중앙데일리

New game deals with North Korea

Jan 15,2007
In a time of strained political relations between Korea and Japan as well as ongoing concern over nuclear development in North Korea, a South Korean game developer is making a game that deals with these sensitive topics. The game has the player search for North Korean leader Kim Jong-il.
YNK Korea recently announced that it is developing an online first-person shooting game called Sting, to be released in the first half of this year. In Sting’s scenario, Korea and Japan are in a dispute because a right-wing Japanese group has forcibly taken over the Dokdo islets and a military coup has taken place in North Korea. This small group of rocky islands in the East Sea (Sea of Japan) are part of a controversy because both countries claim it as part of their territory.
Moreover, a huge deposit of plutonium disappears and the whereabouts of Kim Jong-il become hazy. Military and diplomatic conflict grows between the United States, Russia and Japan over who will take the initiative in becoming the strongest power in Northeast Asia. The game player, a member of the elite special unit Sting, is given a secret mission to find Kim Jong-il and conduct other undercover investigations. The game can also be played from Japanese or American perspectives, but details have not been finalized yet, according to spokeswoman Lee Jeong-im.
When released, Sting will be the first Korean game that deals with the political situation between the two Koreas. Such game content was previously banned and it was only last year that foreign games such as Tom Clancy’s Ghost Recon 2 and Mercenaries were allowed to be imported.
The game, however, has yet to receive evaluation by the Korea Media Ratings Board required for release here. The board said that it will have to wait and see what the game is like once it starts closed testing. But even if the game does not pass laws here, the company has plans to publish it overseas through its subsidiaries in Japan, the United States and Taiwan. Ms. Lee said that the game was developed based on the source graphics engine of Valve Software, which powered the famous first-person shooting game Half Life 2, and that the story was chosen for the sake of giving the game a realistic feel.
Yoon Young-seok, president of YNK Korea, said he didn’t think there was anything wrong in dealing with sensitive issues. “These story elements have already been used several times in movies, and are no longer a forbidden subject,” he said. “I don’t see why they shouldn’t be used in games.”


by Wohn Dong-hee


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