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.

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[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.

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[I should add that this didn’t actually make me want to download the app..so 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.

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[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.

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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.

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[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.

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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.

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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.

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Vi

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De

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O

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Games!

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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

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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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Are you hyped for the #WinterOlympics yet?
Because the Korean government would really, really like you to be #hype!

I've never really been into the Olympics, except for that one time when the guy who was born in the same town I lived in (#GianniRomme) was raking in Gold Medals like it was one of those coin pusher games - and even then it was mostly because my school was making a big deal out of it.
As such, I'm not very interested in the Winter Olympics either, even though this is the first time I'd be able to attend the events myself and watch my country's athletes get burried in speed skating medals.

Still, I hope Korea will put on a show - and a performance - to be remembered for years to come.

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#Olympics #Olympic #Korea #Seoul #Lotte #Departmentstore #SooHorang #Christmas #decoration #decorations #shopwindow #shop #pyeongchang2018 #pyeongchang #평창 #평창2018 #올림픽 #겨울 #수호랑 #스타크래프트 is love #Starcraft is life.

Being a Starcraft fan in Korea feels a lot like what I'd imagine being a rich acquaintance of Ronaldo would feel like for a football fan - you get front row seats to all the major games, get to meet legends like Messi, Robben or Buffon (in our case, Byun, SoO or Stats) and get to ask for their signature pretty much whenever you want - all without paying a single penny.

The professional scene has been taking hit after hit since I started getting interested in it, and I'm afraid it'll never be the same as it once was, but I'm glad that in 2018, as well, I'll be able to enjoy some of the best e-Sports the world has to offer.

#WingsOfLiberty down, #HeartOfTheSwarm and #LegacyOfTheVoid to go.

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#스타2 #스타크래프트2 #Starcraft2 #Byun #TY #Maru #INnoVation #esports #gaming #progamer #Korean #Korea #e스포츠 #진에어 #진에어그린윙스 #SKT1 #Dark #collection #collector #PC #RTS #변현우 #이신형 #전태양 #조성주 처음 한국에서 @kim.minji.ki204 가 그린 책을 발견할 때부터 (그 #책 읽을 수 없어도, ㅎㅎ) 한 순간엔 큰 #팬 되었고 작년 #서울일러스트레이션페어 에서 직접 만날 수 있어서 너무 즐거웠다.

이제 인스타로 새 책을 받을 수 있는 이벤트가 있어서 당연히 참여해야지~

#kimminji #thejunglebook #정글북 #정글북리그램이벤트 #indigo 한국에서 역사랑 현대 항상 어떤 이상한 발렌스로 공존한다.

In Korea, the past and the present are always living together in some sort of awkward balance.
Traditional norms, values and traditions clash with the influence of a rapidly modernizing and developing society; pride in one's roots compete with a constant need to move forward, and historical buildings vie for room to breathe in the middle of a metropolis.
I hope Korea manages to move forward without forgetting the things that make it unique.

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#대한민국 #한국 #절 #불교 #봉은사 #역사 #현대 #발렌스 #서울 #Seoul #Korea #SouthKorea #Temple #Shrine #Buddhism #Buddha #traditional #Buddhist #history #present #balance #City #koreantemple #development #Metropolis #tranquility #modernization This is such an #unoriginal picture but..doesn't it look just like a #postcard?

#Seoul #Korea #SouthKorea #Namsan #NamsanTower #City #Road #Traffic #Korean #mountain #trees #green #NSeoulTower #Tower #서울 #도시 #남산 #남산탑 #산 #탑 #도로 #엽서 #그림엽서 #남산타워 On some nights, when I'm feeling all beat down by stress and worries about whether or not I'll be able to support myself over here or where my life is heading, and when I'm just drunk enough, when I see the second snow of the year coming down outside my window, I just can't help but go outside, play some music and dance in the snow like an idiot because for some reason it just reminds me of how much I love being in this country.
Fuck you, Korea. I love you.
.
.
. 
#secondsnow #firstsnow #둘째눈 #첫눈 #Seoul #서울 #snow #눈 #Korea #SouthKorea #Korean #Life #Street #KyungHeeUniversity #KyungHee #경희 #경희대 #dongdaemoon #동대문구 #이문동 #winter #겨울 #atmosphere #분위기 #reallylongsentence
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