Some Koreans are getting rich by binge-eating in front of a webcam

Mad For Mukbang: Koreans Go Crazy For Online Binge Eating
Mad For Mukbang: Koreans Go Crazy For Online Binge Eating

It's not your typical food show. A new trend is spreading in South Korea, where a number of teens and young adults started using the Internet to broadcast themselves having dinner and turn into real celebrities.

The phenomenon is called "mukbang," which translates into "eating broadcasts," and is becoming gradually viral among Internet communities. Every evening thousands of users tune in to watch their favorite "eaters" have a massive amount of food and talk to their webcams for what has become a really profitable business. Some broadcasters in fact earn up to $9,300 a month just by eating in front of a computer, thought the costs for purchasing the meals are also high. Viewers can send in virtual tokens that are then converted into cash.

Here is an example with English subtitles:

According to CNN, the success of such "shows" in Korea is due to the rise of one-person households across the country that caused a wave of social loneliness. This feeling can be attenuated by having dinner while watching a mukbang, which is loosely like sharing a meal with someone.

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Originally published