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Gamer Nation

Zonk posted more than 9 years ago | from the i-have-a-dream dept.

Games 39

The Escapist this week has up a feature called Gamer Nation, with a look at the games-centric attitude of South Korea. From the article: "The coolest kids in Gamer America high school go out for the StarCraft team. Gamer America's Commerce Department heavily funds a Domestic Gaming Agency to promote games to your mom and your grandma and the world. And there's a Gamer America network TV channel (not cable, network) broadcasting online game tournaments round the clock. No, wait, there are two channels. Sounds like an EverQuest fever dream? A console fan's Robitussin high? Okay, Gamer America doesn't exist - in America. But it lives for real - right now! today! - in the Republic of Korea (RoK)."

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asd (0, Redundant)

xXBondsXx (895786) | more than 9 years ago | (#13167108)

first post in gameramerica

Korea... (1)

Apreche (239272) | more than 9 years ago | (#13167201)

Korea, Korea...

Isn't that the place that gamers go after they die?

Oh wait, that's the place where only the old people use e-mail.

Re:Korea... (1)

koi88 (640490) | more than 9 years ago | (#13174472)


that's the place where only the old people use e-mail.

And now we know why: it's because younger people would never notice when an email arrives because they're too busy playing StarCraft.

Get your ass to Korea. (1)

TripMaster Monkey (862126) | more than 9 years ago | (#13167208)

TFA reads like something out of William Gibson or Neal Stephenson.
I wonder how difficult Korean is to learn...

Re:Get your ass to Korea. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13167666)

You can learn to read Korean/Hangeul fluently in as little as 4 hours.

Re:Get your ass to Korea. (2, Insightful)

RM6f9 (825298) | more than 9 years ago | (#13168275)

47 weeks, 7 hours per day, every working day. Defense Language Institute, Foreign Language Center, Presidio of Monterey, Monterey CA.
At least, that was how long it took in 1982...

(shudders at old memories)

Re:Get your ass to Korea. (2, Interesting)

ZosX (517789) | more than 9 years ago | (#13168896)

I was just in Monterey (on vacation) and we drove by the Defense Language Institute. Interesting looking place. Hope you had a chance to go up to Carmel by the Sea, as it had one of the most beautiful beaches I have ever seen. The sunset there was quite lovely too and hell, where do I even begin on Big Sur? Truly one of the most beautiful places in this nation and very likely the whole damn planet. Every american should at least once go to California and drive the 1 down from Crescent City. I cannot think of many places that I would rather go to now that I have seen that area of this fine country. If you would like some fine pictures of the area for nostalgia, I'd be happy to send you a few. Other than a lot of strip mall development, a lot of the place probably looks just about the same as it did 20 years ago.

To be somewhat on topic, I have a friend that went through the language school a few times. I don't think he was there for 47 weeks however, but maybe they spend more time with eastern languages because they are so much harder to learn than Roman based languages, at least when you are coming from a purely english-centric perspective.

Blizzard (2, Interesting)

Pxtl (151020) | more than 9 years ago | (#13167296)

Really, with a whole country living, eating, breathing, and sleeping StarCraft, you'd think Blizzard would do more with the license rather than constantly running back to old WC, which I personally found to be a much more derivative and uninspired setting.

Re:Blizzard (2, Interesting)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 9 years ago | (#13167412)

I know. Starcraft 2 would be a sure win. Instead they make some FPS. *shrug* Personally, I don't see why StarCraft is still so popular. It's a fun game, but it's not nearly complex enough to encourage deep strategy.

Re:Blizzard (2, Informative)

Sparr0 (451780) | more than 9 years ago | (#13168373)

because games that require thinking are not very popular. 'strategy' games like starcraft prevail, where the player with the fastest reflexes and best memory (these two units beat a rush of that unit) wins over someone able to actually come up with strategies while playing.

Re:Blizzard (1)

king-manic (409855) | more than 9 years ago | (#13175698)

because games that require thinking are not very popular. 'strategy' games like starcraft prevail, where the player with the fastest reflexes and best memory (these two units beat a rush of that unit) wins over someone able to actually come up with strategies while playing.

In starcraft/warcraft you have to do both. You have to be a twitch gamer and a thinker. There are people who do the same strat all the time, however they are very easy to beat because they are inflexible.

Re:Blizzard (1)

pezpunk (205653) | more than 9 years ago | (#13168640)

actually, complicating game mechanics does not lead to deeper strategy. in fact quite the opposite.

the more you increase the complexity of the game mechanics, the more it becomes a contest of who knows the rules the best. surely you wouldn't say chess is less strategic than starcraft simply because starcraft is demonstrably more complex. (has more types of units, a larger board, several different types of damage and unit abilities, flying peices, etc.)

Re:Blizzard (1)

toad3k (882007) | more than 9 years ago | (#13168752)

I've noticed this too.

In starcraft it was common to amass a large number of same units, marines and medics, hydras, zerglings, bcs, or carriers. But in the actual combat, there wasn't much to it, attack ground, throw out a few psi storms, try and hit critical buildings.

I've seen other rts's (war3, homeworld) attempt to create more complexity by forcing you to have varied types of units. But when you do that, it causes the armies end up being essentially the same, battle becomes chaotic, and the winner always ends up being the guy with the most units.

Re:Blizzard (1)

Incoherent07 (695470) | more than 9 years ago | (#13169359)

In starcraft it was common to amass a large number of same units, marines and medics, hydras, zerglings, bcs, or carriers. But in the actual combat, there wasn't much to it, attack ground, throw out a few psi storms, try and hit critical buildings.
You weren't a good Starcraft player, were you? There's more to it than attack-move.

Re:Blizzard (1)

Minna Kirai (624281) | more than 9 years ago | (#13172136)

eating, breathing, and sleeping StarCraft, you'd think Blizzard would do more with the license

They can't, BECAUSE of that complete popularity. The Koreans don't love StarCraft because of the "license"... they enjoy the very specific product. Gameplay is the most important factor, with the artwork and setting a distant second.

If you say that Starcraft is the national game, then compare it against the USA's "national pastime" baseball. It would be crazy to release "Baseball 2" with significant changes, even if the game designer thinks they look like improvements. Fans won't like anyone who messes with their favorite thing.

The result would be millions of times worse than the "Lucas Screwed the Star Wars Prequels" rants you can find here.

Probably, "StarCraft 3-D" would be a successfull product as long as it were no more than updating the same gameplay to exploit modern 3-d accelerator hardware. That's about all they have room for, without disrupting things.

Re:Blizzard (1)

Pxtl (151020) | more than 9 years ago | (#13175267)

Well then, why not do that at least? They could keep the core gameplay and add a new plot - expand it out with some new factions and additional units, keeping the original game as a pure subset of the new game so that people who wanted classic gameplay could disable new features. Look at the success of CS:Source - how many people bought Half-Life 2 just for that?

Why not in America? (3, Interesting)

alvinrod (889928) | more than 9 years ago | (#13167305)

I don't really see much of a problem for this to happen most parts of America. In big cities it wouldn't be hard to have the government wire the whole city and allow many different companies to compete for customers. I don't see it happening in rural America because it's really not cost effective to string 10 miles of fiber to farmer Joe.

But the government doesn't want to get involved. They'd rather let a company do the wiring themselves and then charge that market all it can bear. Rather than creating a service that's good for everyone, we're all living the American dream, shouting a big FU to the country so that we can all scheme to get rich for ourselves. Then again I guess that suggest is communist for thinking that a minority of the population shouldn't hord a majority of the wealth.

Sometimes I think America's worst enemy is a America itself. We'd rather make a lot of money than offer a quality product that's affordable for almost everyone.

Re:Why not in America? (2, Interesting)

Iriel (810009) | more than 9 years ago | (#13167612)

In a lot of ways, you're quite right. Not only would the American government not want to get involved, they probably can't. Only when we're so behind the times that we have the largest percent of the population in a developed nation without broadband would the government push legislation to only make it easier for companies to provide it to us; They wouldn't do any of the actual work to set it up.

If someone proposed that they should, then we'd have arguments comparing it to socialized healthcare and communism and others called it a waste of funds or a threat to the 'American Way'.

Korea, also, has a slightly easier time wiring a nation for the fact that they have much less real estate to wire and fewer people to manage. We have a rather stretched out government that can hardly agree on anything on a scale larger than a city without riots over policy changes.

To some degree, I can see where people would want us to concentrate government spending on other issues, but I still have something nagging what little is left of my conscience. That little something tells me that if America wants to stay in the game when it comes to the entertainment and technology industry, maybe we need a push to get us up to date. Get us using fiber lines (or at least CAT6, I'm not sure which is better for what), start implementing IPv6, make broadband affordable. How can Americans expect their youth to become the next rising stars in the technology/gaming entertainment market when the common protocols are outdated and the new ones are usually too expensive? It's hard to create a masterpiece with broken brushes.

Re:Why not in America? (1)

CFTM (513264) | more than 9 years ago | (#13167926)

How can Americans expect their youth to become the next rising stars in the technology/gaming entertainment market when the common protocols are outdated and the new ones are usually too expensive?

Simply we put, we can't but we have no desire to be that way either. The fact is, the United States has a fundamentally different value system; we place an emphasis on things such as athletic prowess not video game aptitude. I'm sure /. readers would love to see a change in that convention but too much of this countries legacy is built around athletic ability. Our heroes [our in the collective united states sense not an individual sense] are men like Lance Armstrong and Michael Jordan; not Bill Gates and his ilk. If that's what you want, move to Korea but it's just not in line with our ethos and I for one do not see it changing anytime soon; but maybe I'm wrong...wouldn't be the first nor the last.

Besides, I personally don't have any desire to see this change occur here; video games are an anti-social experience. Disagree all you want but I regret spending my high school playing games online instead of being out socializing with people my age. Life is a series of trade-offs and if I have to choose between putting my kids in to sports camps and video game camps there really isn't any question to which I'll choose. Video games made me fat and lazy, athletics built confidence and put me in a siutation where I was actively socializing with people my age. Maybe I'm not the norm, but those are my experiences.
(And I'm no longer fat & lazy, but at 5'9'' I weighed 245 lbs my junior year of high school, that's fucking pathetic).

Re:Why not in America? (1)

apoc06 (853263) | more than 9 years ago | (#13168102)

im sorry to hear about your experience in high school, but obviously here on slashdot im sure you arent the only one that felt that way.

the fact is [obviously i dont know your age, but judging from the fact that you were playing online in junior high you cant be too old], things are slightly different amongst online games these days. i look back at the old days of quake and starcraft, and now i look at stuff like xbox live, and its night and day. i think that the future of online games will be different. playing online seems to be taking the route of being a 100% social event. playing games alone without an online component is a different beast though.

unfortunately, youre mainly talking about not being active enough. thats something different from being antisocial. i cant help you there. but there are kids that group together and play games together all over the place. hence the rise of clans. its so common and socially open that you periodically see craigslist postings for gatherings of gamers to play psp or ds or just join in on a couple rounds of halo2. things are changing man...

Re:Why not in America? (1)

CFTM (513264) | more than 9 years ago | (#13168494)

Yeah that very well may be the case, I can't even get in to video games anymore [mid-20's]. Rather go surfing or running or hang out with friends etc so I can only draw on my own experiences playing a MUD and Warcraft 2. Although all the playing was online, I was playing with people in other parts of the world...life is give and take and to be honest I'm happy with who I am today even though I allowed myself to be derailed for a bit.

I'm glad to see that technology is allowing for greater integration of the social experience...last I checked there still arn't many females in the arena but maybe that's changed too.

Re:Why not in America? (1)

apoc06 (853263) | more than 9 years ago | (#13168563)

heroes come from every walk of life. i have the utmost respect for lance armstrong especially. but how can you say that those amongst us who dedicate our energies towards technology and even games themselves are not heroes? there are alot of people in the technology field mainly stemming from their love of games and getting attached to the computer at an early age. im not always the biggest fan of bill gates myself, but you have to respect a successful entrepenuer. think about how many lives would have been lost, and how many would have been saved without the interest and the curiosity instilled by science and technology. in these modern days, video games are helping cultivate that interest.

athletics teach you a great deal many things. teamwork, health, etc. video games teach a great deal as well. problem solving, pattern recognition, hand-eye-coordination [which can be reapplied back to sports] so i wont call it a complete waste. everything done in moderation...

[lance doesnt really count here since he is a survivor first and foremost and that is on another level.] but, for bill gates-types to not be considered heroes. i tell you what. you can have an program at a school and invite any sports star you want. they will say i play in the nba or nfl or whathaveyou. there will be cheers and applause. some kid will get up and say, "i practice every night after school so i can grow up to make it to the nba like you".

you can invite your bill gates-type person to the same school. they will say im part of the team that makes halo, starcraft or whathaveyou. there will be cheers and applause. some kid will get up and say, "i'm teaching myself programming every night after school so i can grow up to make my own games".

not every kid makes it to college or to the professional leagues, and not every kid makes it to college or as a programmer. but programming and technology is something they can use their entire lives. and i tell you this, the bill gates type is more likely to be able to provide those high schoolers jobs after college.

i am in excellent shape, i played sports and i played video games. both in moderation. i am happy i am not out of shape now that im no longer 18, but i am even happier that i have skills and a job in a field i enjoy. you may not agree with me, but if youre here on slashdot, im sure you at least partly feel similar.

Re:Why not in America? (1)

CFTM (513264) | more than 9 years ago | (#13169819)

Hence I made the distinction between universal and individual heroes. From the perspective of an individual child, any one person can be a hero; there are no prerequistes for this but on a national level the head game designers at Blizzard will never attain the iconic status that say Lance Armstrong has attained, just not how our society works [even if some game designer came back from the brink of death because of cancer...he'd be a survivor but he'd never become an icon]. My post was never an attempt to undermine the importance of technology, I'm just saying that I doubt the long term validity of professional gaming leagues...

Re:Why not in America? (1)

Minna Kirai (624281) | more than 9 years ago | (#13172319)

I don't really see much of a problem for this to happen most parts of America.

The inalterable laws of physics make it impossible to build a network giving America the same internet performance of Korea.

It's a simple matter of the speed of light... and geography... and nerve reaction-time. Korea is under 5% of the length of the USA, meaning the ping latency stays usually under 50 ms. In the USA, it can be proportionally larger, or up to 1000 ms (with all equivalent hardware installed).

This means that every single Korean has a fast enough connection to every other that speed differences don't preclude the playing of any game. The USA can never get that way.

Re:Why not in America? (1)

Vengeance_au (318990) | more than 9 years ago | (#13173746)

I call BS on the 1k ms ping... I can ping the USA from Australia between 300ms to 600ms, and anywhere in Australia with a sub 150ms ping. And Australia bigger than the USA, and in addition is a loooooong way from the USA.....

escapist magazine and HTML skills (0)

andy_fish (557104) | more than 9 years ago | (#13167323)

God the HTML on this site sucks balls. In IE, it's completely impossible to view the entire article in a browser window that's less than 800 wide.

Re:escapist magazine and HTML skills (2, Informative)

jclast (888957) | more than 9 years ago | (#13167932)

Like or dislike the design all you want (I'm not particulary fond of it), but as a former web designer, a width of 800 is a perfectly acceptable maximum (I design for 750, but that's just me).

Re:escapist magazine and HTML skills (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13169987)

800 is entirely unacceptable. Anyone still using a monitor resolution that small needs to join the rest of us in the late 90s, at least. 1024 is the smallest monitor size I encounter these days.

Either 800 has to go, or everyone needs to start designing for variable width windows, from 800 and up.

Re:escapist magazine and HTML skills (1)

jclast (888957) | more than 9 years ago | (#13170301)

It would seem we agree somewhat. I encounter primarily higher monitor resolutions also, but there are those among us who still use 800 x 600. Also, not everybody browses full screen.

But yes, stretchable content is good. What I was trying to convey was that 800 is an acceptable maximum for fixed-width designs (like the site in question) so that even those people that use 800 x 600 (elderly*, outdated equipment*, bad eyesight) can still view the site in its entirety.

For what it's worth, I run either 1280 x 1024, and I still think designing for a width of 750 is the way to go. It allows me to have more going on than just the Internet.

*Yes, I realize that the typical gamer is most likely neither elderly nor using outdated equipment.

The problem with "Gamer America" (2, Interesting)

malchus6 (870609) | more than 9 years ago | (#13167520)

I can only imagine the religous group uprisings and congressional hearings that would follow if schools had CounterStrike or StarCraft teams. The problem here is that we have unlimited appetites when it comes to violence in tv, movies, sports, etc. God forbid there is violence in video games and it is promoted in schools and gaming centers all over the place, there would be an uprising on the right that would make the Rockstar "scandal" look like a joke...

Geesh, Korean doesn't know themselves. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13167919)

This article looks like typical propaganda written by Korean.

Korean uses pirated software and copied idea much more than other nations does beside
Chinese, and have no respect for originals. (Some network game does good sales since
they don't sell game, they sell "net account".) That's why Korean game industry is in
so poor scale and quality. They are mainly low-quality players, not developers.

And I'm sure they will be at least a decade more.

Article? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 9 years ago | (#13167992)

What article?

Summary: 95 words Article: 157 words

Is any Slashdot Games reader unaware of the gaming culture in Korea? Was there anything informative in this article?

How about a link to an article that actually has some content (and possibly some research figures):
http://www.wired.com/wired/archive/10.08/korea.htm l [wired.com] [wired.com]

The only thing today's article has that the previous one doesn't is, "Hey, this could be America!"

Re:Article? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 9 years ago | (#13168070)

Oh wait... It's that width of 800 cutting off the "Next" link.

This is why a width of 800 is unacceptable for web pages.

Re:Article? (1)

Spez (566714) | more than 9 years ago | (#13168399)

By the way, the article is not limited to what you see up front. There is a NEXT button so you can flip pages!

Re:Article? (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 9 years ago | (#13168670)

Please see my previous response re: screen width cutting off the next button when page is formatted to 800 width.

I forgot, when I troll myself and then respond to my troll, I should have them in the same post ;)

No, dear americans... (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 9 years ago | (#13168033)

South Korea is _NOT_ North Korea.

Geographical education from your european friends (who like sex) :-)

Re:No, dear americans... (0, Flamebait)

Uriel (16311) | more than 9 years ago | (#13169279)

Everyone knows Americans learn geography by military deployment. Of course we know about the DPRK/RoK split...we have troops there.

America should totally... (1)

Dan Up Baby (878587) | more than 9 years ago | (#13171699)

Stuff South Korea into a trash can.

Call me a sucker for tradition, but... (1)

Bongo Bill (853669) | more than 9 years ago | (#13172191)

I think it'd be better to go with a locker, rather than a trash can.
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