StarCraft 2 is imminent, as I’m sure many of you know. My friend Big Dave (not to be confused with Short Dave) and I were talking about the impact it will have upon the world – specifically South Korea. South Korea is StarCraft’s homeland. Never mind that it was designed and programmed in Southern California, and is a product of an American company. If StarCraft were an Olympic event, South Korea would have the Dream Team. It may as well be the national hobby.
Big Dave had seen a Frontline episode that featured a shot of a South Korean internet cafe. He told me, “I paused the show and I was just sitting there going ‘StarCraft… StarCraft… StarCraft… I think that’s WoW… StarCraft…’”.
“Well, that’s South Korea for you,” I replied. “They’ve elevated playing the game to a science. It’s beyond strategy now. It’s moved into math and rhythm. I saw one guy visiting for a scholarship interview play in his free time. He spent half an hour configuring his host’s keyboard and then wiped the floor with everyone without ever looking at his hands. It was surreal.”
“That’s not my point.” Big Dave was looking to the future. “StarCraft 2 is coming out soon. Can you imagine what’s going to happen? Overnight StarCraft is going to go from the most played game on Battle.net to the least played game. South Korea will shut down. The stock market will crash for the day except for internet providers and videogame retailers. Streets will be desolate wastelands.” Big Dave loves hyperbole. It’s one of the reasons I like him. So I jumped on the bandwagon and took it a step further.
“You’re right! They’ll be vulnerable. North Korea is probably waiting to launch an attack on launch day.” This was, I felt, the only logical conclusion. When your enemy is distracted and vulnerable, it is the time to strike.
“Unfortunately for North Korea,” I continued, “this is all an elaborate plot by the South Korean government. StarCraft was just a training simulator. They hired Blizzard to make it and have spent the last twelve years developing a military force that can be controlled by computers running StarCraft 2. That’s why StarCraft 2 took so long – they had to perfect the technology. So when the game comes out and North Korea takes advantage of the apparent weakness, they’ll be facing an unstoppable Terran force directed by seventeen year olds.”
Big Dave just grinned, “That would be awesome.”