Call Me Stormy

Finding righteous currents in turbulent times

Wired in South Korea

The Republic of Korea, otherwise known as South Korea, takes the Internet more seriously than perhaps any other nation. Ninety percent of South Koreans have broadband service. Cities boast free web kiosks on the streets. Teens flock to ubiquitous PC gaming clubs called “bangs.” One of the top-rated TV shows, League of Legends, pits the best gamers against each other. The show has a diehard fan base. It’s watched as religiously as Westerners follow football or baseball.

Yet this crazy fascination with the latest technological fads has a dark side to it. South Koreans were shocked recently by the death of a three-month-old baby, left unfed and neglected by game-addicted parents. Teens have required hospital treatment after going on binges, playing the real-time computer strategy game, StarCraft, as many as four or five straight days without taking a break.

Even more dangerous to South Korea’s survival as a nation, its enemies in North Korea have assembled 3,000 techno-soldiers to wage cyberwarfare against the South. Military and government installations have blocked the attacks, but a South Korean bank wasn’t as successful, losing its ability to service 30 million customers for an entire week. The North also attempted to plant a virus to take down the computer systems used by Incheon International Airport.

Reporter Mark Willacy from ABC Australia visits South Korea, assessing its Web superiority as well as the weak points. H/T Journeyman Pictures

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And, as long as we’re touring South Korea, we couldn’t resist taking a little detour to the North to follow The Adventures of Kim Jong Un, courtesy of CollegeHumor.

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