Group Digital Artifact: Mukbang

JESSICA RADIC

For this project, we experienced the popular South Korean eating phenomenon, 먹방(mukbang). The term is a combination of two Korean words, 먹는(meokneun), meaning “eating”, and 방송(bangsong), meaning “broadcast”, which makes a mukbang, quite literally, an ‘eating broadcast’. Although originating in South Korea thanks to the loneliness of unmarried or uncoupled Koreans, the Internet has helped the phenomenon gain popularity worldwide, with many non-Korean Youtubers now also posting their own mukbang videos.

As for the Korean versions, depending on the mukbang, the audience may or may not pay for the privilege of watching their favourite host (known as ‘broadcast jockeys’, or ‘BJs’, in the mukbang world) eat. BJs interact and chat with their audiences, sometimes claiming to be the audiences ‘avatar’ and following exactly what they are requested to do. These BJs can sometimes make a lot of money for…

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