From Let’s Play to Let’s Eat: How YouTube’s Affordances Influenced the Growth of Mŏkpang
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Videos of people eating food are a big trend on YouTube, but not everyone understands the hype behind this genre called mŏkpang. This thesis examines the affordances of YouTube in relation to the South Korean mŏkpang phenomenon to create a better understanding. Based on an existing study on Let’s Play by Radde-Antweiler and Zeiler, this thesis uses a context analysis to examine several mŏkpang videos from South Korean micro-celebrity Banzz. By looking at the affordances of YouTube and how Banzz uses them, I illustrate how the affordances helped a cultural niche grow into a worldwide phenomenon. I argue that because YouTube is more concentrated on content affordances, specifically content discovery and content sharing, using YouTube as platform helped mŏkpang break free from its cultural boundaries and evolve from a local phenomenon into a genre with its own subgenres.