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19 JANUARY 2016

Korean video gamers tend to play collectively (not individually)

"Indigenous video game culture creates a game space that Korean gamers use to construct their digital national identity. To Korean gamers, the concept of a digital Korea represents an imaginary space of Korean community where people play games together. Unlike gamers in the United States and Japan, whose gaming experience tends to be individualized, Korea's indigenous video game culture represents a new form of youth culture that allows young gamers to engage in social interaction through gaming with friends at PC Bangs. In this culture, entertainment happens at the moment when gamers are able to 'shout and play games together.' [29] This experience of social gaming creates a particular taste of gameplay that also leads to further immersion in a gaming narrative particular to most Korean gamers (Ok 2011). It is said that Korea is a mad gaming nation (Ahonen and O'Reilly 2007), and the country has the highest penetration rate for a single online game; 12 million South Koreans have driven a car in the Nexon online game Crazyracing Kartrider (2004). In addition to social gameplay within the Korean community, nation-building sentiments also arise in the context of Korean player-killing, where Korean gamers engage in social gaming on the international servers of an online game. [30] Thomas (2008) describes such gameplay as a cultural location that reflects existing racial tensions between Korean and American gamers. Similarly, political tension also appeared in a game massacre event, when Chinese gamers hacked into a Korean server and sparked mass killing between Chinese and Korean gamers in Legend of Mir II (2001).

On a macro level, gaming as a national pastime can be seen in the rapid spread of e-sports in all aspects of Korean society, and this e-sport culture is an indigenous gaming culture that receives support from the government, media institutions, and passionate gamers. E-sports have become recognized as an international sports phenomenon with their origins in Korea. With their emphasis on professional gamers, they have also become an emerging new media phenomenon, an international spectacle in video games (Jin 2010)."

(Mark J. P. Wolf, p.509)

Wolf, M. J. P. (2015). "Video Games Around the World", The MIT Press.

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TAGS

2015 • Chinese gamer • collective behaviourcollectivism • Crazyracing Kartrider • cultural location • digital national identity • e-sport culture • e-sports • game massacre event • gameplaygames research • gaming experience • gaming narrative • gaming nation • Hye Ryoung Ok • imaginary spacesimmersion • indigenous gaming culture • indigenous video game culture • international sports phenomenon • Jim OReilly • Korean community • Korean gamer • Korean society • LAN gaming • Legend of Mir 2 • Mark Wolf • mass collaboration • mass killing • multiplayer computer games • nation-building • national pastime • new media phenomenon • PC bang • people play games together • play games together • political tension • professional gamer • racial tensions • shared context • social gameplay • social gaming • social interaction • social interaction through gaming • South Korea • Tomi Ahonen • video game culture • youth culture

CONTRIBUTOR

Simon Perkins
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