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Chronotopes and Social Types in South Korean Digital Gaming

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This article examines a South Korean cultural chronotope from the perspective of Korea’s world-renowned digital gaming culture, including its professional electronic sports (e- sports) scene and the experiences of amateur gamers in online gaming cafés (PC bang). My analysis centers on two of Korean digital gaming culture’s recognizable social types and the spatiotemporal qualities of their play: professional gamers and the quickness em- bodied in their e-sports performances; and a specific kind of amateur PC bang gamer who is more socially isolated and whose engagement with games is slow and repetitive. I argue that through their performances in digital games’ virtual and actual-world participation frameworks, gamers orient to these social types in ways that differentially construe their relationships to semiotic depictions of places, times, and personhoods. Thinking through these orientations and their spatial, temporal, and social qualities is critical to under- standing chronotopic representations of contemporary Korea.

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