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Overwatching a Diva:
I haven’t played Overwatch at all yet, I really kind of want to, but this isn’t what I wanted to talk about in this strip.
Whenever I was old enough to realize that I was part Korean I always had a problem with self identity, and it didn’t really help that during the late 90’s and early 2000 no one around me seemed to understand what it was to be part of a second culture except for, well duh other people who also had multiple cultures. Yes I can bullspit and say we’re all derived from multiple races, but I was mostly raised by my Korean mother and a lot of her rubbed off on me. Which brings me to my main point.
In media in general there isn’t a huge emphasize on describing the difference in Asian cultures, hell most people are hard in excepting that Indians are also Asian. When thinking about American movies it’s mostly Chinese names that popped up i.e. Jackie Chan, Bruce Lee, Lucy Lu. Naturally growing up people assumed that me being raised with my Korean mother shared the same cultural aspects with those of Chinese culture, and anyone who’s taken any form of Asian culture should know the two couldn’t be any more different. In video games a huge popularity of Japanese characters rule the genre, I’m sure there’s more Japanese characters you can think of right off the top of your head than any Korean character, but that shouldn’t be a surprise as most video games do come from Japan. However there are American games which have Asian characters that are usually Japanese or Chinese characters (often playing stereotypical roles like communists, samurai, or scientists).
When I think of Korean characters in video games only four come up off the top of my head: Hwoarang from Tekken, Kim from King of Fighter, Juri from Street Fighter, and Seong Minna from Soul Calibur. All of these games are from fighting games, and all of them with the exception of Seong Minna all share tae kwon do fighting style. Even my favorite fighting game Dead or Alive doesn’t have a Korean in the game even though there’s a character who uses tae kwon do, but he’s Canadian which I can sort of forgive because Rig’s is pretty bad ass. I tried to look up online to see if I was just having a hard time thinking of more than four Korean game characters, but nope. Online I could only find a total of seven Korean characters total all of which being fighting games. What the hell!?
Now I love Kim in King of Fighter I think he’s pretty awesome and usually my first pick after Mai. When Street Fighter 4 whatever edition Juri first shows up in, I was finally happy to see a Korean character added to the Street Fighter roster. Even though she was a villain I thought she was pretty rad, and she was my favorite character to play as, but I was pretty pissed when she wasn’t a character in Street Fighter V. Seong Minna is my favorite in Soul Calibur for two reasons, one, she wasn’t a tae kwon do character, and two, she used a spear which is like my favorite weapon. I don’t play Tekken or Killer Instinct so I have no comments for those games.
I discovered Overwatch through the whole Tracer pose controversy viewing the situation stupid, and ultimately praising Blizzard for not backing down and literally pointing the middle finger to SJW community. I didn’t even know it was a shooting game, but the reason I discovered about D.Va is through a fan art I noticed. I viewed and at first I was disgusted because of the tight suit, but then I noticed something interesting. She had some company logos like some sponsorship deal and that’s when I saw Korean on her leg. I couldn’t believe it. I looked up D.Va’s profile and sure enough her character is Korean, and she has an actual Korean name. I think my favorite thing about her is that she isn’t a tae kwon do master, but a gamer, and not just that a STARCRAFT gamer (you know how big that game is in Korea). I grew to like the character and it’s because of that image that I even thought about this whole lack of Koreans in gaming.
Just so you know it’s a shame that most Asian cultures are excluded from gaming. I mean where are the Mongolians, Singapore, or even Indian video game characters? I think the only game that even has any of these cultures is Indivisible. I guess you can say I’m tired of the lack of culture in my video games, and I’m just genuinely happy about the idea of an American game company recognizing a wider spectrum of cultures outside the norms of American, British, Japanese, German, Russian, and Chinese cultures. Also I note that Overwatch also has an Indian and Swiss playable character which are both surprises to me as well, and I’m aware that the new Guilty Gear game does have a Korean who operates a mecha.
If you know of any other Korean video game characters let me know in the comments because the list is very low, or if you think Overwatch is a good game let me know, because I kind of want to play it, but not entirely sure about it (I missed the beta :'().
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