If you want to know more about Korean internet cafes or PC bangs I’ve got it covered in the article below. I’ve listed out why these cafes are popular and their place in Korean culture.
For all the people who were born in the 90’s, I’m sure you remember the times when there were internet cafes or cyber cafes.
We would have to go in order to access the internet and pay a steep price for every few minutes of internet we used there!
Yes, this was the time when most of us didn’t have access to the internet at home and had to use the public internet services.
Well, guess what, these “internet cafes” also more commonly known as “PC Bangs” in Korean, still do exist and are extremely popular and are found all over Korea!
But I’m sure you may wonder why? Why do we need internet cafes when we have access to the internet anywhere and everywhere we go, right?
Undoubtedly, times have changed and now these internet cafes are most often used for the main purpose of “online gaming”.
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What are Korean Internet Cafes or PC Bangs?
Korean Internet Cafes, also commonly known as “PC Bangs” in Korea, is a place that most often caters to the needs of online gamers, but can also be used for those who want access to the internet even for non-gaming purposes.
Most of these online games are multiplayer games, wherein people assume various roles and then the game can be played from any part of the world at the same time.
These PC Bangs offer high speed internet and top-notch equipment to provide a gamer a smooth gaming experience at a minimal rate.
These internet cafes charge each person a fee to use their setup and these fees are usually paid on an hourly basis or as per the requirements of that particular internet café.
So, in the present day, PC Bangs have become a part of the Korean culture and also provide a space for people to meet up, chit-chat and spend time together socializing, in addition to just gaming.
What surprises foreigners about Korean Internet Cafes?
If you are someone who loves gaming and are on a holiday, you may often wonder how you’re going to be able to game while on vacation, whether your hotel has a good internet connection that works on high speed and how you’re going to cart your gaming setup to another place.
Well gamers, if you’re vacationing in South Korea, here’s the good news – you don’t need to cart your gaming setup because the Korean internet cafes are super amazing and have the best facilities to offer you. Check them out below!
1. Super-fast internet speed
Nothing can be more annoying for gamers as much as slow internet speed or a poor internet connection.
Well, you wouldn’t have to worry about it if you decided to game at a Korean internet café because of how superfast their internet speed is!
Korean internet cafes have internet connection speeds that even go up to 120 megabytes per second (Mbps) of download speed, which is known to be one among the fastest internet speeds in the world.
So yes, if you’ve chosen to game at a Korean internet café, then you can have a super good gaming experience, without absolutely no lag!
2. Affordable rates
When you visit another country, you have to make payments in their currency and often wonder whether your payments are going to be affordable or burn a hole in your pocket.
Well gamers, Korean internet cafes are super affordable and cater to even the student population who love playing online games and do not get to at their homes.
So, for a sneak peek into what the rates would be to game at a Korean internet café, well, a hourly rate would start as low as ₩ 500, but are in the usual range of ₩ 1000. So, this would be around $ 0.38 to $0.77 in US dollars.
There are also options where you can buy a certain number of hours’ worth of internet or you can even choose internet cafes that have special discounts offered.
Well, these are just the usual prices, which may vary and are subject to change from café to café, depending on the services and type of equipment they provide, but yes indeed, they are still very affordable.
3. Open 24X7, 365 days a year
This is one of the best parts of most of these Korean internet cafes for gaming, they are open all days of the week and every day of the year!
I’m sure there are many gamers who like to game all night long, even if they have to sacrifice their sleep. Well, Korean internet cafes will have you covered at any time.
But for parents who are worried about their children sneaking out at night to get their gaming on, worry not, as most cafes do not permit children below the age of 16 to enter into the café after 10 p.m., until the morning.
4. State of the art PCs and gaming equipment
I’m sure a lot of gamers spend a lot of money on their gaming setup, in order to have the best gaming equipment to ensure that they get the perfect gaming experience.
Well, Korean internet cafes definitely keep up with the technological times as they are well-equipped with the latest gaming equipment.
From the best monitors, to line graphic cards, to the best quality headsets and of course top-notch internet speed, they have it all here so that gamers can have an uninterrupted perfect gaming experience.
Why Koreans go to PC Bangs instead of gaming at home?
There are many reasons why people choose PC Bangs to game, rather than gaming at home because the majority of the gamers fall in the age group of teenagers to young adults below the age of 30 years.
Youngsters often like to socialize with their friends and like to connect with people their age.
Also, many homes aren’t large enough for youngsters to have a space for themselves to set up their gaming equipment and play, without disrupting their home.
In addition to this, gaming equipment like large monitor screens, keyboards, controllers, headphones or video gaming consoles, graphic cards etc, can be quite expensive to purchase and maintain.
So, by gaming at a PC Bang, gamers can get to use the best quality gaming equipment, at an affordable cost, without making any investment!
PC Bangs also offer high-speed stable internet connections which gamers may not have at their respective homes.
Without high-speed and stable internet, gamers might find a lag in their game, while also making it harder to connect with gamers from other places.
Korean Internet Cafes and Gaming Addictions
A lot of parents often worry about their children’s gaming addiction. Can youngsters frequenting internet cafes to game, get addicted over time?
Well, undoubtedly, gaming can definitely become an addiction if not played in moderation.
A lot of youngsters succumb to the addiction of online gaming and neglect their studies, work, families and are even ready to give up their sleep to play their games.
The youth of today have unlimited and freely available access to the internet most of the time and therefore, gaming addictions are becoming quite common.
As per research, the South Korean law prohibits any children below the age of 16 years to enter into internet cafes and play games from 10 p.m. to 6 a.m. to help youngsters stay away from getting addicted to online games.
Why are internet cafes so popular in Korea as compared to other parts of the world?
While there might be internet gaming cafes all over the world, the internet cafes in Korea are the most popular because of their PC gaming culture, that offers a larger number of people an opportunity to play online video games, at an affordable rate, giving people a chance to socialize and have some recreation.
The final takeaway
If you are visiting Korea or going to be residing in Korea for a while, then visiting a Korean internet café should definitely be on your list of things to do, especially if you are a gamer, as it will be an unforgettable experience for sure.
Also guess what, while you game, you can place and order even get your food delivered at your seat, while sitting in the super comfortable gaming chairs. Talk about luxury, shall we?
Apart from just gaming, you can also use these Korean internet cafes to watch movies, check your email or maybe even simply surf the internet with the super high internet speed and the best of facilities.