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IP Generation Fueled by Interest in Hobbies & Passion

Posted October. 13, 2008 20:16,   


Kim Ju-hyeon, 25, is a character designer for 3D animation games at online game manufacturer Mgame Corp. His hobby while in elementary student was to copy graffiti left by one of his cousins.

Kim later attempted to mimic cartoons and became a cartoonist’s apprentice while in high school.

Though he attended an academic high school, he worked on animation at a private animation institute and earned a certificate for computer graphic operations. Kim thought that going to college to land a job after graduation had little meaning, and decided instead to find a job in the game industry.

He began to work for Mgame in May, saying, “I’m happy because I can earn money by utilizing my favorite hobby.”

Kim is a member of the producer generation, or people in their 20s to 30s who pour a lot of passion into what they find interesting. Therefore, the key words to represent the IP (independent producer) generation are “interest and passion.”

○ New generation connects interests with fun

Jang Jae-ho (22) is the world champion as well a member of the national team for the World Cyber Games’s Warcraft III. He fell in love with playing games in elementary school and became a professional gamer as a high school junior.

He said, “I practice games 20 hours a day. I sometimes regret going to bed. Since I have to compete on the global stage, I’ve tried to improve my English to communicate with foreign gamers via MSN Messenger. I never tire of playing games. How can I feel tired when I make money and have a reputation through what I am fond of?”

Jang’s annual income is said to reach 100 million won (about 84,300 U.S. dollars).

On Sept. 17, a group of 20-something women played traditional Korean instruments in a basement in Seoul. Their music had a lively rhythm just like pop songs. Their hanbok (traditional Korean formal wear) dresses were traditional yet bold and gorgeous.

A 28-year-old playing a Korean fiddle said, “We dream to create not dull and boring music but pleasant and dynamic Korean classical music. We also enjoy performing in practice.”

○ IP generation values enjoyment

On Sept. 12, a day before the Korean Chuseok holidays, office workers in their 20s to 30s performed a rhythmic and upbeat dance to vibrant pop music.

On why she was learning to dance, a female office employee replied, “Because it’s fun.”

The head of the dance institute said, “Even in the beginning of the 2000s, most people recognized that one purpose of dance is to lose weight. So back then, most students were females. But now about 70 percent are office workers who want to learn dance to represent their individual merit.”

An executive at a Samsung Group affiliate said, “The IP generation is a postmodern generation in which work and enjoyment are reciprocal. A growing number of large corporations stress ‘fun-management’ because they’ve indentified the new social phenomena with the emergence of the IP generation.”

According to a survey by the Federation of Korean Industries on the effectiveness of “fun-management” among 200 major Korean companies, 85.8 percent said it helps create a good working environment.

A bank teller, 28, who started to work three years ago, prepares his props whenever people in his department dine or drink together with a trading partner. His items for entertainment include a wig, firecrackers, Superman costume and lollypops to mimic pop singers.

He said smiling, “I’ve always been invited to an important occasion even if my seniors skip it. I think my capacity to make people happy is a powerful weapon in this age stressing individual personality.”

Advertising agency Cheil Worldwide surveyed last year the lifestyles of people in their teens to age 50. The poll asked if leading a happy life is the general goal of their lives. The majority 75.9 percent of 20- to 30-somethings said yes, higher than 71.1 percent among teenagers. Only 69.5 percent of people in their 40s and 61.9 percent of those in their 50s said yes.

○ Road to success in the IP age

With the IP generation finding interest and fun as major work criteria, their fickle nature has led to high turnover at companies.

The Korean Employers Federation studied the turnover rate of new hires among university graduates at 345 companies nationwide each with more than 100 workers. The survey found that 27.9 new hires quit within the first year, and the figure was higher (36.6 percent) among small and medium-size enterprises.

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