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History-Reality and Game Worlds of Web Novels A Study on The Youngest Son of a Chaebol Family

  • Journal of Popular Narrative
  • 2023, 29(3), pp.319-352
  • DOI : 10.18856/jpn.2023.29.3.010
  • Publisher : The Association of Popular Narrative
  • Research Area : Interdisciplinary Studies > Interdisciplinary Research
  • Received : September 20, 2023
  • Accepted : October 19, 2023
  • Published : October 30, 2023

Cho Hyung-Rae 1

1광주대학교

Accredited

ABSTRACT

The purpose of this article is to elucidate the origins of the worldview based on the irreversibility of history that is prominent in The Youngest Son of a Chaebol Family and how it shows signs of evolution in relation to the web novel as a narrative form. The Youngest Son of a Chaebol Family has a complex narrative that focuses on the protagonist Jin Do-joon's play with the established facts of history. He picks up and utilizes the opposing aspects of global capital versus domestic industrial structure and asset/financial markets, and in the process becomes intricately involved with various historical economic and cultural events of the 1980-2000s. Jin tries to change only the parts of the world that are based on his personal interests in his favor, which has the paradoxical result of making it impossible for him to rule transcendentally despite his omnipotence by regression. He becomes a realistic character in the novel, and through this, he becomes a character that is positioned in the context of history and reality. On the other hand, in The Youngest Son of a Chaebol Family, history, reality, and economic events are not irrevocably conformed to, but instead Jin Do-joon tries to change only those aspects of history that are in his personal and private interest to his advantage, similar to how a player in a role-playing or MOBA game conforms to the worldview and rules of the game to develop the best play. As you can see, this novel is heavily influenced by digital game formats. In this respect, The Youngest Son of a Chaebol Family can be characterized as a sub-imitation, a narrative in which a novelistic protagonist plays out a scenario in a digital game in which history and reality are set in a fictional worldview/rules. Jin Do-joon is located at the intersection of a network that organizes the relationship between various elements of these contents and forms, and at the same time collides with other forms. As we can see, The Youngest Son of a Chaebol Family presents a new style of narrative form based on the bricolage between the existing narrative heritage and the newly emerging digital media, such as the content that incorporates the changed way of accumulation in the wake of the IMF bailout.

Citation status

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