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Korea's Online Gaming Empire$
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Dal Yong Jin

Print publication date: 2010

Print ISBN-13: 9780262014762

Published to MIT Press Scholarship Online: August 2013

DOI: 10.7551/mitpress/9780262014762.001.0001

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Professional Online Game Players as New Media Workers

Professional Online Game Players as New Media Workers

(p.81) 5 Professional Online Game Players as New Media Workers
Korea's Online Gaming Empire

Dal Yong Jin

The MIT Press

This chapter employs a political economy approach, particularly a Marxian analysis, on the issue of commodification in order to examine the working conditions of pro gamers as labor workers and their professional identities. The discussions cover several key issues: who these pro gamers are, how they became pro gamers, and what types of games they play. Exploring these characteristics provides a better understanding of pro gamers in Korea, particularly as a legitimate labor force in the realm of the new media. The chapter determines if the pro gamers’ world is full of existing labor issues, such as whether they experience exploitation as commodities or gendered environments. It maps out the commodification process of pro gamers as part of professional game teams owned by media, telecommunications, and other big corporations. The investigation leads to a discussion of whether professional gaming is a viable future for the youth in the digital economy.

Keywords:   online gamers, online gaming, online game players, commodification, working conditions, pro gamers, labor force, youth, digital economy

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