I realised that I liked making people happy - that’s why I started making games.
Terry Kwon describes himself as “a hardcore gamer”. Since he received his first Nintendo game at the age of six, he has had an obsession with gaming. It was this obsession that transformed into his own start-up business – Gix Entertainment, which focuses on next generation gaming technology.
Born in South Korea, Terry spent the first seven years of his life in the US where his dad was working as a physics professor. The family returned to South Korea for the rest of his primary and high school. By the time he was 10, he’d taught himself how to code. He spent all his free time making and playing games and attended an extra-curricular computer institute in Seoul.
“One day, I realised that I really liked making people happy; I liked that I could make them laugh - and then I felt really satisfied. So I decided, I like games, I like technology and I like programming, so maybe I can make something to make people happy. That's how I started making games,” Terry says.
He came to Sydney in 2006 to study at a Diploma of IT at UTS Insearch and then a Bachelor of Science in IT at the University of Technology Sydney (UTS), living with his aunt, uncle and cousins who were dual Australian-Korean citizens.
“UTS Insearch meant that I could pre-experience university life and what should I do to prepare. I also learned how to write essays and academic English and also did a lot of speaking,” Terry says. “All the English I use these days I can say is from Insearch. I learned everything from them.”
When he transitioned to his Bachelor degree, he learned not only theory and practical skills but also how to manage projects. He’d work in groups of 7-10 students on software development projects, following a real brief and reporting to project managers from industry who came into UTS to discuss students’ progress.
This taught Terry how to collaborate with people from other countries. “I experienced how they think differently and I learned how to communicate with them,” he says. “In South Korea, we always have to think about the other people’s feeling, but here they’re really strict, principle-based and professional rather than emotional, very straightforward with their opinions.”
After he graduated, he returned to Seoul where he joined forces with Brendan Ahn, a fellow student he’d studied with at UTS Insearch and UTS.
Together with four other colleagues, they cofounded a gaming company they named Gix Entertainment. Their games are called Reapers: Blades of Vengeance and Reapers: Rebirth where you construct your own mazes, monsters and Steampunk characters.
His advice is: “Never give up! I would also suggest you don’t have to rush on your progress. Having the right direction is more important in the long run.”