Dedicated ARMYs know that the video game MapleStory is an integral part of BTS’ journey, from inspiring RM’s first rap name “Runch Randa” to the group’s 2020 collaboration project. While all of the members have logged hours playing, no one is more dedicated to MapleStory than video game aficionado Jin. Recently, Worldwide Handsome himself received a chance to work on MapleStory’s production, sharing a little bit of himself in the process.
The MapleStory Story
MapleStory is a free multiplayer role-playing game that was released in 2003 (when Jin was 10 years old, for reference). Players can focus on any number of objectives, from increasing their player level and obtaining new equipment, to completing quests and “mini-games.” To do so, gamers hop from “world” to “world,” each with different economies and sets of characters such as magicians and pirates. The vast world-building of the game allows for essentially unlimited exploration, which all of the Bangtan members took advantage of during their childhood and adolescence. Jin has continued his involvement with MapleStory professionally over the last few years, from playing it on his birthday VLive in 2018 and leading BTS’ 2020 collaboration content, to serving as a “Golden Hand Character Design Judge” in 2021. What awaits him in 2022?
A Break (But Not For ARMY)
BTS’ recent hiatus has allowed each member to explore their individual interests and passions, often sharing glimpses of their experiences with ARMY. RM has cultivated his love for art by attending museums and guest-starring on an art podcast, for example, and interior design-lover SUGA tried his hand at woodworking. In addition to cooking and traveling, video game aficionado Jin has continued to profess his love for MapleStory. From collecting MapleStory-themed bread to attending a MapleStory concert, it’s clear that Jin is a true “Mapler,” the term for dedicated players.
Jin’s Big Day
At the end of July, Jin had another surprise in store for ARMY: a day as an office worker producing his favorite game. The two-part YouTube series entitled “출근용사 김석진” or “Mapler Kim Seokjin” follows Bangtan’s oldest hyung through a day of work at NEXON, the company responsible for developing MapleStory. The teaser, which included clips of Jin’s signature humor and broad shoulders, sparked a massive wave of Jin bias accounts on Twitter adding “Mapler” to the beginning of their bios to celebrate his accomplishment.
A Heartfelt Interview
The first video in the series opens with Jin approaching NEXON’s headquarters in Seoul. Filmed in an almost sitcom-like fashion with cheery music, Jin stops in front of the building, straightens his shirt, and walks inside. Upon arrival, he is told he has to successfully complete an interview with the company executives if he wants a job. During the interview Jin opens up, sharing that MapleStory has allowed him to make friends despite his natural introversion. Given that Jin’s persona is often flamboyant and loud, it is sometimes easy to forget that he’s also discussed how shy he is when meeting new people. Jin talked earnestly about how the players in the game “have fun with me and communicate with me a lot,” making “me feel like I have a lot of friends.” With such deep thoughtful answers, granting him a job for the day was probably an easy choice!
The rest of the series follows Jin throughout his day: he takes an ID photo (with a paper reading “아미 사랑해 / ARMY, love you!” in his mouth, of course), finds his cubicle near his new team members, and eats a company lunch. Part 2 focuses on a staple of any office job: a PowerPoint presentation. Throughout the three-hour meeting, Jin evaluates the current status of the game and makes suggestions for improvements, future events, and new items. His research is clear and well-thought-out, and his feedback is received well by his company superiors. The video ends with Jin swiping his ID to leave the building in signature Jin fashion; hands full of new merchandise, he dangles his ID badge in front of the scanner until it lets him pass.
It’s clear that Jin’s suggestions are actually good ones because many of them have been implemented in the game! You can now buy the following Jin-themed items: Good Day/Bad Day Sleeping Mask (Angel / Devil), modeled after his pajamas, Seokjin's gift (5 types in total), Seokjin's Lucky Box, and Jin's Angel / Demon Medals and Titles.
For a limited time, you can even acquire a character that looks like Jin himself, complete with a Super Tuna costume!
Best of Jin: Yet To Come?
If one thing has been made clear during this hiatus, it’s that we have no idea what’s next for Bangtan (besides the recently announced Busan concert on October 15). Some ARMYs might even start playing MapleStory; after all, there’s always a chance you can run into Jin!
Written by: Mariko
Edited by: Lisa K
Designed by: Martina
ARMY Magazine does not own any of the photos/videos shared in our blog. No copyright infringement intended.