The opinions expressed in this article are the writer’s own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.
Edited by: Aahana Banerjee
September 17th, 2021 is a date that will go down in history. It saw the release of the widely acclaimed and popular show Squid Game on Netflix, and has taken the internet by a storm ever since. For someone who thrives on mindless Netflix binge-watching, I saw this opportunity as an exciting getaway into the world of fantasy, and was eager to take a break from Ashoka academics. Unfortunately, Ashoka academics did not want to take a break from me. Buried under looming deadlines and assignment submissions, I found myself with practically no time, unable to spare a moment to engage in empty-headed content consumption.
Luckily for me, Squid Game not only decided to grace us with its presence on Netflix, but also occupied the entirety of Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and LinkedIn too. You name a platform, and you best believe that the show made itself known there. This made my quest to consume new content fairly simple. All I had to do was be receptive and perceptive to the conversations on social media around me, and I could easily delude myself into thinking that it’s comparable to sitting on a couch watching Netflix. For other procrastinating — yet deathly busy — souls like me who have not yet had the time or energy to catch up to the Internet’s latest obsession — worry not, you’ve come to the right place. Through a series of insightful scrutinization, I now know exactly what Squid Game is about.
Clearly, it describes an alternate dimension of the world where Global Warming ceases to be a threat, and becomes reality instead. Rising temperatures and depletion of the ozone layer have caused the icebergs to melt, the glaciers to turn into water, and the overall water level to incrementally rise, effectively engulfing us all into an aqua bubble of existence. Scientists somehow figure out a way to let the existence of human life droll on, and humans respond by finding ways to entertain themselves. They turn everyday life into a life or death and tit for tat game involving all sorts of marine animals – octopi, sharks, dolphins, jellyfish, and yes — squids. The elongated tubular body of the squid, with small keen eyes on sides of its short compact head become a sight that you grow increasingly familiar with. The mission of everyday life is to escape unscathed and live to see another day. Hence the name ‘Squid Game.’
There are also confusing obstacles that get added each day. Sometimes you will have to make caramel from scratch and shape it to resemble a starfish, and sometimes you will have to run to reach a white line before a creepy-looking Annabelle doll catches you and kills you.Other times, you will have to move as quietly as possible to avoid getting blasted into smithereens if, god forbid, you get spotted by a strange looking group of men in red jumpsuits who always seem to be posessively guarding the Annabelle doll.
All of these factors, among others, ingeniously make all the reluctant inhabitants of the aqua bubble not only scared for their lives, but also appreciative of the time they are left with, well aware that it is something they cannot take for granted. What makes Squid Game special, however, is that it draws realistic parallels and brings forth many important questions of environment conservation and preservation. It begs us to take a moment to ponder at how our daily practices come to influence our environment and to think about how it can negatively affect our futures. Aside from providing entertainment, Squid Game successfully draws the audience’s attention to issues of capitalism and how it can expound our interactions with the environment, forcing us to think of ways in which we can monitor and control these interactions to provide a more sustainable and equitable future.
All this, I got from Twitter and Instagram, without ever having seen the show (and not planning to either, at least in the near future). I mean come on, how far off the grid can my guessing game really be?