At first I wondered how many english sources there would be for me to use and I was happy to find a lot, there were articles written in Times Magazine, BBC, and Bloomberg.com that had a lot of information. It was cool because while I follow professional StarCraft, know the players and strategies, I didn't know anything about the industry itself. Anyways, I thought I would share some of my more interesting findings.
- After WWII ended the Japanese occupation of Korea, Korea banned many Japanese imports, notably the nintendo, playstation, sega, which made the PC the only gaming device.
- When interviewed about encouraging their son to play computer games, the parents said, "games are the best way to get rid of their stress" and "in general gaming helps the children with strategic thinking and to learn to multitask".
- A 25 year-old student says, "I watch basketball sometimes, but StarCraft is more fun. It’s more thrilling, more exciting"
Interesting to think of this after reading Boxer's latest interview. With gamers scared to risk new strategies and the cookie cutter builds we see today, in comparison to a few years ago, fans might just not think it's as exciting.
- In 2006, the top pro-gamers had 700,000 members in their fan clubs, or more, says Mr. Woo of the federal game institute, while the fan club of Kwon Boa, the most famous female singer at the time, had only 510,000 fans
As many of you know, SNSD performed as an opening act for the Shinhan Proleague grand finals.
- Shinhan offers the “Star League Mania” bank account which can get you V.I.P. seating at the league finals
- SK Telecom, who spent 2 billion won in April 2004 on its team (the current champions), has generated “an estimated 15 billion won in revenue...its 4.5 billion Won investment has returned about 47 billion Won in five years”.
- The South Korean government decided to invest “350 billion Won in the PC gaming industry until 2012”.
This was by far the funnest essay I've ever written and I expect a good mark. It's so much easier to work on something that you're genuinely excited about.
To go with the essay we had to give an 8 minute presentation. 8 minutes is so short. Imagine trying to explain the professional StarCraft scene when over half of your audience doesn't even know what StarCraft is.
I wore my SKT1 jersey and had a sick powerpoint with just pictures, screenshots I'd taken of what the stage looks like, the 08-09 Proleague finals to show the size of the crowd, some Jaedong shots, etc. I even had 2 Hwaseung House comics which got everyone laughing. The presentation was a huge success, everyone was shocked at how much the players make, how intensely they practice, and how famous they are. I had people coming up to me after class telling my how they thought it was cool, and I could tell that everyone was just interested. It really made me think of how huge eSports (StarCraft) could become if it was marketed and backed by the right people.
I used these two Hwaseung House comics
Right before I showed them I was talking about how progamers practice 13 hours and day and that Jaedong has the weight of all the Hwaseung OZ sponsors, coaches and teammates on his shoulders. Then, after the comics, I showed screen shots of Jaedong after he lost both his matches in the 08-09 Proleague grand finals.
At the beginning of my presentation I told the basics like how some players are models (Hwasin, Jaedong), how much they make, their fan bases, practice hours. Then I sort of wove a narrative around Jaedong and how progaming can be very serious and stressful, resulting in players burning out. I did a similar theme for my paper too.
This is my first blog so I hope you enjoyed the read!