Tuesday, November 13, 2018

Korea7 | Day 9

My inner fangirl was once again channeled today!

Today's first thing on my to-do list was the MBC World tour, also arranged by the Seoul Metropolitan Government (go to visitseoul.net to sign up~ It's free as well!)

We met up at exit 9 at Digital Media City station (디지털미디어시티역) and walked to MBC together. 
Here's a group photo of our tour group today~
I fell into chatting with the sweetest girl, Vhee, from the Philippines and we pretty much stuck together for the entire tour. 
MBC World is divided into 3 parts. This first section was for physical activities and 'K-pop star's Hologram Concert.' I'll get back to the latter later in the post.

By 'physical activities' they meant things we could physically interact with. The guides started out by showing us how most of the things worked and afterwards we were given time to play around for a little.
This first "machine" allowed you to 'try on' costumes and print your own drama poster.
For the next one, they had us stand in front of a giant screen where we were again being filmed. Here you could dance along to some of your favorite idols' music. Just choose a song, learn the choreography, and record!
Next was the station where you could write in their digital guestbook and have one of your favorite actors sign it.
Here's Vhee as we're about to try dancing.
Before recording, we could select singers and stage. For singers we could choose between Apink's 'Mr.Chu' (미스터 츄), B1A4's Solo Day, and BTS's I NEED U.
We tried both Apink and B1A4's dances. The screen would show a countdown and once you were ready, the singers would 'enter the room.' They'd talk to you (In Korean but with English subtitles) and teach you the dance before dancing with you in the end. If you want, you can keep the recording of this. We failed pretty bad and decided against watching ourselves.
Next we signed the guestbook. Every time someone signed, they picture would be shown on the screen so the the most recent guests would be shown.
We are both SHINee fans and chose Minho ㅋㅋㅋ
Here's me looking awkward.
Next we tried recording ourselves as TV hosts! That was probably my favorite part and I'm so sad that we forgot the recording ㅠㅠ
It was in a separate room where up to 3 people (if I remember correctly) could participate at the same time. Vhee was the normal broadcaster, who introduced the show (we had prompt screens with text but you're free to say whatever) and talked about MBC. She was sitting at this big table that normal news anchors do. Then it switched to me and I was shown full body in front of a big map of Korea where I got to act as a weather forecaster. It was super fun! Next chance I get, I'm definitely going back to do this again!

The last place in the M Zone was for VR experiences. We didn't have any time left to try this but I think some of the others did.
Next was the B Zone with historical drama experiences and the Hallyu (한류 = Korean Wave) hall.
Here's our guide showing us how the scenes worked and what the arrows on the floor meant. If you've been to a trick eye museum before, it works the same way. For the one's who haven't, you pose with the characters/image and take the pictures from specific angles to create optical illusions so it looks like you're part of the scene.
Here's me trying to sneak an egg from some girls at the market. The pictures of me aren't the best quality since Vhee took them with an older phone and sent them through Facebook.
There were costumes on display that had been used in different historical dramas as well as descriptions of them (who wore it in which drama etc.).
And also accessories were shown.
This place was really cool!
You had to choose language (Korean, English, or Chinese) and then you were asked to sit down on the bench. On a screen, you'd then watch yourself act out different scenes with actors.
Here they had to make the princess or Queen (you) smile.
The guy did so by 'kissing' our testperson.
While we were waiting for Vhee's turn, one of the guides approached me and asked if I was available when the tour was over. She saw that I had also signed up for the e-Sports Stadium tour but not gotten a spot because there were too many applicants (in case of too many applicants, they'll draw names randomly). Lucky for me, 6 people had cancelled and now I could go! Vhee also got a spot!

The Hallyu hall was also for optical illusions.
These two blue guys, however, were not illusions but miniature models of the two big men outside MBC World.
I didn't know all of the dramas here but we still posed with most of them. There was also a scene with King of Masked Singer (복면가왕), a Korean singing competition show where singers wear masks to hide their identities.
THERE WAS ONE FOR W!!! It really looks like I'm touching his hand here AAAAAAA
Here's me posing as the winner of one of the big music shows!
After we were done taking pictures, we walked back to the M Zone for the hologram concert!
On the way, we walked by this wall with golden... mouths?
Yeap, they were "golden mouth awards" given to radio hosts.
Today's hologram performer was G-Dragon. I'm not sure how long it lasted but we watched him perform parts of several songs. It didn't feel like an actual concert.. more as if he were sort of in the room with us (until the, albeit cool, special hologram effects would remind us that we were not looking at the real guy).

The C Zone where we experience popular MBC dramas and '3D experiences with Hallyu celebrities' was in another building.

Inside this box you could pretend to be on the show We Got Married and you could choose which entertained you wanted to act out a scene with. 
We actually tried this. Both Vhee and I chose G-Dragon (the selection was limited and he was the only one I knew since I think the rest were actors).
So we sat down on a sofa and could watch ourselves. G-Dragon (or whoever was chosen) would then walk into the picture and talk to you and post for 3 pictures. You could get the picture and recording of it all if you wanted. I originally didn't choose it but Vhee recorded it anyways.
There were also more places to take pictures with the stars. Like BIGBANG here~
AND ANOTHER SCENE FROM W!!! AAAAAAA. If only this picture were more clear ㅠㅠ
Farther down the hall there was a place where you could get a digital makeover to your taste.
It didn't look too bad on Vhee but on my face, the lipstick was separated from my lips and the eyeliner was flying all over the place.
And that was the end of the tour. Before we move on, here's a short video with recordings I took at MBC.

Now that this tour was over, it was time for the e-Sports Stadium tour!
The guides asked us to wait with them and then gave us a ride to the S-Plex Center (에스플렉스센터).
Here are the big men outside MBC that I mentioned earlier!
If you have additional time while in the area, do check out the stars outside. It felt like a Korean Walk of Fame and I spotted a couple of people I knew of.
While the guides were taking us, they told us that we were lucky to have gotten a spot because there was actually going to be an event today. The event was called 게임돌릭픽 2018 (Game [i]dol [o]lympic[s]) and it was supposedly going to be an event where idols had been invited to come and play and compete.
The guides said they "didn't really know most of the people coming but NCT's Taeyong (태용) was going to be there."
Taeyong is the guy in this video, who makes the weird throat sound that kind of sounds like the ghost child from The Grudge.
And that "we probably wouldn't be able to see their faces because they were going to be on stage far away but we'd be there at the same time as them."

Anyways, let's get back to that later. First was the normal part of the tour!
When we came, they were busy on first floor setting up for the event later. We were headed for the 11th floor.
While I'd been the only non-Asian for today's first tour, Vhee was the only Asian for this one until the couple to the right showed up in the last minute. The rest of us were mostly from northern/western Europe and then there was a girl from Spain, who lived in Sweden.
I'm not too well-versed within e-sports but it seems like our part of the world is doing pretty well.
Anyways, our group photo!
We spent the first 40 minutes walking through the Hall of Fame.
There was such a futuristic feeling about watching achievements of gamers. It was set up exactly like had they been traditional sportsfolk like soccer players.
This section was about League of Legends (LoL).
The guide brought us around and did a fantastic job explaining.
'Heroes' referred to some of the greatest Korean players through history.
And the 'Stars' here were players of other games than LoL (if I remember correct).
Behind the girl with a mask was a 1 vs 1 game where you had to type the words on the screen as fast as possible.
In here you could play a VR shooting game called Special Forces VR.
We didn't have time to try these but were told that we were free to go back down here later. Now it was time to go watch the idols play!

We were led into a big room when they had just started a game of PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG). I was excited to learn that this was the game we'd be watching. Although I'm not good at all, I have good memories from playing it when I lived in Korea.
We watched the solo match abut afterwards there was also a team vs team match.
The focus switched between players so that we could see the screen from their point of view and their reactions at the same time. Here's B1A4's Gongchan (공찬).
SONAMOO's Nahyun (나현) seemed surprisingly good. I think she got a couple of kills.
MYTEEN's Chunjin (천진) did something and smiled as the camera focused on him~
All throughout the game, we'd had some VERY enthusiastic commentators. Especially near the end, they'd grown louder and louder. If I hadn't been watching, and hadn't known Korean enough to know what was going on, it would have sounded like any other sports match.
After a dramatic moment between the last two survivors, the game ended and the winner was possible interviewed it seemed. Everyone left the room (to have a break before the team match) and so did we.
I recorded a couple of moments from the match as well and put it together into the video below.

The people who appear on the screen are Nine Muses's Hyemi (혜미)SF9's Youngbin (영빈)MYTEEN's Song YuVin (송유빈) , B1A4's Gongchan (공찬)ONF's MKIN2IT's Yeontae (연태), and KNK's Inseong (인성) in that order.

After coming home, I looked up the event on youtube and found THIS video where you can watch the PUBG match we watched as well as some of the other games they played.
I haven't watched the entire video yet but I found some of the moments that we were there to see in real life:
30:00: Yubin kills Junseong.
31:15: Chunjin kills Gongchan (and afterwards they're making fun of him because he didn't get any kills ㅋㅋ)
31:50: Flashback to when Gongchan attempted to snipe some of the others on the bridge (but ultimately failed).
32:55: The dramatic finale when Yeontae kills Inseong and wins!

There are no subtitles but it's still highly entertaining to watch!
I also found a TRAILER for the 'show.'

But anyways back to the story!
So we got out of the room and were a bit confused as to what to do now. The guides told us that this was where the tour ended, handed us tourist books, and told us that the next game was on another floor and how to get there. From now, we were free to walk around and watch whatever we wanted since we were wearing VIP armbands.
These are the things they gave us + the VIP armband we wore.

As we were standing there, the place was bustling. Idols and models were walking all around us and Vhee was super excited.
It was a super fun experience being IN it like that but I was keeping my calm pretty well... that is until this tall, platin-haired guy walked by. I looked at Vhee and her facial expression told me that she was thinking the same as me. He had a good face.
Now after looking up the video, I found out that he's, not surprisingly, a model named Lee Jaesung (이재성).
They didn't show much of him during the PUBG match that we watched but I found THIS VIDEO of him having a Tekken match against a singer named Jang Daehyeon (장대현, former RAINZ member).

While we were waiting for the elevators (I swear we stood there for like 10 minutes), Vhee was eyeing this guy in yellow.
Which is more obvious in this picture.
I asked if she wanted a picture with him but she didn't speak Korean so instead I went over and asked. He only just got to agree before someone swooped him away to take more official pictures of him inside a cardboard frame with the name of the event. We contemplated waiting for them to finish but there were so many people walking around and we felt a bit in the way. In the end, we left for the second game before he came back.

Well, after coming home  I'd pretty much forgotten about this.
But then one day, while sitting in the train, I heard an unfamiliar song on Spotify and GUESS WHO IT WAS. This guy! And his name is Aivan (아이반)! Since he seemed rather new, I wanted to send him an encouraging message, not really thinking I'd get a response. But he did and he said that he remembered meeting us!

Again, back to the story!
The next game was in a big room on the 16th floor.
Outside the room were a bunch of body guards and, of course a CU, because why not.
Outside hung a TV showing a floor plan of the room. We were seated around the yellow section, 사F.
Here we are outside the room, right before showing the doorman our armbands and entering. I truly felt like I was a part of a variety show at that point. It was such a fun experience seeing things like this first hand.
Once we entered, we weren't allowed to film or take pictures as it wasn't going to be showed to the public just yet. We were allowed selfies as long as they faced away from the scene but it was dark anyways so I didn't bother.
The game they were going to play was League of Legends (LoL) and I found a video of the 'opening' as well as the introduction of each team here⬇
It's not as obvious in this video but when NCT's Taeyong (태용) was mentioned, there was a group of fans in the other end of the room going crazy. It was pretty funny.
We saw everything in the video and also them playing a little before I had to leave.
I'd made plans to eat lunch with my long-time friend Hyeonjae (현재).

When I got back down to the first floor, there was suddenly a lot more people and a lot more noise!
They must have been filming something down here as well.

I had to walk a while before reaching a subway to get to Gangnam. At least the weather was great today! Let me remind you that this was the middle of November but it was sunny and warm enough outside for me to not need a jacket.
Hyeonjae usually stays in Ulsan but was in Seoul for a Cirque du Soleil performance and had just enough time to grab sushi with me before the show.

He'd recently been to some sort of art exhibition and had bought me presents. The cards are for doing card tricks (since he's a magician) and he brought me two sets so I could give one to a friend!
When Hyeonjae left for the show, I went back home to work on my paper.

Instead of dinner, opted for something sweet. in the evening and sought out an ice cream place AND a waffle stand :)))
And then I headed home after escaping yet another cult person trying to invite me to join their weird events.

•°☆~〜Music of the day〜~☆°•

← Return to Day 8                                                                                                        Continue to Day 10 

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