Korean Innovations: The Internet Cafe.

Just a quick note for today.

Although you will find differing opinions it seems to me that The Electronic Cafe in Seoul, S. Korea was in fact the first ever internet cafe. It was just across from Hongik University and had 2 computers connected by dial up (telephone service). The year was 1988 and Ahn Sang Su and Keum Nuri the inventors/proprietors.

Another early contender was the chain of SF Coffeehouse Network in San Francisco, which used coin operated computers! The first to use the name Cybercafe was in London in 1994 and it had full internet access.

S. Korea has often taken ideas and then turned them into something better, but in this case it looks like they came up with the idea first. Internet cafes, that provide the computers, have recently seen a decline in many parts of the world, but for a while they were extremely popular. I can remember traveling to London about 15 years ago and the first thing we did was find an internet cafe to let everyone at home know we had arrived safely.  Nowadays all we have to do is find a hot spot or take our laptop into almost any cafe, bar, or restaurant. In Asia, however, the internet cafe has morphed into the PC Bang, an internet cafe used for multiplayer games. These have become very popular as the price of owning your own computer of sufficient quality to play these top ranked multiplayer games has skyrocketed.  With access to the PC Bang many top Game players in the world come from S. Korea.

So the internet cafe, first begun in S.Korea, has grown and adapted and is still going strong, even though the name and purpose have changed


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