Digital Game Culture in Korea: The Social at Play is a critical ethnographic investigation of media discourses surrounding online game addiction and the sociocultural roles fulfilled by games in everyday life. Florence M. Chee argues that the casting of online games as singularly problematic or addictive largely ignores the socially generative and, at times, pivotally important means of connection among games, players, and the communities they foster. Through focusing on Korea’s sociohistorical and technocultural context, this work celebrates and recognizes the foundational role of Korean game culture in shaping global games and play. Scholars of game studies, communication, and technoculture will find this book of particular interest.
Florence M. Chee is associate professor of digital communication in the School of Communication and director of the Center for Digital Ethics and Policy (CDEP) at Loyola University Chicago.
Table of Contents
Chapter One: Games as Communication: Savior or Scourge?
Chapter Two: The Rise of Digital Game Culture in Korea
Chapter Three: The Social Addict: Infrastructures of Togetherness
Chapter Four: Gender Pipelines and Pipedreams: Games Industry and Mobility
Chapter Five: Gaming the Future: Holding Space for Better Worlds
About the Author
“Digital Game Culture in Korea: The Social at Play upends conventional narratives about the South Korean gaming experience, emphasizing the sociality of games and providing a much-needed counterpoint to hyped or fear-mongering accounts. Florence M. Chee is a powerful and compelling storyteller, drawing on over a decade of ethnographic fieldwork on South Korea and offering a nuanced perspective on the history and future of international games culture. This work is sure to enliven discussion about the social and cultural context of digital games and provide insight to guide policy and ethics.”
"For two decades, Florence M. Chee has been exploring the cultural and social dimensions of game culture in South Korea. Her longitudinal ethnographies examine place and meaning-making practices to show why games matter in our everyday lives—as a form of contemporary literacy, sociality and creativity. Through her ethnography, Chee shows why online games have become so imbricated in the national culture and why this hasn’t been replicated elsewhere. She makes a compelling case for us seeing games as “lifelines to the social”.
Chee provides a balanced, historical, and theoretical argument that lends itself to a nuanced look at not only game culture in Korea, but also the sociality of gaming. Digital Game Culture in Korea: The Social at Play is a must-read for scholars interested in Korea, digital media, technology, or game culture.