Is there more behind Squid Games than what meets the eye?

Sean Chanakira and Emma Cochrane

Squid game the Kdrama (Korean Drama) originating from Korea, released in September 21,2021 is breaking records for the amount of streams all over the world and becoming a national rave in the United States. 456 people are met with an invitation to a game which is rumored to to ‘take their problems away’. Each of them has one thing in common though..They are all in deep financial situations and see no issue in risking their life to eliminate their debt. In this game setting, everyone is seen as equal, no matter how deep or how little in debt they are, this is the first time these outcasts to society are seen as human. ”The worldwide success of Squid Game — about debt-ridden contestants competing for a billion dollar prize while trying to stave off a grisly death — does seem related to its allegorical depictions of the brutal realities of global capitalism and the vast income inequality its created.” Is squid game just an upcoming popular show, or does it show a more hidden meaning of today’s current climate related to wealth?

Anyone, given the chance, would love to have millions and millions of dollars, but is risking your own death worth the money which you may not even be able to acquire? You can’t be rich when you’re dead. Upon accepting the invitation players are only told two things; if they win they will no longer be in debt and they will be playing games from their childhood. All seems well and easy until the first game, red light green light. Now, players are aware that if they slip up in the slightest during the games, they will be eliminated. Seriously eliminated. Without saying too much about the plot (due to spoilers) the viewer can now begin to understand that there is a price on top of each of the players heads, everytime a player is eliminated, their elimination contributes to the enormous cash prize.

North Korean websites are also paying homage to the ever popular Kdrama, Squid Games. “It is said that [Squid Game] makes people realize the sad reality of the beastly South Korean society in which human beings are driven into extreme competition and their humanity is being wiped out…. It is said to provoke outrage against an unequal society where people are treated like chess players… It is said that the reality of living in a world where people are judged only by money is a curse, and it is said that they are expressing their feelings of horror like hell.” North Korea is not typically seen as a country that tips their hats to passages, visual or printed, which represent the truth behind the yearn for money. “Its own autocratic rulers live lavishly while much of the country struggles with poverty, and citizens are currently facing yet another crippling famine amid ostentatious military exhibitions.”  However, the setting in Squid Games is much different than North Korea, all players are treated with 100% equality. Players and workers alike experience struggle within the walls of the games facility, no one has an upper hand.

But how does this all tie in? In Squid Game the viewer quickly realizes that these candidates will do anything for money, even if it means dying for it. Again, it brings back the question, what would you do for over a million dollars? Everyone wants money and maybe even majority would go through the extreme lengths which our characters in squid game go through to achieve this. Squid Game, although it is an extremely popular show shouldn’t just be watched due to its popularity; the show itself can be really eyeopening if payed attention to. 

What would you do to solve all your financial problems?