Rewrite Starcraft Paper

Rewrite Starcraft Paper - Tatty Bartholomew Comm 460 First...

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Tatty Bartholomew September 28, 2009 Comm. 460: First Paper Assignment Gaming Culture in South Korea: The StarCraft phenomenon in Southeast Asia The annual gaming market in South Korea is five billion dollars (Schiesel). The country has more than 20,000 public PC gaming rooms that attract over a million people a day. The country boasts three hundred professional gamers, some of whom make more than 100,000 dollars a year, and the computer game widely dominating this market is StarCraft, a multi-player follow-up game to World of Warcraft that is set in space and was created by Blizzard Entertainment (Bellos). Launched in 1997 and first designed for PC’s, it met with success worldwide but exploded in South Korea. As South Korean Lewis and Clark student Daniel Bae notes, “Everyone in South Korea knows about Starcraft. Even if people don’t play, they still know the rules and what it’s about“. The game continues to bring in enormous revenue and has become an integral part of the country’s culture and Industry. Such huge success, however, begs the question: How has StarCraft been absorbed into South Korean culture? What does StarCraft mean to South Koreans? And, how is this meaning constructed? To answer these questions, I take a technological-determinist approach. I argue that StarCraft has absorbed into, and now defines, South Korean’s individual gamers’ identity, Korean youth culture, and the country’s national identity. In each of these areas of culture, StarCraft has absorbed so completely because of both its nature and the nature of South Korean industry.
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Individual Identity and Obsession Individual gamers in South Korea are able to pick up StarCraft as a hobby and play obsessively because the game plays best and fastest on PCs with high speed digital internet, both of which are dominant features in South Korean industry. The game can be played on any PC with Internet connection, but, as Bae explained, can be played most competitively with fast broadband connection because more moves can be completed per minute. This benefits South Korean players because nearly everyone (about 75% of the population) in South Korea has access to high speed digital Internet (Lewis). According to the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, “Korea had 25.4 broadband subscriptions per 100 residents at the end of last year… the US had only 16.8” (Schiesel). South Korea has such expansive IT because during Korea’s 1995-1997 economic crisis the government heralded the importance of broadband technology as part of advancing into the “Information era” (Huhh) and also because of the nature of residency in the country. Most live in cities; 12 million people live in Seoul, which is more than a quarter of the country’s population. The majority of these city-dwellers live in densely populated apartment buildings that are easier to connect broadband than if it were the same number of people living in separate homes (Lewis). “In Seoul and in other large
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Rewrite Starcraft Paper - Tatty Bartholomew Comm 460 First...

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