems, and I understand how computers work so I have a reasonable chance at figuring out what causes a problem and thus how to replicate it. However, I didn't go in to it because I'm worried it would make games not fun for me.

I do computer/network support professionally. Ever since I started doing that, I've stopped tinkering with my computer. I used to do things like overclock and so on but now I just want it to work. I solve computer problems professionally, I've no patience to deal with that kind of thing as a hobby. Likewise back in the day I was the webmaster for our university's paper. While I used to read the paper for pleasure, I stopped when I got that job. I had to go through every single story every day for work, so reading it or any other paper held no interest to me outside of work.

Not everyone is like me, of course, some people can do things both as a job and a hobby. However the common thing is that what you do for a hobby is on your own terms. It is fun because you set the terms, the time, the goals, etc. Work is, well, work.

Re:Happens to anything that becomes a job (5, Funny)

Ethanol-fueled (1125189) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413234)

I solve computer problems professionally, I've no patience to deal with that kind of thing as a hobby."

Ha, you bastard, you're just like my auto mechanic. When he was in-between jobs, he'd replace a fuel pump for 20 bucks and a 12-pack. Now he works 10 hours a day servicing big-ass diesels and won't even give me a tune-up for any price.

Re:Happens to anything that becomes a job (1)

stonewallred (1465497) | more than 4 years ago | (#32416400)

HVAC/R tech, and business owner. My T-stat batteries were dead last night when I got home. I could have opened AH, connected common at the board and on T-stat and it would work until it broke. Could have pulled a T-stat from the shop that works with a hot and a resistor instead of a common. Could have grabbed a T-81 mercury bulb and wired it in. I took cover off T-stat and used a jumper to bring on OD unit and put hot and fan together under same lug. Will buy batteries today. Do that crap too much for pay to want to do it for fun.

Re:More like work (4, Interesting)

phantomfive (622387) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412378)

It's a different kind of pleasure at that level. For a clear view of it, check out the end of this game [youtube.com] by the legendary Boxer. Look at the expression on the guys faces, even the loser looks like he had a good time. It was an intense amazing game. Add to that the pleasure that you get from improving at something, watching yourself get better and better, pushing your limits, and the pleasure of just being awesome at something.

That said, I have noticed in the past few years the pleasure go out of the players. They just don't seem to enjoy it the way they did in Boxer's day. So maybe these camps are killing things.

Re:More like work (1)

vitaflo (20507) | more than 4 years ago | (#32414806)

"They just don't seem to enjoy it the way they did in Boxer's day. So maybe these camps are killing things."

Boxer was making $300k/year at the time playing SC. I'm sure he enjoyed that quite a bit. Don't be fooled, the top Korean players in SC make a ton of money from sponsorships. That's why people go to these camps.

Re:More like work (4, Insightful)

ivucica (1001089) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412384)

Seriously, that's the definition of "professional": work that you do for living.

Re:More like work (1)

GreatBunzinni (642500) | more than 4 years ago | (#32415776)

From TFA:

The standard in pro gaming groups is for people to live together 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, with no traveling to or from work

These sort of living conditions only make it "professional" in the sense that, at best, those poor factory workers from the inception of the industrial revolution were professionals or, at worse, slavery is a legitimate job.

Re:More like work (1)

msimm (580077) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413710)

So, just to be clear, you're saying being a professional gamer sounds like a lot of work...

Like porn? (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412018)

'Because of this structure of bringing in young people, developing them and then replacing them when their lifespan is spent and they have been squeezed dry, it has earned the name of "the chicken coop."'"

It reminds me how porn works.

Re:Like porn? (4, Funny)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412126)

"It reminds me how porn works."

Citation needed.

Re:Like porn? (5, Informative)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412256)

"for all who draw the (sword) Wikipedia will die by the (sword) Wikipedia"
Matthew 26:52

  "Some girls are used in nine months or a year. An 18-year-old, sweet young thing, signs with an agency, makes five films in her first week. Five directors, five actors, five times five: she gets phone calls. A hundred movies in four months. She's not a fresh face any more. Her price slips and she stops getting phone calls. Then it's, 'Okay, will you do anal? Will you do gangbangs?' Then they're used up. They can't even get a phone call. The market forces of this industry use them up."[5] Some film studios encourage their actresses to have breast implants, and offer to pay for the procedure.[5]

[5] http://www.guardian.co.uk/books/2001/mar/17/society.martinamis1 [guardian.co.uk]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Porn_actor#Female_performers [wikipedia.org]

Re:Like porn? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32416350)

In the same article,

"Girls can easily make 100K-250K per year, plus stuff on the side like strip shows and appearances. The average guy makes $40,000 a year."

Not bad money. One year of work, and $100k-250k at the end of it.

I recall the professional porn industry is in a bit of a slump right now though - trouble competing with the huge quantity of amateur stuff on the internet. The quality is lower, but it's free and much more accessible. People looking for porn usually want it right now - not after they've lost their arousal by driving down to the adult video store.

Re:Like porn? (1)

turkeydance (1266624) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412298)

well, maybe like the Navy works, or the Catholic Church...there's a theme.

Re:Like porn? (1)

tsotha (720379) | more than 4 years ago | (#32415610)

Well, I suppose you'll end up with a sore ass either way.

Without LAN how will Sc2 be able to used in pro to (1, Interesting)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412050)

Without LAN how will Sc2 be able to used in pro tournaments?

The lest thing that is needing is a internet lag / hiccup that may only hit one player or not hit all players 100% the same way. Even more so if there are nat / other port issues as well.

Re:Without LAN how will Sc2 be able to used in pro (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412104)

I guess it will authenticate to Blizzard servers and then start LAN play.

Re:Without LAN how will Sc2 be able to used in pro (1)

dltaylor (7510) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412382)

Nope. No LAN play. According to Blizzard, everything will have to go through BattleNet (which is why I won't be buying any of the SC2 versions).

"However, when asked if LAN is ever going to be introduced in SC2, Pardo simply said that everyone else (his development team) had accepted the fact that SC2 would not have a LAN mode."

Re:Without LAN how will Sc2 be able to used in pro (1)

pcolaman (1208838) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413768)

I'd be willing to bet good money that Blizzard, recognizing how much Starcraft is played in South Korea, will offer to sell the software to pro gaming leagues and possibly even large gaming operations there to connect to the Blizzard network without having to forgo the option of playing on a LAN. I could be wrong but I just don't see them possibly putting off that many potential customers (including the leagues which likely buy a ton of licenses)

Re:Without LAN how will Sc2 be able to used in pro (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 4 years ago | (#32414098)

Blizzard is trying to integrate themselves much more into the Korean pro scene than they currently are (which is admittedly very little). They actually want a hand in running the tournaments and such, so it wouldn't even be the case that KESPA would have to go buy Blizzard's server, 'cause Blizzard would just bring it in.

Of course, while I'm no KESPA fan, IMO Blizzard is making unreasonable demands of KESPA, and the talks between the two have not gone well. From my perspective it really seems that both Blizzard and KESPA are trying their damnedest to kill the pro scene. (Blizzard definitely seems to be trying to kill the Brood War scene and KESPA, and I have my doubts that SC2 will be able to rise to the popularity that BW has.)

Re:Without LAN how will Sc2 be able to used in pro (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412158)

Suppose you can purchase a Blizzard Authenticating server for your company, to be used in a LAN only setting.

I'm not saying its going to happen but I wouldn't be surprised.

Fun? (1)

hotrodent (1017236) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412054)

I wonder what pro-gamer kids involved in this do for fun?

"Life" (5, Funny)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412062)

....their entire daily routine consists of eating, cleaning, laundry and games

It's like amateur gamers I know, except without the cleaning and laundry.

Re:"Life" (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412166)

That made my day. Zzzzzing!

Re:"Life" (2, Funny)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412434)

It's like amateur gamers I know, except without the cleaning and laundry.

That's why they're professionals and the gamers you know are mere amateurs. It takes years to master the art of cleaning and laundry to level 50 or higher.

Re:"Life" (1)

Lord_of_the_nerf (895604) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412736)

No way I'm wasting skill points on cleaning and laundry. I'm maxing out 'post-kill teabagging'.

other pro sports have players unions and Leagues t (5, Interesting)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412072)

other pro sports have players unions and Leagues that set rules.

May it's time for pro gameing to go the same way like the NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL and others.

Re:other pro sports have players unions and League (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32412168)

Video games are not a sport. You're making an ass of yourself even drawing the parallel.

Re:other pro sports have players unions and League (1)

buchner.johannes (1139593) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412220)

How do video games differ from a combination of chess and table tennis?

Re:other pro sports have players unions and League (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32412242)

What do chess and table tennis have to do with MLB, NBA, NFL, and NHL?

Re:other pro sports have players unions and League (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412270)

"Professional" sports are about money. I don't know how much money is involved in pro gaming, but if it's comparable to the money involved in NBA or NFL, then it can be called a "professional" sport.

Re:other pro sports have players unions and League (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32412372)

Are there players unions in chess and table tennis?

As for whether table tennis and chess are "sports", you can call chess a sport all you want, but that doesn't make it reality.

Re:other pro sports have players unions and League (1)

martin-boundary (547041) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412500)

Sports are about physical challenges. It can be argued that video games are physically challenging too.

What's the difference between a guy who trains to run 100m as fast as he possibly can, versus a guy who trains to press buttons on a game paddle as fast as he possibly can? Neither of these skills are generally useful, in each case the skill is extremely specialized, it exercises only a limited set of muscles, and can in fact be physically damaging.

poker is not physical but it's like pro Sports in (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412528)

poker is not physical but it's like pro Sports in way of needing skill to do good most of the time.

Re:other pro sports have players unions and League (1)

hedwards (940851) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412548)

Anything can be argued. Calling chess a sport is extremely dubious. OTOH mix it with a sport like boxing and it becomes a sport. Well, not really, the boxing is the sport.

in South Korea they seem to be and with MOB ties (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412250)

in South Korea they seem to be and with MOB ties it's time to do something before more players lose games for the mob.

Re:in South Korea they seem to be and with MOB tie (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32412422)

in South Korea they seem to be and with MOB ties it's time to do something before more players lose games for the mob.

They have ties to Mobile Regional Airport [wikipedia.org] ? What're South Korean gamers doing with ties to a regional Alabama airport? And what does that have to do with the mob?

Re:other pro sports have players unions and League (1)

couchslug (175151) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412370)

Good luck with that. It takes much less to be a pro gamer than an athlete, and with that low barrier to entry would come enough competition to crush any organizing effort.

Re:other pro sports have players unions and League (1)

sahonen (680948) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412918)

If being a professional gamer were easy, it wouldn't take locking yourself in a room and practicing all day every day to get good enough to be a professional gamer. The highest levels of video gaming are just as competitive as the highest levels of any physical sport you can name. Being good enough to compete at that level is just as rare as being able to hit a major league fastball.

Re:other pro sports have players unions and League (1)

noidentity (188756) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412466)

May it's time for pro gameing to go the same way like the NHL, NBA, MLB, NFL and others.

You mean for Electronic Arts to make an endless series of games year after year? I can see it now, EA South Korean Pro Gamer 2011. I doubt they'd make it, though, since you know some people would release mods of it that turn it into EA EA 100 Hour-A-Week Programmer 2011, as the scenarios are probably really similar.

no in the players rights way with a union / minpay (1)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412498)

no in the players rights way with a union and league min pay!

Re:other pro sports have players unions and League (1)

GrumblyStuff (870046) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412740)

Well, they have the game design down. Sounds like a Sims expansion.

Re:other pro sports have players unions and League (1)

visualight (468005) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412564)

Not as long as the rules are dictated by the developer/distributor. If the "competitive" fans of a franchise had something to say about changes in new revs then community killing disasters like UT3 would never happen and a league might have a chance.

some of sounds like the old days of the MLB (4, Interesting)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412108)

some of sounds like the old days of the MLB there the teams just about owned the players.

Ahh games testing... (2, Funny)

inanet (1033718) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412128)

Sounds a bit like working at a games company. except with better hours and food.

Re:Ahh games testing... (1)

sourcerror (1718066) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412350)

Sounds a bit like working at a games company. except with better hours and food.

Except that they actually get to play video-games.

On a more serious note : do video-games companies have full-time testers? I would doubt it.

Re:Ahh games testing... (1)

inanet (1033718) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413310)

Considering I worked for a number of years as a full time games tester, and am still in touch with a number of guys who are still working in the industry as full time games testers, I would say your facts are wrong and lacking. most companies have their own QA teams, and then you have the publishers who also have full time test teams. Games testing is a fully viable career if you can hack the bad pay, crazy hours, and being blamed for every missed deadline, every fault in the product and being the general scape goat for the rest of the company.

Exercise (4, Interesting)

wisnoskij (1206448) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412176)

"for those ranked Group 2 or lower, their entire daily routine consists of eating, cleaning, laundry, and games"

I know from having watch previous documentaries that they are also supposed to keep up their physical fitness with exercise.
You cannot have fast enough reflexes to compete professionally if you are not in very good shape.

Re:Exercise (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32412238)

Tell that to floorball keepers... They have some of the same skillset needed for competative gaming (first and foremost FPS) while not being in such a great shape.

years of waste finally get value? (5, Funny)

Gri3v3r (1736820) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412196)

*starts packing for South Korea*

Re:years of waste finally get value? (2, Funny)

dkleinsc (563838) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412458)

Bear in mind that there's nothing about getting laid in that description.

Re:years of waste finally get value? (2, Funny)

bky1701 (979071) | more than 4 years ago | (#32413058)

That's alright, it's unlikely he was expecting a change.

Would South Korea's draft be part of the problem? (1)

trytoguess (875793) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412482)

Just wondering, since if a young person is supposed to eventually give 21 months of his life to the armed forces, then he would no longer be competition worthy, and replaced. It would make the gamers more expendable I suppose.

Re:Would South Korea's draft be part of the proble (2, Informative)

bugbeak (711163) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412620)

The Korean Air Force has its own pro team which competes on a regular basis. This means they can jump right into the loop after their term is up. See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lim_Yo-Hwan [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Would South Korea's draft be part of the proble (1)

EvanED (569694) | more than 4 years ago | (#32414308)

This is true... but at the same time, saying ACE "competes" is a little bit strong of a statement. The other commitments of the people on the team means that they don't get nearly the practice time of any of the other teams, and it definitely shows. I mean, look at the rankings in the latest Proleague [teamliquid.net] . Or the previous one [teamliquid.net] . (Not sure why the stats aren't complete there.) Or the one before that [teamliquid.net] . Or the one before that [photobucket.com] . The only team that reliably competes with ACE for bottom slot is eSTRO.

ACE exists, and it gives SC players in the military an avenue to play, which is a great thing. At the same time, the service still has a very detrimental effect on the players' skills. In addition to the unfortunately poor showings of ACE, I'm not really aware of any player who came out of ACE and was competitive at the highest levels, even if they were going into ACE. More commonly they come out and become coaches or commentators.

I still remember the days I had 95% win vs Koreans (5, Interesting)

CrazyJim1 (809850) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412504)

Korea used to be weak in the 98-99 years of Starcraft because they were predictable. You could tell they were clicking at speeds 2x as well as you, and they were using a good strategy, but the fact was they all used the same strategy. I think it was attributed to them having internet cafes where they all hung out and shared strategies. The strategy EVERYONE used was muta/ling. Since I was Terran at the time, I'd just make marines, hold my choke, tech to scivessels, and win. Irradiate > Mutalisks, so I'd win almost every time.

Now I was planning on making my big comeback into Starcraft2. My theory was I've been #1 in ladder in SC1 and War3 that I could do it again for SC2, but this time I'd bring the heat with long play hours. My goal was to either make some money on Progaming, or get a job with Blizzard. Two problems stand in my way though: 1) I got a job with a promising company making video games so its like I accomplished my goal already. 2) Starcraft2 is buggy still in beta, and I get dropped from random games resulting in a loss.

Not everyone gets my bug in SC2, but its due to their code not attempting to reconnect to Battle.net when dropped. Also SC2 does not support rejoining games, like Heroes of Newerth does. I'd think with a big budget that SC2 would have it all, but they don't even have chat rooms yet.

I'm going to buy SC2 and play it casually, probably get #1 on their divisional ladder(meaningless compared to a real ladder), but things have changed, and I can't honestly bring it to the Koreans anymore because I don't have the time to get a perfected game. If they had professional leagues for SC2 in the states like professional sports in the states, I'd be pro easy. There's just not any infrastructure for pro games in the states like Korea has. I'm a little jealous :)

Re:I still remember the days I had 95% win vs Kore (1)

Renraku (518261) | more than 4 years ago | (#32412656)

SC2 will end up being the same way. Already there are only a few dominating strategies out there and if you scout the enemy base early in the game you know exactly what to counter for. I've noticed some of the higher end players pretending to tech up one way and end up teching their REAL strategy up at another base (known as a proxy), or by simply hiding their real teching buildings out of normal scouting paths.

Re:I still remember the days I had 95% win vs Kore (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32412900)

This is not a troll. i AM being serious.

Dude. you need to get a life. bad.

Re:I still remember the days I had 95% win vs Kore (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32413354)

I was a ref at the CPL and remember being fascinated by the Koreans attendants, these guys could move their shoulders and the attendant would know that meant that they wanted their headphone adjusted slightly up and to the right (for example) so that they never had to release their keyboard, and man watching them playing starcraft, the would hammer the keyboard like they were typing a document. fascinating stuff. however. disqualify one, and his attendant chased you around for hours trying to get him reinstated!

Re:I still remember the days I had 95% win vs Kore (1)

DigiShaman (671371) | more than 4 years ago | (#32414480)

There's just not any infrastructure for pro games in the states like Korea has.

I think the problem your running into is culture. There's nothing physical preventing American's from forming pro-gaming leagues, but in fact we are saturated with all sorts of entertainment competing for every available time-slice available in our daily lives. I'm not so sure entertainment is so diverse in Korea (compared to America), which why such dedicated leagues are able to form.

Personally, I royally suck at RTS games. But if you're really that good, and love the game, by all means try and form a league. I'm sure you will be somewhat successful if you get the message out loud and clear.

Re:I still remember the days I had 95% win vs Kore (3, Interesting)

Mr.Ziggy (536666) | more than 4 years ago | (#32415644)

There's just not any infrastructure for pro games in the states like Korea has.

I think the problem your running into is culture. There's nothing physical preventing American's from forming pro-gaming leagues, but in fact we are saturated with all sorts of entertainment competing for every available time-slice available in our daily lives. I'm not so sure entertainment is so diverse in Korea (compared to America), which why such dedicated leagues are able to form.

Mod DigiShaman -1

Korea has *many* entertainment options, just like the USA or Japan. It exports movies, tv shows and music.

Korea's pro gaming leagues don't exist because of poor options! Korea has:

1. Initial strong results in international gaming--and gained a lot of headlines. Whenever a small country can beat Japan and the USA at something, people notice.

2. The PC Bang (computer game room) culture. Most games are played in competitive social gaming situations. It was the norm in Korea for a long time, and you could have consistent results planing on a LAN than laggy Battle.net

3. A youth with less chances for economic opportunity than the USA.

4. Some serious fast twitch gamer kids.

Is this before or after... (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32413506)

Is this before or after they cut up their penises around the age 10-to-12 years?

e4? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#32413818)

development model interest in having parts. The cuurent watershed essay, OS. now BSDI is used to. SHIT ON opinion in other

For the Win (3, Interesting)

Lawen (251989) | more than 4 years ago | (#32414000)

Cory Doctorow's new Young Adult book, For the Win [craphound.com] talks about some of this. The main premise of the book is that the horrible sweatshop working conditions of MMO gold farmers in China, India, Malaysia, etc. inspire a plucky gang of visionaries to lead union organization for "virtual world workers". He Creative Commons licenses all of his work so grab an ebook from his site and check it out.

A different culture (1)

WinstonWolfIT (1550079) | more than 4 years ago | (#32414528)

In a way, you just have to pause to admire the masochistic streak that runs through Korean culture. It's particularly striking in their films, e.g. Old Boy.

Re:A different culture (1)

garompeta (1068578) | more than 4 years ago | (#32414782)

Hah, it seems you need to watch more Japanese horror movies... from my perspective as a Korean/Argentinian Japanese are the master sadomasochists. Koreans are just catching up ;)

Twisted version of Ender's game? (1)

uop (929685) | more than 4 years ago | (#32414760)

This whole thing reminds me of Ender's Game.
Maybe it's just a devious plot to train thousands of South Koreans in "computer games", only to unleash 10 million drones on China in a few years, all controlled by "pro gamers"...
I mean, it can't possibly really be that all of those talented youngsters are really wasting their lives like that.

Sociability Empathy Obesity? (1)

garompeta (1068578) | more than 4 years ago | (#32414820)

Anytime now...
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