Renowned gaming photojournalist Robbie Cooper asks if the Philippines is an interesting place for a gaming photojournalist to visit.
Here's my answer.
The Philippines has experienced a spectacular online gaming boom over the last three years. A Korean gaming exec friend opines that the Philippines is only two years behind Korea in game publishing. This year, the Philippines' biggest online game publisher even branched out into India and Brazil.
As of last week, Philippine companies locally publish 28 online games. The biggest among them boasts 1.5 million subscribers generating US$ 1.7 million a month.
Filipino gamers are so passionate about their hobby that they love to dress up as game characters at conventions. Like the Japanese, we call this hobby "cosplay". In the last eighteen hours alone, we've had one pure gaming cosplay party, one animation/gaming cosplay party, and one mainstream costume party where I spotted at least three gaming characters.
Filipino gamers even have a local slang term for male players using female avatars: chiksilog.
Let me know when you come to the Philippines, Robbie. I'll happily introduce you to our country's most hardcore, most photogenic gamer-cosplayers. Like her:
In the meantime, keep up the good work! Continue to show people their quest for identity in cyberspace.
(Photos by Erving Go.)