Korean Games – Feats of Strength

Today I have a great little video. Why? Because I divulge one of my dirty little secrets. I absolutely love carny games. Not any carny games, but ones that require feats of strength. There are many such Korean games to be found at arcades. Sometimes it’s a batting cage, bb-gun, or my personal favorite – the punch bag.

Recently, Jo and I hit up one of these places. It was so much fun that I had Jo film me with the iPhone 5S so I could slow it down in post. While I didn’t get the highest score that not (I was just shy 50 points). But, as we were leaving Jo spotted something else. It was an area set up only that night. A guy had several tiles out and you could pay to see if you could break them. If you did you got a prize. I opted to pay W7,000 to break 15 tiles.

This by far has been my favorite feats of strength Korean game. It was a real rush slamming down and breaking those tiles to win the Teddy Bear. Do you love carnival games? Do you enjoy feats of strength games? Let me know!

How To Play Korean Chess

I remember growing up playing chess with my father and brothers. The truth of the matter is I was never really any good at the game. When I moved to Korea, I noticed older men playing a chess-like game in the parks and it intrigued me. That’s when I was first introduced to Korean Chess.

janggi korean chess - steve miller - qiranger

I was amazed to learn its history and couldn’t resist including it in this month’s gaming series. You can read all about the game and how it is played over on The Korea Blog. Here’s the video of from the post:

What’s your favorite board game?

Learn to Play Yut Nori

This week, my Korean Game series continues on The Korea Blog.


I chose this game because it’s one of the most fun people can have when gathering. Unlike many games that are limited to a specific number of players, that isn’t the case for Yut. While there are only two teams involved, you could conceivably play the game with 2000000000 people. It would be boring for most, but you could do it.

Set-up for this video was the same as last week’s. The Canon HFS11 provided much of the close up shots, while the GoPro Hero2 shot the wide-angle areas. My second GoPro was teamed with the Edutige ETM-006 to capture audio and everything was synced in post.

How to Play Gonggi

Shall we play a game? It’s one of my favorite lines from War Games and it never gets old. NEVER I TELL YOU! This month, I’m starting a new series on The Korea Blog about popular games in Korea. The first game I chose to write about was Gonggi (공기) or Korean Jacks. You can get the full story here.


The game is quite easy, and only involves throwing a stone up into the air and scooping up one or more off the playing surface. For some reason, I usually suck at this. However, during the shoot for this video, I was actually able to make it through the five rounds of play for the first time ever.

Gonggi is a great game, and even though it is a few hundred years old, still enjoys some degree of popularity among children.

The video was shot using my normal “3” camera set up. The Canon HFS11 as the close-up camera operated by Jo. The wide-angle shots are from a GoPro Hero2. Hero2, camera 2 was tucked away in my pocket and supplied the audio courtesy of an Edutige ETM-006.

I’m really quite pleased with the outcome of this video and think it does a great job explaining the rules. I only wish I had some mad skills with this game. Next week, we’ll continue the series with another popular family game, just in time for the Lunar New Year.

My question for you today is two-fold. First, have you ever played jacks or gonggi? How good are you? Also, what’s your favorite childhood game? Be sure to leave a comment in the area below.

Shall We Play A Game?

Ok ladies and gentlemen of the Internet, I was walking out and about and thought up a new kind of game puzzle. Essentially, you’re trying to decipher a mystery word from looking at video clues. In each video clip, the first letter of one item is used to spell out the mystery word. If there are two clips, then the mystery word is two letters long. Fist clip, first letter, etc. Here’s how to play and the first mystery word:

What do you think? Do you like this game? You can leave a message in the comment section or email me at contest@qiranger.com. Good luck!

The Science of Screen Golf

When I was in college, I can’t even begin to tell you the number of hours my friends and I sat in front of our Nintendo and Sega systems playing games. One of the frequent devours of time were variations of golfing games. Yeah, we were that awesome. Since coming to Korea, I’ve improved my game quite a bit by spending time in the Screen Golf simulators. Recently, I took a trip to GolfZon’s headquarters in Seoul to learn how they piece things together. You can read the article on the Korea Blog here.

The video was quite fun to shoot, since I knew Jason from his interview at 1013 Mainstreet. On one of my recording days, he was in the studio talking about GolfZon and their plans to introduce it to North America. I asked if Jo and I could come down to see how the system really functions and learn more about it. He agreed and really pulled out all the stops showing us around. It was a fantastic opportunity to see their two most current systems.

The GoPro was used for the slowmo shot. Rather than use the 720/60 setting, I opted for the camera’s 120fps/WVGA setting. While there is some loss of quality, the overall smoothness of the video was retained. Had I tried this with the 720/60 setting, the end result would not have been as smooth.

So my question today – What’s better? Screen Golf or Real Golf? (Or is miniature golf just better than anything else?)


One might get the impression that Koreans are “all work and no play.” Nothing could be further from the truth. Inside this tiny nation of 50 million, are some of the best gamers on the planet. But computer games aren’t the only thing that captivates those roaming the cities at night. No, that honor belongs to the 야구 사격장 or Baseball Range.

Get it?

Ba[seball] Range[r].

These storefronts are located throughout Korea and a common place for men to meet after work on their way to and from their favorite watering holes. Just what is a Baseball Range?

The best place – ever.

This particular Baseball range has been open for just over 2 years in Dongtan, but they really are all over the place. In fact, this past weekend while waiting for friends in the back alley of Gangnam, we found a new one. It was a little more expensive than our local stop, but they had a hammer punching game. essentially, you had two chances to beat the high score. If you beat the high score, you earned a free swing. When I played, the score was quite low, so on the first whack, I surpassed the needed score to slip into the first place slot. Subsequent strikes kept increasing the total power delivered to the piston… until I just couldn’t keep it up. Best W500 I spent there.

What’s your favorite way to unwind after work?

Gambling in Korea

I recently got asked a question about gaming and gambling in Korea. I thought it such a good question that I would spare readers on YouTube me trying to explain it in 500 characters and post a video response. This is what I had to say:

The Ultimate Decider

When coming to Korea, you can spend lots of time learning the language, preparing you palate by eating spicy foods, but there’s one skill you must learn if you want to survive in the Land of the Morning Calm… and that’s Rock, Paper, Scissors. Knowing how to master that game will save your life.

All kidding aside, rock, paper, scissors is played all over Korea and many times the game is used to resolve simple differences of opinions. In the classroom, I’ve seen it used to choose teams or determine the winner if there’s a tie score.

I usually don’t play the game, but from time to time, I will have fun with my kids by using my tweaked rule. What are they?

W – Rather than throw down a rock , paper, or scissors, I’ll lay out a W. That’s right. W for WIN! Students will usually complain that I’m cheating or using two scissors, but I have fun explaining that it is a W and I WIN!

T – T is for Teacher… and the Teacher always WINS!

Students will usually then try to use the T or W at this point, so I bring out my trump –  L. L is for You Lose!This way, I can’t fail!

So if I throw out a T and the student a W, my response is, “Yes, Teacher WINS! W is for me winning!” Rather than getting frustrated with the game, my students usually end up joking and having a good time with my “alternative rules.”

Are there any games that you play that have uniquely altered rules to ensure your victory?