Squid Game: The show that swept the Nation

By: Riya Kapoor and Sage Ye

Riya Kapoor and Sage Ye

Just recently, a Netflix Original titled Squid Game swept the nation. Just four days after its release, the series was the first Korean Drama to hit the number one spot on Netflix’s top ten. The show is reflective of the in-debt population of Korea; there are wealthy entrepreneurs that enjoy luxuries at the expense of the severely poverty-stricken majority. In order to alleviate their situation, in-debt individuals play multiple children’s games for 46.5 billion won or approximately 38 million USD  prize. However, there is a (quite literally) deadly twist, where the people on the verge of being broke play multiple children’s games for money, but with a deadly twist.  

The games played in Squid Game include Mugunghwa Kochi Pieotseumnida, otherwise known as Red Light Green Light, Tug of War, Ddakji, Marbles, and of course, Squid Game. Squid game is a children’s game played in Korea and is played in a Squid shaped figure drawn on the ground. In the game, the defensive players attempt to push the offensive players over a line they are not permitted to cross by the method of pushing and shoving. This game has regional variations including, Squid Ttaeng in Busan and Squid Unification Game in Haenam. 

Senior Rosie Kim talked about her childhood experiences with the game.  

“I used to play ddakji/딱지 with my friends all the time in elementary school during recess and lunch. I traced Dalgona/달고나 candy for a dollar or two from an old lady with a stand right 

outside my school. It was cool to see my childhood games represented on tv” said Kim. The show also swept many other people amongst the LFA community. 

“Squid Game is one of those shows that just emotionally grips you so well that you can’t help but keep watching. The child-like aesthetic contrasted with the deadly game’s characters compete and adds a unique quality to the show.” said Brian Botero “23. Squid Game also showed people the culture of Korea outside of stereotypes. 

“It shows how Korean culture is getting popular outside of K-pop, you know? I think now people will start paying more attention to Korean shows more” says Dohyun Ahn. The recent success of squid game, as well as that of Korean movies such as Train to Busan and Parasite proves Dohyuns point that general interest in Korean media has dramatically increased in the west in recent years. 

All in all, the show is Gorey and hypnotizing. Even two months after the series release, it still remains at the top of the Charts on Netflix and has 142 million views. Squid Game has a strong grasp on most of the student body and it is safe to say it will stay like that. 

Photo Courtesy of TheNewYorkTimes