Welcome! How to Use This Blog...

Step 1: Teaching in Korea FAQ
Step 2: Read The Top Posts of 2006
Step 3: How to Find a Job Teaching in Korea

Friday, 29 June 2007

My First PC Bang Experience in South Korea!

If you're not already aware, South Korea is one of the world's hot spots when it comes to playing video games online. You might remember from my earlier post about Starcraft in South Korea. Kids and adults play games such as Sudden Attack (very similar to CounterStrike), MapleStory, and the most popular game of all--Starcraft (or "Star" in Konglish)!

Anyways, I had my first PC Bang/Starcraft experience recently. I have always heard that these PC Bangs were notorious for being smoky--those stories are true indeed. After finishing our time in the PC Bang, my clothes smelled like I had just come out of a pub. I went to this PC Bang the same day that I visited the 2007 Seoul Wine Market with Tae, Jay-hook, and Sam-jahng (did I get your guys' names right? I need a keyboard with Hangul, hehe). All three of them are Starcraft veterans and when I mentioned about wanting to experience a PC Bang in Korea, finding one was not difficult at all! They are literally on every street corner in the city.

We went to two PC Bangs initially and ended up staying at the second one. I was told this one was a bit older and more expensive compared to newer PC Bangs elsewhere. Here are a couple pictures from the first PC Bang we checked out:

Playing video games and Starcraft builds your appetite (or not) so there are always snacks on hand: chips, candy, ramen, and pop:

After crossing the street we found another PC Bang and just decided to give this one a try. Here is the outside window plastered in video game posters:

Here's my video tour of the room...it was smoky and it felt like a trip back in time. Listen for my cheeky comment towards the end:

We each received one of the following ID cards. All I had to do was punch "27" into the terminal and it would start keeping track of my time. The cost was 2000w/hour ($2USD) which is considered expensive! Typical PC Bangs only 1000w/hour and this was not even that nice I was told:

Alright...so I punched in "27" and what was I greeted with? Ahh, a sight that most people are familiar with (or hate to see), our best friend, Windows XP (I was lucky this time--no BSODs for me--Google BSOD if you don't know what it stands for; be warned though as the results might drive you up the wall):

So the four of us are seated next to each other in this PC Bang, and finally we get our networked game up and running. I only played Starcraft literally once or twice when it came out (I was more into Command and Conquer: Red Alert) so trying to figure out the best way to build up my base took some time (Note to self: talking to a South Korean while he/she is playing Starcraft and asking silly questions, such as "what are the buttons again?" will not result in any answers--you will get shunned, haha!) Here is my pathetic start to my base..."oohhh...so these things collect and mine the ore/gold!":

Here's a video of Tae playing. Unfortunately there is no play by play commentary, but the setup was Tae and I versus Jay-hook and Sam-jahng--the losers would have to foot the PC Bang bill. Too bad for Tae, because my mediocre base was mercilessly annihilated by Sam-jahng (she is female; Starcraft is not just for the guys in South Korea; everyone plays the game!) within five minutes! I was like "WTF...dude, I just learned the controls!" and by the end of that sentence I was out of the game. It wasn't long after until Tae was defeated as well (he can beat the computer in a one on four match up):

So there you have it, my first PC Bang/Starcraft experience in South Korea. It was probably one of the most unique "cultural" experiences I've had here in Seoul. After footing the bill (a meager 8000w) it was off for samgyeopsal to eat away my sorrows! Any Starcraft veterans/pioneers out there? Do you still play?


Orchid said...



I stumbled upon The Kimchi Daily by chance one day and have been enjoying reading your posts.

My sister and i have been "hit by the hallyu" recently and have a hunger for all things Korean. :-) It's difficult to find English sites on Korea and stuff. So i am glad to have discovered your blog and all the links you have on it!

What is "Konglish"? Do you speak and read Korean fluently since you are teaching English in Seoul?

~ Orchid ~

ps: If you want to type out the Hangul characters, all you have to do is install the language package to your Windows Operating System (assuming you are using a PC).

Gary said...

orchid: thanks for visiting my blog! "Konglish" is Korean+English...words such as "hand phone" or "O-bite" are Korean created words. I hear them in the classroom all the time!

Right now I can read Hangul but it's a work in process. I can speak enough to get by though. As for typing out Hangul, I have the language pack installed so I can access Korean websites. My keyboard, however does not display the characters so typing would be a pain. See you later (great blog by the way)! Care for a link exchange?

Jeff Kee said...

starcraft - yeah I used to play it a bit when I was in Korea but I was oen of the oddballs who didn't play much and hence sucked. The few times I did play with friends, I was the guy who didnt' even count as a team member because I was useless.

When they had a 3-on-3, it didnt' matter if I joined in on either side and made it 4-3.

I haven't touched it in years.

Gary said...

Dude, sorry to hear about your Starcraft woes, that really sucks the big one, hehe. I wasn't used to the old school graphics...it was a trip back in time!

Orchid said...

Dear Gdog,

Yes please! I would love to have a link exchange on our blogs. I have added The Daily Kimchi on K-popped!. Thank you. What an honour for us...as your blog is really popular & established. =)

Happy Canada Day to you and your friends!

You can print out the Hangul Keyboard image for easier Hangul typing!

Print out this image and keep it close to your keyboard.

Anonymous said...

is starcraft similar to warcraft/ dota?

Anonymous said...

I hope you had other experiences of pcbang you should try and have some fun on other korean games like kart rider or ragnarok online 2 get a cheaper and more modern pcbang they are everywhere.

In Japan these internet cafe are mixed up with manga cafe and replace the cheapstay for a night of the korean Jjim-jil-bangs.


huntzone said...

The Korean star it is good,

Recent Posts

Learn Korean with KoreanClass101.com