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The Aftermath of Hit Netflix Show “Squid Game”

While only released one month ago on Sept. 17, Squid Game has become a chart-topper in 94 countries. With 142 million of subscribers (which count for two-thirds of Netflix’s overall subscribers) watching at least two minutes of the new hit TV show, according to CNBC, it’s clear that Netflix has found its latest phenomenon. The show is an absolutely thrilling mix of horror and a little nostalgia with its lethal takes on famous childhood games.

Squid Game is a new Korean horror series that was released on Netflix on Sept. 17, 2021. It features 456 people participating in a series of adapted children’s games to gain an obscene amount of money, while a select group of “VIPs” who fund these games watch. The series features themes like anti-capitalism and serious class struggles, along with the importance and influence of money.

The show focuses on people who are struggling financially, many of whom due to some sort of addiction, such as the gambling addiction which the main character Seong Gi-Hun, or Number 456 in the show, suffers from. Throughout the competition, participants play lethal versions of a childhood game and those who fail, get killed brutally. With each new person that dies, more money gets added to the overall jackpot to be won by the final survivor.

Since its release, many trends have ensued, including people making a caramel candy called “dalgona” or “ppopgi,” a popular snack for South Korean children during the 1970s. Many try to carve shapes out of the candy like what happens in the challenge in episode three. It is also believed that costumes from Squid Game will be among the most seen this Halloween.

While the show is rated MA, meaning it is unsuitable for viewers under the age of 17, children are still finding a way to watch it. According to the Seattle Times, schools in Australia and Belfast, Northern Ireland, are asking for parents to check their parental controls on Netflix, not wanting parents to let kids watch the mature show. Similarly, according to Deadline, children as young as the age of six were seen copying a version of these violent and dangerous games,

An article written by Newsweek reports that the Municipal School of Erquelinnes Beguinage Hainaut in Belgium posted on Facebook that teachers recently caught multiple students playing a version of some of the games; specifically, “Red Light, Green Light,” only instead of death, the loser of the game gets punched by other players.

Closer to us here at Florida State University, there have also been reports of similar incidents happening at Hiland Park Elementary School in Panama City, FL, as seen on Fox News.

woman reading to group of kids
Photo by Don Eckert

So, to all the parents all over the world, make sure you know what your child is watching, because the internet allows children to be exposed to harmful videos, websites, games and more. This means checking to make sure that parental controls are updated on networks like Netflix and Hulu, along with having a conversation with your kids about the dangers that the internet imposes.

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Jessica is a freshman at Florida State University and is an Exercise Physiology. She is a big reader and loves romance books and getting her recommendations from booktok. She is also a big traveler and loves learning about new places and cultures.
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