(pronounced "pee-see BONG") The Korean term for what most English-speaking people would call an Internet cafe: a place where you can walk in, pay by the hour, and gain use of a PC. Most PC Bangs offer high-speed Internet access at the very least; nearly all offer some sort of gaming options based on whatever is currently popular. Popular PC Bang games have included Counter-Strike and Starcraft, but no game has demonstrated the concept of a PC Bang killer app better than Lineage: The Blood Pledge, the world's most popular MMORPG. (That's right -- it's bigger than EverQuest, Asheron's Call, you name it.)

Although there are a few PC Bangs in heavily-Korean neighborhoods in the U.S., they are very popular in South Korea where PC ownership is lower than in the U.S. After (or instead of) school, teen-age kids will go to the PC Bang and invest hours of time into characters on games like Lineage. Lineage's social aspects in Korea have stretched beyond the screen, as players can confront each other in person if they happen to be sitting in the same PC Bang. There have been documented cases of "real-life PK", better known as "murder", over events that happened solely in the game.

Most PC Bangs are fairly minimal compared to Internet cafes in the U.S.; you might be able to buy a Coke but don't count on a grande soy mocha latte with a shot of espresso served to you. Pay for your time, have fun, and thank the people who work there.

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