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Collectivism vs. Individualism Essay

The research to examine the cultural norms of Korea as compared to that of US, is based on two particular core dimensions: United States as an individualistic country, and Korea as a collectivistic country. In fact, this is the first thing that comes to mind, knowing that collectivism vs individualism is a major characteristic that differentiates these two countries. Lifestyle and living arrangements

In a study by Lee and Ro Um (1992), it is discussed about the major difference between Koreans and Americans in their evaluations of product attributes was the different weights each put on the importance of the family. Koreans tended to be more family oriented in their product evaluations than the Americans. This meant that the products were selected. Korea has a family-oriented culture. For a young couple, living with elders (parents) has been a cultural norm in Korea, although in United States this living style is unusual normatively and behaviorally. According to Korean National Statistics office, 1993, almost three out of four Koreans people aged 60 and over live with their children, a percentage of 74.7%. The percentage that lives with a spouse only is 13.2% and living alone, 10.6%.

Explore the gaming culture of Korea
Why South Korean people play games
In South Korea more than half of the 50 million populations play online games frequently. Gaming in this country is not just a hobby but a way of life. Currently in the country are 10 professional gaming leagues which are sponsored from the successful corporations such as SK Telecom and Samsung.  According to a news article published CNN , in South Korea almost half of all games have been sold since the game launched in 1998. StarCraft is a legitimate business, ranking in hundreds of thousands of dollars in earning. According to a news article published in BBC [4], in South Korea games are nationally televised and they fill-up stadiums.

Extremely popular is the multi-player gaming. Being a professional video-gamer is a serious business. They attract huge sums in sponsorship and can make more than $100,000 a year. Professional players in South Korea are treated like sports stars. Some of the most famous players from league matches and sponsorship could earn more than $400,000 per year. South Korea hosts the annual World Cyber Games. The country registered more than 15 million people for online gaming, which is 30% of the population.

Gaming Addiction and the Government Intervention in South Korea As a consequence as a strong video game culture, South Korea since early 2000s reports of addicted gamers dying or murdering loved ones in order to satisfy their addiction. When a mother tried to stop her son from playing games, he killed her. Approximately 14% of Koreans between ages 9 and 12 suffer from Internet addiction because there are cable channels devoted solely to the games.[5] South Korea has been treating the disorder for years. In 2002 the government opened an Internet-addiction treatment center. In 2005, a 28 years old South Korean man went into cardiac arrest and died after reportedly playing an online game called StarCraft for 50 hours straight.

The man did not sleep properly and did not eat well. He just made few bathroom breaks and for very short periods of sleep. In 2006 the government opened a hotline for gaming addicts. Moreover, hundreds of private hospitals and clinics in the country opened specializes units to treat the disorder. In 2010 the government ordered a “nighttime shutdown” for gamers. This happened after police discovered a 3-month old baby who starved to death while her parents were busy with their virtual baby on a game. The Ministry of Culture, Sports and Tourism ordered the three most popular operators of the games to block people under age 18 from playing games between midnight and 8 a.m. The government has significantly slowed down the Internet connections of young players if they play for lots of hours into the night. More over in the National Assembly several other bills were pending that would control kids gaming habits.

Where South Korean people play games
South Korean entertainment industry is note based on home entertainment system such us console video game system, home theater etc. Instead it is created outside of the home in various places called “Bangs”. Recently South Korean people play games in the country’s Internet cafes, known as “PC- Bangs”. The PC Bangs are especially dominant in big cities like Seol, where is a density of population. It is important that the PC-Bang industry now can provide computers and Internet service to those that previously did not have the economic conditions to possess these technologies. Analysts consider that the social environment of the PC-Bang is the most important factor to make the PC Bang attractive and popular to users. Other factors are: the high-performance computers, high-speed internet connection and low fee usage. [6] Most bangs are cheap; the patrons pay an hourly fee, ranging from $1.00 to $1.50 USD an hour. In South Korea going to a bang is the same as going to the bar in USA.

Economic Conditions
According to an article in About.com , the industry of video game has a large share of South Korea’s GDP. “According to the Ministry of Culture, in 2008 the online-gaming industry earned $1.1 billion dollars in exports. Nexon and NCSOFT, South Korea’s two largest game development companies reported a combined net income of over $370 million in 2012. The entire game market is estimated at approximately $5 billion dollars annually, or about $100 per resident, which is more than three times what Americans spend. Games like StarCraft have sold over 4.5 million copies in South Korea, out of a worldwide total of 11 million.” The same article says that video games stimulate the black economy of the country. What they play

Relatively a small number of games are played in South Korea, the most popular of them are: League of Legends, FIFA Online 3, Sudden Attack, Lineage, Dungeon & Fighter, Blade & Soul, Aion: The Tower of Eternity, Echo Soul, Cyphers, World of Warcraft, StarCraft, Warcraft 3. [9] StarCraft- The most popular game in South Korea of all the times is StarCraft. Star Craft is a military strategy game, which is developed by Blizzard Entertainment. [10] World of Warcraft (WOW) – Another popular game at most of the time is the World of Warcraft, developed by Blizzard Entertainment. World of Warcraft is a massively multi-player online role-playing game or MMORPG.

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