PC Bangs and the Gaming Culture in South Korea

By Shreeya Saldanha

  1. Playing computer games incessantly – CHECK
  2. Playing computer games, incessantly, at a low price – DOUBLE CHECK
  3. Having the world’s fastest internet speed – TRIPLE CHECK

The PC bang (PC방, 피씨방 or 피시방) – Bang, roughly translating to “room” in Korean, is a room full of high-end computers where people from all different ages and genders, come to play computer games. It is one of the most popular places to meet up with your friends and play games online! Computer games are immensely popular – more than anywhere else in the world. The PC Bangs are usually open 24/7, like a lot of places around Korea. The typical rates of the PC bang are anywhere between 500 KRW to 1500 KRW (0.42 USD to 1.27 USD)

PC bangs are very different from the average Internet cafe. The most important thing is that they are designed around gaming. Users in a PC bang will log in to a variety of online, multiplayer games, connected to the high-speed Internet, and begin playing. The PC bangs pretty much have everything that a person needs for survival during the intense gaming session. It has high-end computers, comfortable seats, an abundance of food, bathrooms and the world’s fastest internet speed – what else does a gamer need? You can even order food straight from the computer, that will be served directly at the seat. Oh, the convenience!

South Korea is often called the birthplace of E-Sports or Electronic Sports. Gaming is more than just a pastime in South Korea – it’s a dream job and a path to celebrity status. It is the first country in the world to recognize pro-gamers as athletes and treat the sport as a national pastime.

Korea has hosted many of the biggest and richest pro gaming events ever. Professional gaming became so popular that a few television networks took the opportunity and started broadcasting the gameplay and tournaments. This gameplay was broadcasted the same as any sporting event is broadcasted on the TV, making it more relevant. E-Sports became so dominant, all thanks to a partnership between the government and the game developers at Blizzard, who worked together to organize events centered around the popular game of StarCraft. Starting in gaming rooms and growing to hotel banquets to stadiums. Flocks of people gather to watch these championships – just like plenty of fans of a musician attend the concerts to watch them perform live! 

Some of the most popular E-Sports in Korea currently are PUBG, Overwatch, League of Legends, Maplestory. It’s safe to say that E-Sports in Korea has become part of everyday life. 

Do you play video games often? Have you ever visted a PC bang? Leave a comment down below and let us know!

Written by Shreeya Saldanha

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