The Philippines is not particularly known for having a strong gaming community unlike its neighbors in East Asia, namely China, Korea, and Japan. The cost of consoles/PCs, software, and the internet are the primary roadblocks that the average Filipino gamer encounters when he or she wants to enjoy playing his or her favorite game.
Internet Cafes and Piracy
So what does the average Filipino gamer do to play the latest games? Internet cafes have basically supplanted gaming arcades and provide the masses with access to the latest video games as well as the internet. Then there’s also piracy. A AAA title/game for either consoles or PC would usually cost around two to three thousand pesos ($50-60) for either the physical or digital copy. That’s about a third or a quarter of the average Filipino worker’s salary in a fortnight. In contrast, a pirated DVD would only cost around Php 85-100 per CD/DVD regardless of when the game was released. There are even times when internet cafes themselves install pirated games on their units to cut down on the cost of buying individual games.
How Filipinos See Videogames
Philippine society in general, is still very conservative. Parents still consider videogames as undesirable influences for their children. However, this disapproval isn’t stopping the children from playing hooky and spending their parents’ hard earned money on playing videogames. This is why parents perceive anything related to videogames as detrimental for their children’s social or behavioral growth. What they don’t know is that when videogames are played in moderation they can actually be helpful to children. The sad thing is that Filipino parents aren’t aware of this or they just don’t care because they’re too set in their own ways.
The great thing about Filipinos is that they see gaming for what it truly is, a pastime or an escape. College students usually play Dota/Dota2 or League (or any other MOBA for that matter) while waiting for their next class. High schoolers play the same type of games as a means of socializing with their friends in class or schoolmates. However, even though Filipinos are social gamers, for some reason you’ll find that there is a scarcity of active Filipino gaming communities on the internet. If there were any, these would usually just cover MOBAs or MMORPGs. Other sites are blatant Adsense cash grabs while the rest have sub-par content. Type “filipino gaming community” or “filipino gaming website” on Google and you’ll get what I mean.
How The World Sees The Filipino Gamer
The Problem With Gaming In The Philippines
To be honest, a large number of Filipino gamers are immature and lack modesty when playing online (as evidenced by the linked video). The lack of an online community that actively promotes usable knowledge and information about gaming (great examples would be Kotaku, NeoGAF, or reddit) in the Philippines is also one issue that needs to be addressed. Hopefully, the Flip Gamer will be able to address that but it’s going to be a long and arduous road. This won’t be easy, but us here at the Flip Gamer are hopeful that our efforts will at least bear fruit. We’ll do our best to provide gaming related news, reviews, as well as gaming related social commentary. If you’re interested in contributing, don’t hesitate to get in touch with us.
Photo: GMA News Online