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Tuesday, June 29, 2004

Seoul Digital City blog

See an interesting blog Seoul Digital City by Anthony, who's doing his research project on the Korean broadband phenomenon.

The following quote is from a post "Is Korean Cyberculture Just Regular Old Korea On Broadband?"
The following short quote doesn't do justice to all the interesting stuff that's in there, but just to give a taste:
Here's a massive oversimplification of what's feeding into this:
• pc bangs = broadband version of boardgame bangs, dvd bangs, pre-Internet bang culture (thanks to Kim Mook Han for this bit)
• whiz-bang look of Korean websites = Seoul/Korean streetscapes and their signs
• ubiquitous broadband = Korean high population density and urbanization
• video games broadcast on TV = Go broadcast on TV (yes people watch people play chinese checkers here)
I especially like the idea to compare the "whiz-bang look" of Korean website to the urban Korean streetscapes. I wouldn't dare to take the idea beyond aesthetic sensibilities yet.
These ideas and the contents of Anthony's blog are interesting especially as the neighborhood and the small businesses there that I've been doing working on are often seen if not antithesis but being lacking severely behind in the modern project of Korea. (Not that it would lack the PC rooms...)

Categories at del.icio.us/hunjang:

Comments to note "Seoul Digital City blog" (Comments to posts older than 14 days are moderated)

<Anonymous Anonymous> said on 29.6.04 : 

"People watch people play Chinese checkers..."

More than a bit unfair, don't you think? I don't know what you consider Chinese checkers, but the Go played in Japan is several dimensions more complex than the Chinese checkers we used to play in the US in grade school. Is it the same variety of Go in Korea?

And why is it so odd that people would watch it on TV? They watch it on TV in Japan too (educational channel). You're assuming that regular TV fare in any other country is more worthwhile? That the quality of television in Finland stands head and shoulders above television everywhere else?

Considering the dreck that passes for television entertainment in the rest of the world, I don't really see any problem with people watching Go.

<Blogger Antti Leppänen> said on 29.6.04 : 

I wonder what made you get that kind of an impression from my post, or actually from a quote from another blog, written by an American I assume.

The person I quoted did not seem to imply anything about the quality of Korean TV as far as the programs showing the so-called traditional games are concerned. He seemed to make the point that it is distinctive of Korea that this kind of programs are shown and watched. If you have taken a look elsewhere at my blog, you'd surely understand that had the quoted piece seemed disparaging towards Koreans to me, I wouldn't have quoted it in the first place.

Perhaps the original writer made a hasty mistake in writing "Chinese checkers" instead of the likely correct paduk (Kor.) or Go (Jap.). I cannot remember the "Chinese chess" (changgi 將棋) having been shown in Korean TV, but paduk was shown regularly, and I also sometimes watched, without understanding much except that land was being grabbed.

You should go see the original post at Seoul Digital City, read it carefully and leave a comment there - the writer would surely appreciate a thoughtful reply.


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