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Monday, 28 May 2007

Maple Story: Another Video Game in South Korea

Remember the recent announcement about the upcoming release of Starcraft 2 in South Korea? Anyways, that game got my students (and some Korean staff) super excited. This is nothing new, but if you're not aware already, South Korea is one of the most connected countries in the world. People here play Sudden Attack 24/7 in PC Bangs, also known as computer gaming cafes. I really need to visit one before I depart from South Korea.

A major "massively multi-player online role-playing games" (or MMORPGs) that is hugely popular here amongst elementary kids is the Korean developed Maple Story. This online multiplayer game basically is an adventure game where you can spend real money to buy enhancements. It's huge here--almost all my younger students like to play Maple Story when they have free time (which is next to none). Maple Story is coming out for the Nintendo DS which also has people excited.

The purpose of this post is to let you in on something...which I like to call "Korean pogs". It's a Maple Story sponsored toy for kids. Do you boys and girls remember pogs? Did you ever waste your Saturday afternoons throwing down "slammers" to win useless round pieces of cardboard cut outs with pictures on them? I admit, I played them during my late elementary school days and my early high school years.

Anyways, my younger students are addicted to these "Korean pogs" called "dak-ji" in Korean. The premise is the same as "pogs" but there are no slammers involved, just the cardboard disc itself. If you can flip over your opponent's "dak-ji" then it's yours to keep. Some students gave me some to play with them, and being the juvenile that I still am, I jumped right in. Some of these kids are pros at this...they have perfected their technique and have put me to shame, day in and day out. However, I vow to get my revenge. Don't get mad, get even!

Here's a picture of what "dak-jis" look like. They come in a multitude of sizes:

A little closer of the main "dak-jis" that my students play with; the higher the level the more valuable it is worth:

Here's a Maple Story desktop wallpaper:

Do you play Maple Story, or know someone who does? Did you ever play pogs?


Michael Kwan said...

I'll admit that I also played pogs back in my elementary school days. I particularly enjoyed the ninja star-style metal slammers. They weren't all that useful for winning games but they looked totally bad ass.

My friend's little sister got into Maple Story last year. It's like World of Warcraft, but without the violence. As an MMORPG, it seems ridiculously simple and that's probably why it works so well for a younger audience.

Gary said...

Haha, I remember those ninja star slammers. Talk about a deadly weapon too. Who would've thought pogs would act as currency on the playground and lead to school yard fights?

Linh said...

I play MS! xD Its cute, which is why I play it. I didnt know they had a pog-version for it though. I was wondering when you'd get to a Maple-Story post seeing as how ridiculously its loved even in the US.

candice said...

hello! I play maplestory too! it's fun if you have a group of friends playing together or else it will start to get tiresome towards higher levels. but yeah, it's popular in singapore among kids and even adults!

Anonymous said...

How totally odd--last night I was doing a lesson with my taekwondo Master. We were reading addresses and I asked him if he knew what "maple" meant. Long story short, he brought of this game, which I'd never heard of!

Anonymous said...

I remember playing dak-ji. I think you're different from other foreigners who don't try out these things.

Anonymous said...

omg!!!i play ms xP thats kool that there is a pog game....oh well my parents used to play that!!!if u play ms and ur higher lvl than me then u can search me at maplestory.nexon.net my name on ms is cure3 my mule9or alternative player0is legendofwong!!! cya ppls

Anonymous said...

I live in California, my kids are really into the MapleStory 'pogs' -- Do you have any idea where I can buy them. I checked the maplestory website, but can't find any information. Just thought you may know since you spoke about them in your blog. Thanks!

Anonymous said...

Where do you buy them? there TELL ME PLZ!!!

Anonymous said...

To by them in the LA area: One area is: Wa-Wa and Young Art in the Korea Town Galleria (pardon my spelling). At Wa-Wa you can buy a pack of 7 for 1 dollar, and I hear at Young Art you can buy a pack of 7 for 70 cents plus a large one included...

Anonymous said...

Well i'm actually in the exact same predicament as this guy.
I'm an english teacher in korea and i've been here for about 5 months so far...
I've already made my way through a few fads/trends, first was keroro stickers, pokemon figures came back in for a while, and now it's these.
Being 19 i don't think my mind has completely passed my phase of childhood so i thought these pogs were pretty interesting, as i had played with with like any other normal child back home in australia at the age of the kids i'm teaching.
This guy is right about the kids perfecting a technique, they all seem to be very good at playing in different ways, i never took my pogs this seriously. Since i saw how it was done, i took the liberty of buying about 4 packs of 7 from the stationary store around here (felt kind of embarassed) but now when the kids have finished their english work and done a good job in class, we play dak-ji.
It's fun for them but i'm still getting owned.

I can't believe they're a dollar a pack in the US!
Here in korea they cost 300 won for a pack, about 40 cents australian, probably 20 cents US.

Anonymous said...

How do you play with them and are there any good technics or tips. Are there any other place to buy them?

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