Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Inside S.Korea's crazy world of professional computer gaming

Professional computing gaming is big business in Seoul which also happens to be the home to the world’s first ever professional computer games league. The Listening Post travelled to the South Korean capital for an insight into the country's strange world of professional computer gaming. From Listening Post:
Kim Eun-dung, the director of the STX Soul team says there are about 22 people currently living in the squad's house.

"Living in the house at the moment we have the pro-players who take part in match games, apprentices trying to become pro-players, and a few coaching staff … all eating, sleeping and training here," he says.

"Some apprentices are as young as 12 and players generally continue their career into their 20s. It seems the players aiming to become pro are getting younger and younger."

A lot of gamers spend many years living in their team house.

"I started my gaming career when I was 17, so I've now been leading the life of a pro-gamer for almost 3 years,” Jin Young-soo, one of STX Soul’s star gamers, says.

"In my third year of high school I went before my parents and told them: 'Mum, Dad, this is better suited to me than studying. I'm going to live as a gamer, I’m going to Seoul to try out at the team house.'"

Although they live away from home the gamers are fully cared for. The team director's sister, Ajumah Kim, lives in the house and does the players' laundry, cleaning and other housework.

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