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Anipang, A New Obsession for Koreans Updated: 2012-10-16 12:00:00 KST

Anipang, A New Obsession for Koreans
Walk the streets of Korea these days, and it's relatively common to see people staring deeply at their phones.
Look closely, and you'll find that many of them are doing the same thing.
They're playing Anipang, a mobile phone game that has become a new obsession for Koreans.

[Interview : Lee Ye-ji, Seoul Resident] "I play Anipang pretty much every moment I'm free. Whenever I'm going somewhere or when I'm waiting for someone.

A recent study shows that the average person who plays the game does so for an average of 45 minutes everyday.

[Interview : Yoo Li-an,
Lian.yoo@arirang.co.kr] "Over 40 percent of Korea's population has downloaded this game to their smartphones in less than three months since the game was launched.
That is astounding, even for one of the world's most wired countries like Korea"

The game, distributed by social messaging service Kakao, is similar to a puzzle game.
A player has to line up three animals, either vertically or horizontally, to get points.
The game lasts only a minute, so the greater number of line-ups a player can accumulate within that time limit gives them a higher score.

[Interview : Leem Yoo-sug, Seoul Resident] "All of my friends talk about who has the higher score. When we meet up, we play it together and try and beat each other's score. One of my friends plays for hours at a time trying to beat his friend's score."

The game is fairly simple and is not particularly novel.
It contains many of the same features that games before it had.
So what's the secret behind this Anipang craze[Interview : Van Seung-hwan, Game Business Team Leader
Kakao] "Kakaotalk is a social messaging program among friends. We wanted to utilize this platform so that users can easily play games like Anipang to compete with their friends on Kakao."

[Interview : Kim Sung-jin, Game Critic] "Being able to see you and your friends' ranks in real time makes the game highly competitive, prompting the users to continue playing."

Like any social trend, the game has permeated through to the daily lives of ordinary citizens.
Like this child for instance, who is singing a song about Anipang
And this man in this 30s, who made an acoustic version of the game's theme song.
Yoo Li-an, Arirang News.
KOGL : Korea Open Government License
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