Starcraft, a national past time

I’m a geek but I’m not gamer. However I have a very soft spot for RTS games (real time strategy), like Age of Empires, Warcraft 3 and of course Starcraft– and now we have Starcraft 2!

Before I get to any kind of review or whatever on Starcraft 2 I want to talk about the original which came out in a simpler time, a more humble time: 1997. Yes, over 10 years ago the original came out and was hugely successful and gave Blizzard dough enough to create the empire they have with World of Warcraft.

I spent the last year in Seoul, South Korea. Now anyone who claims to be a gamer and has never fallen asleep while in an internet café at 4am only to wake up and play some more, needs to go on a serious study abroad to that little peninsula as soon as possible. In those 13 years since the orignal Starcraft, South Korea has taken quite a liking to computer games and the original Starcraft still reigns supreme. There are 2 channels on cable tv which are almost exclusively devoted to showing matches and tournaments between the Korean elite (sometimes they show Mortal Kombat tournaments, etc). I rather like this unencyclopedia article covering almost all you need to know about South Korea.

I wish I could say that the day Starcraft 2 was launched in Seoul there were parades and a sense of awe with North Korea peaking over the border to get a look but no, everyone was at home or in an internet café playing Starcraft 2. However, it was on the sides of buses and on the front of every newspaper I saw. It was kind of nuts. I’ve never seen nothing like that for a pc or video game.

Oh, maybe my editor wanted something that could be called a review? Well, like any RTS you collect resources, build up a base, an army and attempt to destroy your enemy. Choose between the Terrans (humans), Protoss (super-natural, condescending aliens), or the Zerg (insect-like, biological swarm) with 3 unique armies and style of play. There’s a fantastic single player and an even better multi-player that pits you against players of your own level. I love it and play just about every day. I’m not even that big of a gamer.

Anyway, if you play co-op with me, try not to be such a n00b already.

GameStop, Inc.

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