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Why is Korea, of all civs, constantly portrayed as super science civ in civ series?

Discussion in 'Civ6 - General Discussions' started by Krajzen, Feb 17, 2018.

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  1. Krajzen

    Krajzen Deity

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    Can anybody explain this phenomenon to me? It starts to becoming really weird.

    Yes, I am aware that modern South Korea is scientific and economic powerhouse... since just 20-30 years. I am also aware of its turtle ships, Sejong, overall highly developed culture, and cool techno gadgets of Joseon era.

    Still, it was never MAJOR innovator on a GLOBAL scale, especially next to freaking CHINA.
    There are so any civs that seem to me more obvious choices for tech bonuses it's incomprehensible for me why it's Korea.

    China, India, Japan, Persia, Arabia, Russia, Greece, Germany, "Moors", Italy, France, England, America - all those civilisations have achieved much more in regards to global scientific influence that Korea (before very very recent times). Sure, Arabia and China finally in sixth game in its series get some reflection of their scientific accomplishments, but they still pale in comparision with Korea which is again somehow ultimate scientific superpower of human history.

    This wouldn't be so annoying if it wasnt so overpowered inthis aspect, on top of that. If I saw China or America being technological monster then I'd sigh and smile "at least it's sort of accurate" :p

    EDIT
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Korean_influence_on_Japanese_culture made me much more accepting of Korean tech bonuses. Now I think they are okay.
     
    Last edited: Feb 22, 2018
  2. Very Mad Max

    Very Mad Max Chieftain

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    Asians good at the science.
     
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  3. Swedish Goat

    Swedish Goat Chieftain

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    It probably has a lot to do with how Korea, and it's previous rulers, for outright thousands of years seem to have pushed themselves to educational and literary enlightenment time and time again. They have always tried to take the "logical" reasoning behind their actions on a national scale, even when at war with their neighboring kingdoms/empires/countries. When an entire people have mostly been guided by rulers that seem to have one agenda, I'm sure any game makers are going to use that towards how to portray those people.
     
  4. Thormodr

    Thormodr Servant of Civ Supporter

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    Indeed sir. Indeed.

    It's almost like the Civ was designed by 2K Korea. :mischief:

    Anyway, a massively OP Korea sells very well to Hyper-Nationalistic Koreans.

    As usual, it's all about the $$$$. Or in this case, the ₩. :p
     
  5. Thormodr

    Thormodr Servant of Civ Supporter

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    Wouldn't that be more of a cultural accomplishment, then?

    As to educational and literary enlightenment, at the close of Joseon Dynasty Korea in 1895, the literacy rate was around 3-4% The parasitic upper class (Yangban) were literate and attended these OP as designed Seowons but were not interested in the lower classes being educated in order to keep their grip on power. :sad:
     
  6. Tech Osen

    Tech Osen Emperor

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    OP or not I still don't like playing one trick pony civs. Got zero desire to try out zulu's and mongols.
     
  7. Guandao

    Guandao Rajah of Minyue and Langkasuka

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    Cause Firaxis can't think of any other way to characterize Korea? :p

    Maybe England should be the OP science Civ instead? :p
     
  8. halfhalfharp

    halfhalfharp Prince

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    Yeah why not, its the birthplace of industrial revolution and where the Oxford Uni is, the authority of science over the world and super difficult to enroll into.

    Historically saying, modern science has its root in Greek philosophy.
    Eastern pseudoscientific approaches have their root in chinese Ying-Yang philosophy.

    The greek philosophy gradually evolved from a cultural matter into a fact-based scientific subject.
    While Chinese Ying-Yang philosophy remained cultural over time, unable to reach true rationalism.

    And Korea? I didn't even know that they have their own invention similar to science until I played Civ V.
    (The traditional Korean medicine had some original approach, although most of the theories were based on Chinese Ying-Yang and 5 element philosophy.

    Maybe they just can't find other way to portrait them significantly different from other Eastern Asian civs.
    Nationalism is a dominating mindset in Korea, a very possible reason for them to shape the civ a powerful one.
    They think that Confucius and Genghis Khan were Korean. LOL. well, I think Nationalism is kind of against Rationalism?
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018
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  9. Vandlys

    Vandlys Prince

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    In one word, Stereotypes. England wasn't always a naval power (During the tenth century, the Vikings were more of a naval power than anyone in North-Western Europe), the Dutch weren't always the best traders in the world, Mongolians weren't always a people waging war on horseback.
    It's taking one time in history that a people were known for, and stereotyping it to fit into a game. It works, and it works well. Oftentimes, it's also parts of history that those peoples portrayed in the game speak proudly of.
     
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  10. halfhalfharp

    halfhalfharp Prince

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    Kind of true...Firaxis has a combination of both stereotypes and factual elements in designing the civs.

    Say. Why don't they give the Chinese a boost in mathematics and KungFu tourism? I wonder.
    And a boost in settling based on the fact that there are lots of china towns and immigrants in every corner of the world?

    I think a plastic surgery ability will fit Korea better. Seondeok herself had undergone one before she came into light in R&F release lol.

     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018
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  11. pietro1990

    pietro1990 Prince

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    They take one period of a civiliation their golden age and built on it. like someone said dutch aren't super traders only during their golden age. Korea had good scientific ideas that helped them in war like the hwacha in that period they where a high scienctifiic power in asia.
     
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  12. Craig_Sutter

    Craig_Sutter Deity

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    Alfred the great would like to have a talk with you. He developed a naval presence specifically against the vikings... and it worked.
     
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  13. Ezumiyr

    Ezumiyr Warlord

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    Maybe it's more a characterization problem.

    Civilization relies a lot on "iconic" stuff to portray its "civilizations". A lot of this iconic stuff was made of stereotypes. Sometimes it's more like extreme vulgarization. In any case, they want to have some kind of continuity between their games - that's why the Zulus and the Mongols are always warmongers, the Indians have bonus to growth and the Romans always have the Legio as a special unit. What some may call "factual elements" are just things they think do represent some "civilizations" well in a game, but of course they are all clichés at some point.
    Korea is portrayed as a science civ because there aren't many science civs, and China, Japan and Mongolia already fill other positions. And also because Korea actually has two scientific "golden ages" to build on:
    - Sejong the Great (15th century) with inventions like the alphabet (hangul), clocks, sundials, farm techniques etc.
    - Jeongjo (18th century) agricultural reforms, foundation of the Royal Library, paintings etc.


    Of course other civs could work in that nice - Babylon, Greece, Egypt etc. but they can't make each civ good at many things simultaneously. They have to make choices. And it happens that Korea has a historical potential to be a science civ, so why not.
     
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  14. isau

    isau Deity

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    Part of it is just a gameplay consideration. Korea's history does overlap best with the science victory/turtle gameplay IMO. I could see culture being a strong option as well, but the culture victory here tends to mean lots of wonders and tourists, e.g. Egypt, France, America.
     
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  15. halfhalfharp

    halfhalfharp Prince

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    Not to oppose, but aren't great works very essential in cultural victory? Korean poets/writers did have a number of literature works in those ages.. I guess?
     
  16. Arent11

    Arent11 King

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    I agree that Babylon or Korea do not necessarily historically make for the "best" scientific civs. I mean, just think about enlightenment or industrialization & you would have to argue that at least one of England, France or Germany would have to have scientific traits.

    The problem is that the civs of enlightenment & industrialization have already traditionally different traits - England is commonly depicted as naval power, France as culture nation. Only Germany is depicted as productive and in civ III it was depicted as scientific.
     
  17. Morningcalm

    Morningcalm Keeper of Records

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    Re: the OP, Scotland under Robert the Bruce wasn't known for its science bonuses, so for him to have the much later Enlightenment bonuses from the start of the game is easily as unrealistic as any out-of-time Korean bonuses. Especially on light of the fact both Sejong the Great and Seondeok were science-focused in their time, so it makes sense for those leader picks at least to have science bonuses. It would be a different story with say, Gwanggaeto the Great, Wang Kon (who had commercial/defensive bonuses in Civ IV with a science-boosting seowon).

    I'm sure modern Korea being known for science helps a lot though--it is the most wired country in the world internet wise, had several important biotech and digital tech innovations, and has a really high literacy rate now. Which is remarkable considering a few decades ago it was impoverished and war torn. It's one of the "Asian tigers" alongside Singapore, etc.

    And China does have a science boost, so arguing that Korea has one whereas China does not is silly. You might argue China has less of a science boost, but you will note that with inspirations and eurekas needed globally a bit, their science boost is quite important.

    Also, the title of this thread is misleading. Korea is hardly the only Civ in the Civ series consistently portrayed as scientific.

    The game wasn't designed by 2K Korea, and hypernationalist Koreans already vetoed Rise and Fall for picking Seondeok and/or visually portraying her as not ideal. Other friends of mine are not happy with how dull the design is, and how oddly the Civ ability works given that it has nothing to do with the Three Kingdoms (criticisms I hold myself as a Korean as well). It's hardly all about the money. If this was in DLC that might be a different matter. In an expansion with many other features and civs that cynicism becomes harder to buy.
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018
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  18. Al Bundy

    Al Bundy Chieftain

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    I agree: there is no reason to portrait Korea as a science powerhouse, especially if you compare it with the Western powers and China. I hope is not because of the stereotype "Asians are good in science". Tireless, along History, Korea tried not to lag behind China in terms of science, culture and technology. That was worthy of applause and recognition, but that does not make you the best scientific civilization in the world (at least in Firaxis's opinion).

    In terms of historical accuracy, in my opinion it would be more reasonable to give Korea big bonuses in culture in recognition of the centuries-long effort to protect and develop their own culture, away from China's influence, e.g. Hangul alphabet.
     
  19. Disgustipated

    Disgustipated Deity

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    Like has been said, its a snapshot of a period of time, or periods of time with some civs with uu's in other time periods.

    I wouldn't call modern Korea all that scientific, more of an economic powerhouse (South obviously). As a proud supporter of Capitalism, I am impressed at what Korea has achieved. Their economy in the 50's was very poor, now look at them. As for Science, Japan has accomplished much much more. Not to mention the tech sector in California (yet America is portrayed as cultural). They went from a poor farming nation to an economic powerhouse.
     
  20. halfhalfharp

    halfhalfharp Prince

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    Standing from the definition of modern science, I will say none ancient/Medieval nations carried similar altitudes as nowadays scientific approaches do.

    But in terms of pioneering and significant technological advance, I will nominate China, Arab, Babylon, Greece and Egypt.
    Korea should be far away in the queue.

    Thats a problem about how Firaxis should balance the civ traits. And apparently they only know how to make Korea go science.

    Yeah, for civs in modern era, UK, Japan and USA should beat Korea in most aspects.
    Korea has the best technique in plastic surgery, if I have to point out their strength. (Thailand is arguably an equal in that lol)
     
    Last edited: Feb 18, 2018
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