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Finally a reason for the iPhone

By science & technology editor Suzi Quantreau

Posted June 14, 2012
competitive eating on the iphone
Eat those Angry Birds: World-class gurgitators push themselves to the limit. (Check bottom for credits)

Ever wanted to eat 68 hot dogs in 10 minutes like Joey Chestnut? Well, thanks to a new app that we haven't actually tested perhaps you now can.

In news that will no doubt bring cheer to Kok Wang, those annoying Angry Birds look set to soon disappear down the gullet of the world's greatest belcher, Tim 'Eater X' Janus.

Oh yes, in a stroke of genius Major League Eating (MLE), "the world governing body of all stomach-centric sport", has teamed up with games designer Mastiff to develop the world's first-ever official competitive eating app, Major League Eating: The Game.

Personally, I couldn't give a rat's arse about smart phones or apps (whatever they are) but I do love competitive eating, which is why I'll happily plug anything that, as MLE puts it in a press release, enables people "to assume the persona of top professional eaters, such as Crazy Legs Conti and Eater X, while battling it out in disciplines such as rib-, wing- and taco-eating contests".

Available here for the iPhone, iPad and presumably the iPatch, Major League Eating: The Game "tests players' ability to bring food to their mouths quickly while maintaining control of accumulating food volume and associated gas in the digital stomachs of their avatars".

However, failure to do so, MLE continues, will produce "results that are catastrophic or heroic, depending on one's viewpoint".

But that's not all because the new app is also "seen by economists as a possible cure to the malaise that has plagued the global economy for the past four-plus years".

At the same time, many parents have "welcomed the arrival of the game as a way to provide their children with productive and educational entertainment" during the long summer holidays.

"This game is extraordinarily challenging and exciting," says MLE chairman George Shea.

"I find it more enjoyable than conversation with friends, and the satisfaction I feel after winning a round is significantly more rewarding than my social relationships."

sonya thomas is ace
Sonya Thomas: An amazing alimentary athlete who once ate a whole turkey in 10 minutes. (Check bottom for credits)

The game, MLE reports, "is easy to play but hard to master" as it requires the player to "strategically stuff and chew as much as possible" within a given time limit.

Meanwhile, players need to watch their stomach status "to avoid a 'reversal of fortune' and use power-ups – such as burping, farting and the dreaded fire belch – to hit [their] opponent and cause [them] to 'reverse' and lose the race in a most embarrassing way".

Offering a total of 12 athletic eating disciplines, Major League Eating: The Game allows the player to graphically become one of 10 top gurgitators, such as 'the Lovely' Juliet Lee, Patrick 'Deep Dish' Bertoletti, Tim 'Gravy' Brown or the Rake & Herald's own particular favourite Sonya 'The Black Widow' Thomas1.

Furthermore, thanks to something called "game center integration", the player can also "share their greatest eating adventures with the world online, including achievements like Absolute Cram, Burp Master and Reversal of Fortune".

If any of that sounds alien to you then you'd better get over to the MLE's YouTube channel pretty damn quick.

After all, the sport's annual crowning glory, the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating Contest, is just around the corner, although exactly when it is I haven't got a clue.


1) Weirdly, the press release makes no mention of über eater Joey 'the Jaws' Chestnut, who has been by far the planet's preeminent competitive eater since beating erstwhile top banana Takeru Kobayashi at the 2007 Nathan's Famous Fourth of July Hot Dog Eating Contest. Chestnut achieved this by swallowing 66 hot dogs in 12 minutes. Two years later, he did 68 in 10. Trust me, Joey Chestnut is amazing. Read his MLE biog here and then watch everything you can about him. He's a total superhero.

Picture credits

Top: Original image by dj0ser; rejigged by Ignatius Rake.

Bottom and thumb: Original image by Brian Chu; rejigged by Ignatius Rake.

For licensing information click the above links.


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