This morning we finished up our culture lesson at UEF. We concluded the 3 part lecture with a focus on religion and how religion influenced and continues to influence the culture of Vietnam. Three main religions dominate the society of Vietnam: Buddhism, Taoism, and Confucianism. Each has it's own influence on society in their own way. We have already experienced a little Buddhism when we visited the temple a few days ago. We now had the chance to experience it through an academic perspective. The society endorses polytheism and places a great emphasis on fertility. An interesting fact is that no one is believed to be poor for more then three generations. So if you are poor, your child may be poor but their child will be rich!
For our company visit today we went to Glass Egg Digital Media. The view from the 17th floor of the Ree tower where the company is located was incredible! It might be a challenge stay focused in an office with such a view.
The view from the CEO's office
The view from the other side. Look at all of the houses!
After admiring the view we got a tour of the company's day to day operations. One branch was developing an online game that has already debuted in Asia and will shortly be coming to the US. They discussed the games intentions and goals and remarked that the top spender has bought $6000usd of virtual items so far. Everyone in the group laughed when the CEO told us this; that guy needs a life!
They have around 150 employees in this office and a majority of them were stationed downstairs in the development room. Glass Egg produces digital models for use by game companies. Their specialty is cars but they produce human models as well. Out of the top 10 racing games this past year (for all platforms) Glass Egg produced cars for 7 of them. Their models are very accurate to real life and they look close to picture-like quality. The CEO and CFO gave us a presentation on their company and what they're all about after our tour. Mainly they do outsourcing for US and other foreign companies. For 3D modeling and other similar things it is simply too expensive to have the production located in the US or parent country. As a result the game studios that make the games contact glass egg and say "We need 50 cars made within the next two months". Glass Egg then sells the cars, designs and all, to the studio for an average of $18,000usd each. The work that is done at these companies is interesting, and outsourcing helps keep the final cost of the product reasonable for the purchaser in the end.
For dinner we went to a street vender and got sticky rice with chicken, for $1.25 I had the best meal I've had in Vietnam so far. The food was so good, I wanted more! The vendor was clean and I did not get sick from eating their food (unlike the American restaurants). We went to a dessert place called "New York Dessert" where I got a cheese cake. After paying we walked to a nearby mall that has many many luxury and high end stores. Famous and expensive brands populate the brand new and well kept mall. From the looks of the facility, I estimated that the pries would be much higher then prices back home. However I was wrong. Prices were either exactly the same or slightly less. If those stores were operated in the US their prices would have to be so much higher to pay for the facility and everything related to it. We ended the night with a motorbike ride back to the hotel saying goodbye until tomorrow.