Anonymous of Holland            -A Dutchman in Korea-

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G-Star (지스타) Games Expo 2014

Yesterday, I was lucky enough to be able to attend Korea’s (and one of Asia’s) biggest Video Game Expos: G-Star.
The event is held yearly in Busan, and since Busan isn’t that far away from Daegu, it sounded too good to ignore. I got on the cheapest train I could find and 2 hours (and an interesting train ride during which one Korean kid kept telling me “Welcome to Korea” and his classmates discussed the scenes portrayed on my t-shirt) later I was in Busan on my way to BEXCO, the exhibition center where G-Star 2014 was to take place.

To be honest, I wasn’t that well informed about what to expect, so I was blown away when I saw the amount of people queuing up to buy tickets. What I expected to take maybe 10 minutes ended up taking almost an hour, but the weather was surprisingly mild for this time of year and I had some delicious food to keep me busy.


[With an expected attendance of 200,000+ people I probably should’ve seen this coming…]

Once inside, we didn’t have time to marvel at the size of the place, because the main event of the day – a special Starcraft Brood War match – was about to begin. We managed to keep our cameras holstered long enough to make it to the large stage where the mini competition would take place, and found some nice seats from where to watch the battles unfold.
I was a bit surprised when the event was preceded by a host of skimpily clad models holding up signs for some app called ‘HungryAPP’ but then I realized this was based Korea and stuff like this is totally still acceptable here and it totally should stay like that forever.


[I should add that this didn’t actually make me want to download the good job guys]

After that refreshing display, the matches started. This time I could actually understand what was going on, contrary to the last time I went to see an e-sports event in Korea, because the rules of the game were as straightforward as they are when you’re playing skirmish. Watching these pros apply and react to difficult strategies, fighting on several fronts at the same time and keeping an eye all over the map never fails to impress me, and I was really glad to be able to see these guys in action.


[And yes, those are commentators there in the middle]

04After the first two matches we were treated to another intermezzo, this time not of scantly clad ladies but Lineage cosplayers with amazing costumes and props who prepared a little battle scene for us while the gamers were busy setting up for the next game.


Because I’d seen how huge the place was though, and how huge some of the lines were, I decided to leave before the finals started in order to have enough time to look around and see everything this amazing place had to offer. This was the first real Games Convention I’d visited, apart from the Indievelopment Conference I attended in Amsterdam last year, so I was super excited to get into the thick of it.

There were a surprising amount of companies present, from small indie devs from Korea to slightly more well known companies like Oculus to behemoths like Sony and Nexon. Nintendo and Microsoft were oddly missing, which might be another hint of the Korean market not being especially friendly to either (and especially MS). Another surprise was the presence of EA, with a humble little booth tucked in between two Korean mobile dev’s booths, showing off nothing but their new Sim City mobile game. In true EA fashion even us visitors weren’t able to play the game for a very long time until it started pestering us about buying coins to hurry up construction. Very classy, EA.


[I’m sure this guy absolutely loves his job]

The scale of some of the stages was overwhelming, and it really felt like I was at an event that actually mattered, even though I’m pretty sure no interesting announcements have been made here.

11 SONY DSC 23


The main point of this convention was to show new games and apps to the public, so you were able to play anything you wanted to as long as you were willing to stand in line long enough. Most of the larger companies even threw in a little extra reward in the form of swag bags containing little widgets related to their games or brand. Unfortunately, most of the lines were extremely long and I only managed to get my hands on a nice Nexon bag. I did manage to play a few cool games though, including Sony’s Until Dawn and Bloodborne, an indie FPS which let you control the entire game through a gun peripheral and some handheld games.


There’s one thing that I haven’t mentioned yet, and that’s something SO video game-y that it shouldn’t be lacking from any video game conference.
Did you guess what it is?
Beautiful girls in incredibly short skirts, of course!
Because nothing says ‘Video Games’ more than some hot chick wearing an ‘NCSoft’ tattoo.









22 25

SONY DSC SONY DSCAll in all I had an amazing day, and I wouldn’t mind coming back again next year to visit for maybe 2 days so I’ll be able to actually play more of the games on display. In the near future though I will be visiting Comic World, also in Busan, so that’s something to look forward to as well :3


3 comments on “G-Star (지스타) Games Expo 2014

  1. Anonymous
    23 November 2014

    Was je alleen? Ik vraag me steeds af wie de foto’s maakt waarop jij staat :P…. Wat zat er in je Nexon bag? ;)

    Groet Koen

    • Anon Of Holland
      24 November 2014

      Nee ik was met een Canadese vriend en ‘n Hongaarse vriendin. Maar..alle foto’s van mij zijn gemaakt door een random Koreaan aan wie ik heb gevraagd een foto te nemen =p Hier kan dat zonder dat je je zorgen hoeft te maken over dat je camera misschien gejat wordt, dus ik doe het vrij vaak wanneer ik in m’n eentje ben.

      Ennnn bij Nexon zat er een boekje met codes in voor hun games. Nutteloos voor mij maar m’n vriendin speelt een stuk of 5 van hun spellen dus ze heeft nu een hoop gratis in-game spul ㅋㅋㅋ

  2. Pingback: G-Star (지스타) Games Expo 2015 | Anonymous of Holland           -A Dutchman in Korea-


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Forgotten Tomes


  • 25,081 Minds Expanded


I had a great time working with #SBS on their new program #내방안내서 in the beautiful #Mihwangsa #temple. I'm sure that @zazimusic has made @haemin_sunim proud with their song based on his book, #멈추면비로소보이는것들.
며칠동안 #미황사 에서 시간을 보내는 게 큰 인상을 주었고 만난 사람들 너무 친절하게 챙겨서 감사하는 말 밖에 못 한다.
다들 #수고했어.

#Korea #SouthKorea #tv #filming #television #tvshow #Koreantv #Buddhism #Buddha #traditional #절 #불교 #텔레비전 #쇼 #촬영 #버라이어티 #발송 I came back to #Seoul yesterday. Waking up to the sound of cars passing under my window and people shouting instead of the sound of the waves rolling over the beach and bugs chirping, I realized again that a part of me hates this city, no matter how much I love it. Now I understand why #혜민스님 makes the trip back to #미황사 so often even though he lives in Seoul as well.

For people living in a big city like this, it's important to #slowdown and not get caught and lose yourself in the flow of things. Life in the #countryside and in a #temple is so different, so much more #empty, but so much more fulfilling.

#Korea #SouthKorea #Mihwangsa #color #peace #reflection #religion #Buddhism #Buddha #tranquility #traditional #절 #평화 #불교 #해남 #108배 #전통 #역사 #생각 #자성 #내이야기 #미황사 에서 사흘밖에 안 보냈는데, 그래도 #생각 을 많이 바뀌었다. #성찰 하면서 내 한국 생활도 생각하고 한국 사람들의 #촌 을 생각하면서 왜 한국이랑 사랑에 빠졌는지 다시 깨달았어요. 한국에서 사는 것이 선물이니까.. 잘 살아야지.

#절라도 #절라남도 #절 #평화 #불교 #해남 #혜민스님 #Korea #SouthKorea #Temple #Shrine #tranquility #peace #reflection #religion #Buddhism #Buddha #혜민스님 의 #미황사 에서 #멈추면비로소보이는것들 많다. #절 의 #평화 를 느끼고 마음을 비우면서 깊은 생각도 하고 한국 생활을 #감사 하는 생각도 많고.. 한국이 역시 #아름다운 나라입니다. 
Another gorgeous #sunset at #Mihwangsa #temple.
I am so thankful to #SBS and 혜민스님 for letting us stay here.
Just like the title of his book, there are many things you can only see when you #slow down. Staying at the temple and talking with the staff has taught me once again that Korea is an amazing country, and I couldn't be happier to be here. 
#nofilter #Korea #SouthKorea #island #traditional #tranquility #nature #wood #meditation Everything is more beautiful in #Jeollanamdo, even a #sunset.

#nature #Korea #SouthKorea #sea #island #절라도 #절라남도 #바다 #섬 #자연 #일몰 Away from the hectic Seoul life for a couple of days, enjoying clean #Jeollanamdo air and the #calm of the #Mihwangsa #temple.

#Buddhism #Buddhist #Zen #Relaxation #Balance #Nature #Korea #SouthKorea #미황사 #절라도 #절라남도 #절 #평화 #불교
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