PC Bang (Internet Rooms) in Seoul, Korea - 63
If you want a real insight into Korean culture, then make sure you visit a PC Bang (room) because PC Rooms can tell you an enormous amount about Korean culture. Once inside a PC Room it is a surprise, as a Westerner, to see dozens of businessmen sat in their suits, playing video games. The main fascination for many of the businessmen and young guys, who frequent the PC Rooms, is the Korean made computer game ‘Star Crafts’.
I have not played this game myself and hence I cannot say too much about it, except to say it is almost a national pastime and people play Star crafts for hours on end. Many times on asking people about their hobbies in class, Star Crafts was mentioned: A similar game, but not so good I am told, is War Crafts.
As well as playing games, businessmen can sometimes be found fast asleep in front of a computer, whilst some others use the computer to watch movies. The youngsters generally spend more time using online chat rooms, email, as well as playing PC Games. Living in Korea as a foreigner is definitely made easier by the ease with which the Internet is available, thus opening up the world and bringing home closer through news sites and email.
When it comes to many aspects of technology, Korea is at the top of the world. With broadband usage the highest in the world, in Korea, it explains the deep-rooted interest in computers and cell phones (handphones in Konglish or mobile in British English) in Korea. If you visit New York, London or Paris, you can find Internet cafes but they are not easy to find, the connections are usually pretty slow and they are not usually cheap. In contrast, walk the streets of Seoul and you will have no such problem. Dotted in every commercial area, you will see the letters ‘PC’ displayed on a sign or neon board and just like the board game cafes, the PC Rooms are usually situated on the 2nd, 3rd or 4th floor of buildings, above the restaurants and coffee shops.