Joystiq looks at South Korea's PC Baang culture

Matt Warner
M. Warner|07.10.08

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Joystiq looks at South Korea's PC Baang culture
No PlayStation, No Nintendo, No Sega. In a sprawling metropolis on the brink of a technological revolution what place would eschew console gaming? It was South Korea, and for the longest time there was an embargo against Japanese made imports. In the embargo's wake an unstoppable PC gaming utopia and a molding of an anomalous social culture evolved. With the government push for broadband access and the proliferation of PC Baangs, online PC-game rooms, a remarkable 70% of South Korean internet users have played some kind of MMOG.

The Korean MMOG invasion on the western market has spurned resentment but some MMOs like Nexon's Maple Story found a successful niche. What is fascinating, are not the endless failed imports or the lucky few that do succeed in the US but the radical differences in our gaming cultures. Joystiq's Geoffrey Brooks is residing in Seoul, South Korea for the summer. Indulging his senses in this part of the world Brook posits about South Korea's PC Baangs and the masterful technological wired revolution and contrasts it to the lagging-behind United States. It's a must read, especially if you know nothing of the PC gaming culture in South Korea other than asking "isn't Starcraft big there?"
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