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Land of the Videogame Star 164

The New York Times has up an article today looking at the phenomenon of videogame players treated like rockstars in the forward-thinking nation of South Korea. There, where televised gaming is all the rage, the appearance of a favorite player can provoke a reaction not unlike a teeny-bopper concert. From the article: "The objects of the throng's adoration were a dozen of the nation's most famous athletes, South Korea's Derek Jeters and Peyton Mannings. But their sport is something almost unimaginable in the United States. These were professional video gamers, idolized for their mastery of the science-fiction strategy game StarCraft. With a panel of commentators at their side, protected from the throbbing crowd by a glass wall, players like Lim Yo-Hwan, Lee Yoon Yeol and Suh Ji Hoon lounged in logo-spangled track suits and oozed the laconic bravado of athletes the world over. And they were not even competing. They were gathered for the bracket selection for a coming tournament season on MBC Game, one of the country's two full-time video game television networks. And while audiences watched eagerly at home, fans lucky enough to be there in person waved hand-lettered signs like 'Go for it, Kang Min' and 'The winner will be Yo-Hwan {oheart}.' " ESPN, take note.

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