Skip main navigation

Definition of Mukbang

Mukbang is a genre of short live videos where BJs eat different types of food in front of a webcam, and interact with audiences in real-time.

Etymologically,

the word Mukbang is a compound of two Korean words “mukneun” (먹는; meaning eating) and “bangsong” (방송; broadcast). Since South Korean live streaming platform Afreeca TV launched its service in 2005, Mukbang has attracted attention among audiences as a short live video showing BJs (short for Broadcasting Jockeys) eating different kinds of food in front of a Webcam, soon be – coming one of the most popular genres on the platform.

The mainstream media in South Korea started to pay attention to the use of the term a while later, when it was mentioned as a buzzword for the first time in a article of 2009. Mukbang is also distinguished from cooking content in print media such as newspapers and magazines, which tend to describe in detail the art of cooking while using (usually healthy) ingredients and showing professional criticism and commentary on the recipe.

It is also differentiated from those programmes dealing with over-indulgence of food or eating competitions such as the ESPN’s infamous <Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest>,

as it entails not only real-time streaming, but also live social interactions with the audiences during streaming.

References:

● Kim, H. (2015). A Study on Food Porn as a Sub-Culture – Centering on Internet “Meokbang” (eating scene) in Afreeca TV [하위문화로서의 푸드 포르노(Food Porn) 연구: 아프리카TV의 인터넷 먹방을 중심으로]. 인문학연구, 50, p. 437.

● Kim, J. H., Yu, J., Sya, K., & Son, S. H. (2021). K-Culture Glossary: 100 Terms to Get You Started with Korean Popular Culture. Jikim Publishing Limited.

This article is from the free online

The Rise of K-Culture: Discover the Korean Wave (Hallyu)

Created by
FutureLearn - Learning For Life

Reach your personal and professional goals

Unlock access to hundreds of expert online courses and degrees from top universities and educators to gain accredited qualifications and professional CV-building certificates.

Join over 18 million learners to launch, switch or build upon your career, all at your own pace, across a wide range of topic areas.

Start Learning now