Various bits of web commentary this week reminded me that I should probably post my feature on Korea up here. It’s been languishing on my own disused blog for too long. This was the piece originally published three years ago in PC Gamer UK, and subsequently appeared in The Best Technology Writing 2006 anthology, and was the foundational research for part of my book. I’ve continued the theme of international game culture reporting this year with a trip to Moscow, which I’ll post next week.
Seoul, South Korea. To a fanfare of Asian nu-metal and the sound of a thousand screaming fans, a young Korean man enters a dazzling arena. Like an American wrestler at the heart of a glitter-glazed Royal Rumble, he strides down a ramp towards the stage. Adorned in what appears to be a space suit and a large white cape, he heads out to meet his opponent on the stadium’s ziggurat focus. Amid a blaze of flashbulbs and indoor fireworks he climbs the steps, and is exulted by the thronging crowd. Only twenty years old, and with no less than half a dozen TV cameras tracking his progress, this bizarre figure seems to be unfazed by his predicament. Diligently he waves to the crowd.