I sometimes can’t help but notice how StarCraft has become a part of South Korean culture as ignorance has for America in recent years. Many national StarCraft tournaments play on mainstream Korean television networks and major corporations actually sponsor players, who sometimes are able to secure lucrative endorsement deals. Most of all, many of these players become traders in the Korean stock market once they retire since financial institutions need their skills at making quick bid and ask orders on the stock exchanges.
Note that the intensity of the commentators over a simple quick game of StarCraft and the cheering fans. The game is supposedly popular to the point where average Korean schoolgirls knows that bunkers need to be build and staffed with marines to defend from a Zerg rush. Not surprisingly, the term “ZERG RUSH KEKEKEKE” was popularised by Korean players playing against English-speakers on Battle.net.
Then you have Korean comedians developing skits around imitating StarCraft sounds…
I really don’t know why StarCraft has taken hold in South Korea. For one, this game doesn’t have anything remotely Korean in it and it was originally designed for western gamers in mind. Apparently, the popularity of StarCraft in Korea has also been credited with the growth of the Internet economy in South Korea and some books have been designed to teach Koreans English based on StarCraft terms.
Starcnomics is an academic look at the positive effects StarCraft has had on the Korean economy. A translation of the jacket summary reads:”StarCraft Syndrome”: It’s more than an obsession with and devotion to the most popular game in Korea. It’s the effect the game has had in generating new trends and socioeconomic changes. Economically, the syndrome created a new type of Korean industry or business that grew out of the needs of the times.
This book outlines the way in which the “StarCraft Syndrome” has led to a new business success strategy, a new business paradigm that combines the strengths of the digital age, cultural industry, new business models, and current social and cultural phenomena. At the same time, the book offers an unusual case study of gaming as a business model.
Then, StarCraft 2 was announced and this is an idea of its impact on Korea
From what I have read StarCraft is popular in Korea because of the following reasons when it first came out in 1999
There are 3 factors contributing to the popularity of StarCraft in Korea:
1. StarCraft was a US game, which was exported to South Korea
2. Japanese consoles were illegal since laws at the time banned imports from Japan
3. Most gamers played in Internet Cafes (PC 방) that encouraged multiplayer at fair prices