Mobile Screen Media Practices in Korea

Mobile Screen Media Practices in Korea

HyeRyoung Ok (University of Oregon, USA)
Copyright: © 2015 |Pages: 7
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-4666-8239-9.ch090


This article summarizes the current knowledge about the socio-cultural significance of mobile screen media practices in the current mediascape of Korea, where mobile media technologies have developed with continuing emphasis on their potential as convergent screen media since the introduction of 3G mobile phone service. Five specific areas of discussion including mobile phone communication, text messaging, mobile multimedia usage and gender, mobile screen service, and mobile gaming represents the prevalent aspects of the mobile screen media practices in Korea.
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Since the Electronics and Telecommunications Research Institute (ETRI) and the consortium of corporations launched the world’s first commercial CDMA mobile phone service in 1996, Korea has been a step ahead in exploring CDMA-based technological innovations and the latest mobile media services including mobile TV (DMB: Digital Multimedia Broadcasting) and Wibro (the first wireless high-speed broadband). In fact, Korean mobile carriers are known for their quick and innovative adaptation of/experiments with diverse content services and savvy business strategies to operate the most segmented markets customized for various age groups (McClleland, 2004).

While the Korean innovation and uptake of information technologies has drawn academic and popular interest, most in-depth analyses concern technological innovation, macro policy and industry models of information technologies’ implemented in Korea. The majority of early studies on mobile phone practices in Korea have mainly focused on the relations between mobile phone technology and social changes particularly in terms of the transformation of interpersonal communication, from a communication studies perspective. However, as mobile phones have evolved into convergent media with the continuous technological development, playing a central role in the personal screen media environment, more ethnography or cultural studies based research studies have increased in order to examine the significance of diverse practice of multimedia features of mobile screens. Dr. Sindong Kim (Kim, S, 2002; 2003; 2005) at Hanlim University (Korea) and Dr. Dong-Hoo Lee (Lee, 2005; 2012) at Incheon University (Korea), are among the earliest examining the topic. Dr. Larissa Hjorth (Hjorth, 2006; 2007; 2008) at University of Sydney, Dr. HyeRyoung Ok (Ok, 2008; 2010; 2011) at University of Oregon, Dr. Dal Yong Jin (Jin 2008; 2013) at Simon Fraser University, and Dr. Florence Chee (Chee, 2006; 2014) at Loyola University, Chicago are among the leading experts in this area.

Key Terms in this Chapter

Mobile Multimedia Content Service: Value-added information (data) service provided through wireless internet for mobile phones and/or other mobile media.

Mobile Screen: Diverse forms of portable devices with screens such as mobile phone, PDA, PSP, PMP and tablet PCs etc., which employ the ‘mobility’ as the predominant mode of mechanism whether its central function is a telecommunication, a gaming or computing and foreground the multimedia mode of communication via screen interfaces.

Personal Media: Any form of media designed for use by an individual person for interpersonal communication and personalized expression, in contrast to mass media, which encompasses any personal devices from mobile phones, portable and home gaming consoles, to tablets.

Text Messaging: The act of composing and sending brief, electronic messages between two or more mobile phones, or fixed or portable devices over a phone network. The term originally referred to Short Message Service (SMS) and has grown to include messages containing image, video, and sound content (Multimedia Message Service).

Cultural Studies: An interdisciplinary academic discipline of critical theory introduced by British academics in 1964, which focuses upon the political dynamics of contemporary culture and its historical foundations, conflicts and defining traits in specific socio-cultural contexts.

Mobile Gaming: The gaming practices with the use of diverse mobile and portable gaming devices.

Youth Mobile Media Culture: The practices and use of mobile media among young people, which are integrated into the specific social-cultural structure of youth culture in everyday life.

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