The South Korean armed forces are
forming teams of video game players, to compete with the professional and
semi-pro teams that are now common in South Korea. The Japanese armed forces
are doing the same thing, and China may feel compelled to do the same. Around
the world, it's common for the armed forces to
form sports teams. Some compete on a professional level, other just
represent major military organizations, and play for military and civilian
organizations. It's good for morale, and aids recruiting.
Video games, however, are much more popular in East
Asia than they are in the West. Moreover, South Korea has the highest
percentage of households with fast Internet connections, and Japan is not far
behind. China has them both beat in terms of sheer numbers, with 56 million
fast connections (and nearly three times as many Internet overall). This
encourages the use of multiplayer video games. East Asians young men love to
play online games with each other. For some, it's become a disease, leading to
failure in school, or unemployment. The military players are obviously more
disciplined, and the main reason for the military teams is to aid recruiting.
The Japanese and South Korean armed forces are very
high tech, and they want the kind of guy who is at ease with complex electronic
systems. They have noted, as have Westerners, that young men with video game
experience have an easier time learning to use complex military gear. In the
West, many troops join informal video game teams, and that may lead to some
professionalism, along the lines of what's happening in East Asia.