State of Play

Note: Due to absence in week one I was requested by my tutor to blog on week two’s screening.

This week in BCM320 Digital Asia the movie screened was ‘State of Play’, released in 2013 and directed by Steven Dhoedt. The ethnographic documentary followed the competitive journeys of both professional and up and coming youth gamers in South Korea who played the popular 1998 computer game, ‘Starcraft’.

The area of Asian cinema or South Korean cinema to be specific, is a new concept to me. I have never really engaged with it before. Coming from an Australian background I have only ever really been exposed to Western media. Growing up with the internet and being a digital native meant that the world of Asian cinema was never really hidden from me or hard to find I just never sought it. It’s not that I do not have an interest in it I just became too comfortable in the concentration of Western media that I forgot there was much more to be discovered outside of it.

Live-tweeting using the class hashtag is encouraged and I think it definitely heightens the overall film experience. It allows fellow classmates to share and view extra information that provides a better understanding of the film with added context, such as the backstory of the game itself and the Korean gaming culture as a whole. Live-tweeting also allows the expansion on subjects discussed within the film, for example, gaming as a possible Olympic sport in the near future. It sets up a friendly and relatable space and online community that the class can use to come together as one to either discuss, educate or simply have a joke among one another in relation to the screening.

In terms of how I make sense of the film, luckily due to my involvement in gaming culture I could partially understand the passion and frustration within the roller-coaster of winning and losing. I think on a personal level as well it is easy to relate to their journeys of hard work the individuals put in to achieve their professional dream. This translates to our own goals we set out to complete in life which isn’t always easy.

Overall I think the film was an interesting take on how big the gaming industry is and its success to the point of providing professional employment with large salaries for those with talent. From my first experience with Asian cinema, I am definitely looking forward to what is next.


  1. Hi Isabella,

    Great post, I relate to your comment about not being introduced to Asian media throughout your life, this is the same for me. However, I would like to know if you think this class will impact your future digital media habits and sway you to non-western culture media platforms. I would also like to have heard some more about your involvement within gaming! This is something I am along with many of your readers may not be able to relate to so it would be good to hear how exactly you interpreted the film, from your involved perspective. The ups and downs of life was a good point to add, this is very relevant and links to the movie quite well.

    Best, Annika


  2. Hey! I really enjoyed your blog post. I find myself being able to relate to your context, especially the part about having access to Asian media but never seeking it out. I’m also glad you seem to enjoy the live tweeting, and find it a meaningful experience. I like the parallels you are able to make between the hard work these gamers put into the craft and the things we do on our own accord to pursue our goals. It is interesting to see how your experience as a gamer influenced the way you interacted with this film.


  3. Hey Isabella, a really interesting perspective!
    Like you I have an Australian background which has meant that I have spent a lot of my life focused on and interested in Western material and not sought out content from other cultures such as South Korea. An interesting concept that I came across in another subject is that of ‘cultural proximity’. This explains how people are drawn to material that includes people that look and sound like themselves – this would probably explain our attraction to Western material over other countries’. If you’re interested, have a look into the theory here:


  4. Hey Isabella,
    I also did my first blog post on “State of Play” and thought it would be interesting to see how someone else experienced the screening.

    Alike to the other commenters and yourself, I have not been inhibited from accessing Asian media, yet have not accessed it as such. I hope that this semester can broaden our perspectives and introduce us to new ideas and cultural understandings!

    It’s interesting that you were able to interpret and relate to this film easily, for me, I was left quite shocked at this heavy gaming culture. I don’t want to go into my experience too much but if you do want to see how different my experience was, here’s the link to my post:

    I’m glad you touched on how you experienced and culturally received the screening, but I definitely feel like you could have delved further. I would be interested in how this gaming culture is similar or different to your own experience with gaming. Also, how your experience with Asian media made you think about your own culture as well as the media that represents it. These comparisons may be able to help you understand why you experienced the screening in a certain way.

    Finally, I like that you’ve included the idea and a link to gaming as a future Olympic sport! Crazy and foreign if you ask me!

    All the best,


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s