Summer is here, and gamers are being lured outdoors

With schools out for summer vacation, game companies are targeting younger players by hosting offline events.
On Saturday, Gravity, the publisher of the popular cartoon-style role-playing game “Ragnarok Online”, will hold its “Gravity Festival 2006” at the Taepyeongyang Hall at COEX in Samseong-dong, southern Seoul. For the last four years, the event was known as the “Ragnarok Festival.” Now the game maker has several popular titles under its belt, though, and needs an event to cover all of them.

The one-day “festival” includes a costume competition, in which people dressed up as their favorite game character parade around in their costumes. There will also be dance numbers featuring ninja and taekwondo-fighter characters from the game, who will perform “battles” on stage. For more serious game players, the event will offer presentations by the developers of the game “Rose Online” and a sneak preview and demonstration of Gravity’s upcoming online game “Emil Chronicle Online.” The music cable broadcaster Channel V will be holding a live recording session at 6 p.m.
While most of the events are scheduled for specific times, others will be open all day long, including the exhibitions of fan art and photo booths where visitors can have their pictures taken with cutouts of game characters.

If you don’t want to spend the day indoors, head over to Seoul Grand Park in Gwacheon, on the outskirts of Seoul. On a special stage prepared within the park, the mobile game developer ZIO Interactive will be holding the “ZIO 2006 Summer Festival,” featuring performances by young Korean pop singers such as Super Junior, Paran and a B-boy team.
People who played ZIO games on their cell phones ― games with names like “Udangtangtangtang Hair Shop 2” ― were able to apply in advance for free tickets to Seoul Grand Park, but anyone who buys a ticket for the park on Saturday will be able to watch the concerts. The company will also be handing out free raffle tickets for prizes.

NCsoft will be holding a three-day youth camp this weekend for future game developers. The 7th Lineage Youth Camp will take place from Friday to Sunday at Hongcheon in Gangwon province where prospective game developers will be able to meet with current developers and be given information on what the real game-developing world is like. Participants will be put into teams and given projects where they can brainstorm ideas and participate in mock game developing sessions.

by Wohn Dong-hee for JoongAng Daily

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