Friday, July 06, 2007

Highlights from CultureTechnology (Korea)

CultureTechnology07 was one of the most diverse conference I have attended for a while. Interactions between technology and culture were looked from different viewpoints ranging from online games to digital cinema and from virtual performances to music shows. Albeit it was challenging to follow (due to variety of viewpoints and theoretical approaches) it was very inspiring! In a way "out of the box" thinking for me. It was excellently organized, so big thank you to KAIST and their cooperators!

The highlights:

- Social Networking Services (SNS) are huge and highlight interesting trends in online cultures

- CyWorld have 16 million users (out of 48 million population)

- The success factors are somewhat similar to other online communities: friend list/relationships (il-chon), guestbook, photo scrap book, avatar and testimonials (il-chon pyung)
- is the largest portal (e commerce) site in Korea (23 million members) by Daum Communications

- The company provides e-mail (, an online community (DaumCafe), an Internet search engine (DaumSearch), and multi-media content (Contents Plug)

- Unemployed youth (Baegsoo) is an interesting group creating of novel type of virtual lifestyles

- is a site for unemployed youth in Korea

- Online wasn't as visible in the streets/malls as it was in 2003 when I visited Seoul for the first time (It seemed that consoles are gaining more popularity but still pc online gaming has its strong foothold in Korean game culture)

- Jake Song (XLgames) was talking about the success factors of Korean online games. According to Mr. Song: high speed internet, weak console market, together culture, PC Bang culture (founded by ICT specialists fired from bigger corporations due to financial crisis at the end of the 90s) and every developers were the key factors why the success of games such as Lineage and MU amazed westerners in 2003 (those were the first big MMOG hits)

- Mr. Song sees the future of online games to focus on storytelling, user generated content, realism (Ai, physical and visual) as well as technology (interaction, emotions etc.)

- Content is advancing technology not the other way around (anymore)

- Presentation slides available:

** Seoul by night
** Excellent dinner
** MGame's Holic was on beta at COEX mall. (It was really interesting format and nice set of minigames utilizing computer vision).
** 2.0 is everywhere :)

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