After breakfast, we headed to UEF to learn about contemporary Vietnam and its architectural heritage. It was interesting to learn about the history of Vietnam’s leadership and what Vietnam hopes to accomplish in the near future in regards to creating a “smart city”, which is a vision of a city with less pollution, affordable housing, clean water, etc. After our lesson we had another Vietnamese lesson. This time I brought in my Vietnamese textbook that I used in school and showed my partner what I learned. It was a nice refresher to go through that textbook again, but it brings back bad memories. I got to go up to the front of the class and introduce myself in Vietnamese, and many of the Vietnamese students complimented me on my pronunciation. Which is weird because when I’m in my Vietnamese class back at Pitt I’m usually told I have the worst pronunciation out of everyone. After language class we visited the pinnacle of the United States’ legacy in Vietnam… McDonalds. I was really hoping there would be a twist to the McDonald’s menu similar to how other Asian countries’ McDonalds have seaweed burgers, or a McPho or something.
We then went on to our company visit, Glass Egg, and I’m saying this now I’m sad that we had this visit so early on because I’m afraid that no other company visit will top this one. Glass Egg is a company that designs a lot of the art that’s used in video games. We got to see the behind the scenes of their workers designing 3-D models for games that haven’t been released yet. When we got to the board room for the presentation with the CFO, he was explaining all the big name games that they helped design art for. I knew a good amount of the games and even played some of them myself. I was trying really hard not to nerd-out because I wanted to ask so many unprofessional questions about the video games themselves. I was tuned into the presentation the whole way through and the CFO himself was very witty and made the presentation really fun to listen to. After we left the building I immediately texted my one friend back at home to tell him I went to the headquarters of the art designers for one of the games we play together.
At Glass Egg, the CFO explained that one of the downsides of having their company operated in Vietnam as that not many foreign countries default to seeking them for work. In America, when you think video game designers your mind immediately clicks to China. China is the biggest name out there and even though Glass Egg offers some of the best service in the world, most people will still think of China. One good thing about having your company settled in Vietnam is that there is not many competitors in Vietnam. He even explained himself that they try to work with their competitors rather than seeing them as enemies. The CFO said that in a decades worth of time, console and computer games will slowly fall out of relevancy and Augmented Reality will take its place as the new gaming titan. Augmented Reality already proved to be a success with the recent app Pokemon Go, where users catch Pokemon in real life and can see them in the world around them. It was really interesting to visit a company that works on something that I am very passionate about.