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G-star 2014

Looking Back on G-Star 2014

The largest gaming expo in Korea known as G-Star took place this past weekend at BEXCO. G-Star is a huge gaming expo featuring some of the biggest names in in the industry predominantly located around Asia.

These companies attend the event for numerous reasons ranging from previewing their latest games to striking deals with small and independent developers.

Two sections of G-Star feature business-to-consumer and business-to-business events. If you are a developer or someone who wishes to work in the gaming industry, checking out the business-to-business section might be a good idea. However, business admission is more expensive than the general admission (general is 6000 won while business is 260,000 won!). Although it was intriguing to hear about the business sector, I decided to check out the business-to-consumer area and try out the new upcoming video games for my on my first-ever visit to G-Star.

Being that it is such a huge event I was prepared to wake up early and wait on a long line for a few hours before purchasing a ticket. The wait and ticket price are well worth it, beacuse the moment you enter inside you will gaze upon numerous stations displaying their shiny, brand new games, mobile apps, devices, and graphic cards. All with masses of people crowding in to get a glimpse at the future of gaming technology.

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One means of an excellent marketing strategy almost all these companies implemented at these displays were the use of models. By models I do not mean models of games or characters, but in fact attractive females dressed in scantily clad clothing that drew the eyes of male attendees. Another great incentive to gather an audience at each station was the free giveaway of exclusive merchandise ranging from bags to posters to selfie sticks.

Besides the beautiful pieces of technology (and the models), let us talk about the games. To start off let me mention perhaps the most innovative gaming device I saw at G-Star known as, Oculus Rift. If you have ever seen TV. shows and movies that feature virtual reality technology, then this is pretty much describes Oculus Rift.

There were about five different gaming experiences at the demonstration that you can try out on the Oculus. My experience had me right in the destructive path of a large mechanical death machine as it barraged the street with bullets, blew up a car, and then ended with a loud screech in the face. With the crowd, the wait time was only about one hour and included a raffle ticket entry at the end of the demo.

The monstrous sounds of live game play could be heard everywhere in the building. Some companies even allowed some lucky players to give demonstrations of game play in front of the audience. The MMORPG, Final Fantasy: A Realm Reborn provided a live raid demonstration with some top players battling one of the game’s most difficult bosses.

Sony’s Playstation exhibit featured a strict 18+ section which contained M rated games set for release in the coming new year. Nexon’s exhibit showcased game play and cute character figurines from the sequel to the popular Maple Story game, a gun showcase from Korean first-person-shooter, Sudden Attack, and an animatronic T-Rex that swings its tail and opens its mouth for a loud roar.

Mobile game apps such as the super popular Clash of Clans and the new mobile application Game of War set the stage for the addictive phone and tablet games.

Perhaps the most visually dazzling game I saw at G-Star was the new MMORPG Azera. Produced by Smile Gate Games, Azera features a massive world accompanied by realm vs. realm warfare. A few other highly anticipated games included the XLGames and 2K produced Civilization Online as well as NCsoft’s Lineage Eternal. Both games drew the attention of the visitors, as many were eager to get their hands on these preview versions before the games make their official debut.

So even if you’re not that into the gaming scene, G-Star is still definitely worth checking out. The new forms of technology (like Oculus and other virtual reality devices) and exhibits make for an intriguing show.

Technology is constantly changing and new breakthroughs are always taking place. Gaming is one such way these advancements are shown. If you are a gamer or not I would strongly recommend you attend G-Star for the experience. G-Star is an annual event so if you were not able to come this year, I would hope you give it a chance next time.


You can visit the official site at www.gstar.or.kr

 

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