Mukbang, Korean for ‘eating broadcast’, first arrived to the internet 10 years ago – and no one could predict the popularity it would garner. The mukbang has been defined as a ‘new and unique phenomenon developed in a specific socio-historical context of Korea’ which ‘breaks the norms of traditional food culture and challenges the social norms governing the body and subjectivity’ (Destefanis, p. 112).
For this project, I want to draw my attention to writing ‘aesthetic and evocative thick descriptions of personal and interpersonal experience’ (Ellis et al. 2012). In terms of who I am in relation to this research, I am fairly separate from the project. If I wasn’t taking Digital Asia as an elective, I wouldn’t have any interest in this project. However: I am a university student who knows the importance of expanding knowledge.
My personal experiences within K-pop are limited – I know a few names of popular K-pop groups and that it’s extremely popular. I have also picked up a few things regarding how the idols are ‘trained’. But my project focuses on K-pop fans, and I don’t know anything about fan culture in South Korea.
However, my understanding of fanbases and Western ‘stan’ (stalker/fan) culture aren’t limited at all. Twitter is a popular tool for stan culture…
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For this project, I was planning to download the MyDol chat app – MyDol was developed in 2013 as a virtual chat bot that connected people with their favourite celebrities. It is marketed as a ‘sweet virtual chat service’ in which the user role-plays with their chosen celebrity. The disclaimer that comes with the app is as follows:
‘Messages appearing on MyDol lock screen are virtual & computerised messages. Those messages are not from real idol group/members, but from MyDol Team and users.
My idea for the project was to download the app and experiment with the AI, seeing how far I could personalise it through our conversation. I also thought I would use MyDol to ‘chat’ with K-pop stars, as that is what I thought the app was specifically used for. I have limited knowledge on K-pop (and Korea) but have always wanted to…
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When trying to systematically analyse my personal frameworks when making sense of Akira (1988), a clear pattern emerges. Akira is a cult classic film I hadn’t previously seen – but I already had an informed opinion of. I knew that the film is regarded as one of the greatest animated films of all time – but it is labelled as long, bloody, and somewhat overwhelming.
With these preconceived notions in mind, I had already prepared myself to be in for a ride – and that I also possibly wouldn’t be able to understand the film to its full capacity for the aforementioned reasons.
‘Crisis of confidence’ is a term that I will temporarily hijack (Ellis et al 2011). Because I already had semi-informed thoughts and opinions on Akira, I didn’t know how I could approach the film in an unbiased way, which is an element…
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