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ESL's "computer gaming in Korea" vocabulary class

Computer games are hugely popular in South Korea. Professional computer gamers in Korea attract huge sponsorships and can make more than $100,000 a year. There are TV channels dedicated to computer games and gaming job openings are few and far between.

Unlike America, where people play Xbox360 or PS3 games at home, in Korea MMORPG games are most popular. People do play at home but more often go to internet cafes called PC bangs. Korea has over 22,000 PC bangs – if you’re looking for an internet connection in Korea you can usually find one pretty quickly and internet gaming is very popular.

Kim In-Kyung is a professional computer gamer in South Korea, and a national celebrity. She makes a living by competing in computer game tournaments that are broadcast on TV. People hoping to turn pro play for hours because competition is so fierce. Sometimes it’s too much.

A 28-year-old Korean man died after playing the game Starcraft at an internet cafe in the city of Taegu for 50 hours. A 24-year old died in an Internet cafe in Kwangju after playing for 86 hours. These are not isolated cases. Eoh Gi-jun, the head of the Korea Computer Life Institute, explains "when playing network games you have to compete with millions of players all around the world. You may be one of the top ranking players one moment but drop way down the next second. Because of the massive competition, people can't stop playing."

Thank you to Robot Mag's computer game directory.

Match the vocabulary items with their definitions.

huge sponsorships A. hard to find; unusual
dedicated to B. situations that rarely happen
few and far between C. lots of money from advertisers
national celebrity D. become a professional who earns money playing a sport or game
turn pro E. used only for
competition is fierce F. the boss; the person in charge
isolated cases G. many people are working to achieve the same thing
the head of H. someone famous in a country

As I always say, the only way to learn this stuff perfectly is to try it. Please start by telling us about your experiences with video games.

If you want extra practice... Talk about video game culture in your country on the Korean pro gamers thread or perhaps this thread that asks what is culture?. The discussion covers PC rooms in Korea and other things like Karaoke rooms. The more you use English to communicate, the easier it will be to remember grammar and vocabulary!