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Squid game graphic (Player 067 with symbols in the background)
Original photo by Mairi O\'Toole

Why “Squid Game” Made Me Question All of Humanity

One of Netflix’s newest shows, Squid Game, seemed to come out of nowhere. I remember having three people within the hour ask me if I had seen the South Korean TV show, to which I had no idea what they were talking about. 

In the next few days, a couple of my friends and I decided to watch it together, and I went into the first episode without even watching a trailer. To say that I was horrified yet intrigued is an understatement. Throughout the series, I had so many questions that I usually never thought of while watching other shows, the most prevalent being, “what is wrong with humanity?”

If you are unaware of what Squid Game is about, there’s no single sentence to perfectly emulate the series. The closest to it would be that the series is about our main character, Seong Gi-Hun, entering a competition to resolve his massive debts. Though that is the premise of the show, it goes so much deeper than that. It is a series about deception, betrayal, and most of all: greed. At the same time, bright colors, classical music, and a variety of childhood Korean games give the show a playful overtone.

Throughout the game, you meet new characters who are all struggling with their own debts in their lives. You see different perspectives in their desperate need for money, and while some are violent and selfish, all are horrifyingly realistic to real people’s lives. 

After finishing the series, I was left to question humanity for a number of reasons.  It’s alarming to see the lives of Squid Game’s characters in South Korea, how dire problems with debt have become and how most take a blind eye to it if they’re not struggling themselves. When watching, I never believed that people would be that desperate for money, and how even when life is against them, they choose to go against each other rather than the system. It’s as if no matter what, they never win. The game represents our overglorified society; it’s scary yet intriguing. It made me wonder what I could do to change our current system and societal view regarding debt, but at the same time, what could I really do?

I encourage you to watch Squid Game, as it’s incredibly made from all sides of production along with the actors’ stunning performances. I will say; however, do not watch this show if you’re uneasy about anything gore related. Even I was surprised by the amount of gruesome deaths that happen in this show. Once you’re finished, you’ll either be feeling incredibly depressed or wanting the next season as soon as possible. 

Or both.

Anna Bedell

CU Boulder '25

Anna is a freshman at CU Boulder majoring in business marketing with a minor in journalism. She is super excited to be apart of Her Campus and is always looking to improve her writing skills. Anna has been writing creative fiction stories since the age of 7, and hopes to transfer her creativity into article writing. When not writing, she's seen rock climbing, playing various geography games, or watching movies that make her cry.
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