Are you fascinated by the world of Korean gaming? Ever wonder what it’s like to be inside one of Korea’s game havens known as PC Bang? If so, then this is the guide for you! From strategic team combat to highly intense solo adventures, here is everything you need to know about South Korea’s gaming culture.
What is a PC Bang and the PC bang culture
PC Bang or PC방 (short for PC Room) is a gaming cafe in South Korea where gamers can play video games on personal computers. The environment in a PC bang is unique, with many computer stations equipped with the latest hardware and software, often running at speeds faster than what you would get at home. In addition to the variety of computers available, there are also gaming consoles such as Xbox and PlayStation located in designated areas in the room.
The biggest selling point for visiting a PC cafe is the low cost associated with their services. Usually, visitors will pay an hourly fee that covers all of the equipment provided. This means that you don’t have to worry about purchasing or building your own gaming system – you can just come enjoy some quality time with your friends without breaking the bank. Furthermore, if you’re feeling lucky, some PC bangs even offer tournaments where participants can win prizes depending on how well they perform.
Another advantage to visiting a PC bang is the sheer amount of options available when it comes to game selection. From classic titles like Starcraft 2 or Overwatch to modern blockbusters like Fortnite or Grand Theft Auto V, there’s sure to be something for everyone regardless of their tastes or skill level. Whether it’s single-player campaigns or engaging multiplayer modes, you’re sure to find something that fits your needs and interests at a PC Bang.
The reason I visited two different Korean PC room is just to waste some time to skip being home alone. And since they also serve cheap food you can order straight from the comfort of your seat, it’s great to combine the visit when having lunch or dinner.
Overview of South Korea’s Gaming Culture
South Korea has been a driving force in the gaming world since the late 1990s. With infrastructure, professional players, sponsorships and a fan base, it’s become one of the leading nations for competitive gaming and eSports.
High-speed broadband internet connection and powerful hardware allow gamers to compete at the highest level without any lag issues or latency problems. This provides them with financial security through salaries and tournament prize pools from companies like Samsung, LG Electronics and other major sponsors. The relationship between eSports teams and corporate sponsors has helped create a vibrant scene that attracts millions of viewers every year.
PC bangs are an important part of South Korea’s gaming culture, offering gamers a place to socialize while playing their favorite video games. These facilities also provide several services such as printing documents, scanning photos, streaming movies and karaoke rooms — all with competitive tournaments available for those looking to earn prizes or bragging rights.
The enthusiasm that fans have for esports has been growing steadily since the late 1990s and shows no signs of slowing down anytime soon. With a supportive infrastructure, talented players, sponsorships from major brands and strong showing from its fan base, South Korea is sure to continue providing us with entertaining gaming experiences in the years ahead.
How To find a PC Bang in Korea
Most PC bangs can be found near subway stations or bustling streets in any major city across Korea. Just look up the building signs and if you see a big PC, it’s usually a PC Bang. You can even find them conveniently located near universities or shopping centers if you know where to look. Often they will be on the higher floors or basements.
To make your search easier, use for example Naver maps and just type in “pc방” and it will show you all the PC cafes near you.
Do I need to speak Korean to use a PC Room?
Technically speaking, you don’t need to know Korean to use a PC room—but having at least some basic language skills will go a long way when trying to set up the computer and pay for the hours.
I found the staff in both PC Bangs I went to very helpful, they assisted me in buying the credits to use the computer and the Papago app helped me translate the food so I could order straight to my desk.
PC bang food
There’s plenty of food available to order at a PC Bang. You’ll find an extensive menu with warm and cold food and drinks right on the computer and if you don’t know Korean, get some help from the app Papago to help you translate.
They have staff that prepares your food and even serves it to you at your desk. You can pay for it by card or cash once they hand it to you.
If you want to try my favorite Korean dish in a Korean PC Bang, it’s japchae-bap!
Korean PC Bang price
The cost of using a PC room varies depending on where you go; generally speaking, most charge by the hour and prices tend to range from 1 USD per hour up to 5 USD an hour depending on the quality of the equipment and games available. I visited two different PC Bang in Korea and both cost me 5,000 KRW or around 3,80 USD for two hours.
You will buy the credits at the machine when you enter and staff will help you with the purchase if you don’t know Korean. They were very friendly at both the places I visited!
What time do Korean PC Bangs open?
Korean PC Bang cafes never sleep – they are open 24 hours a day, 7 days a week! They make for the perfect place to spend time if you happen to be home alone and bored.
Are there age restrictions for PC rooms in Korea?
There are currently no age restrictions for PC Bangs in Korea. Previously, PC bangs in South Korea were subject to the Youth Protection Revision Act which prohibited kids under 16 from playing games between midnight to 6 am. Violators of the law faced heavy fines of up to 10 million won (over 8,000 USD) and up to two years of imprisonment.
However, in 2022, the law was overturned, thus allowing minors to visit PC rooms at any time of the day.
I hope you enjoyed this guide to the Korean PC bang cafes!