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“Squid Game:” Everything You Should Know About the Worldwide Trending Show

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at FSU chapter.

Squid Game was released on Netflix on Sep. 17. The nine-episode dystopian South Korean show started trending very quickly, hitting the number one spot on Netflix for over 90 countries. Squid Game follows the journey of the character Seong Gi-Hun as he accepts an uncanny invitation and joins a game to earn money, along with hundreds of other players competing. The players soon learn that this so-called game is composed of multiple children’s games, with a dark twist: the players that lose the games or don’t follow the rules are killed by mysterious men wearing red suits. 

I binged the show in two days, watching the first episode with a smile on my face, laughing at its lightheartedness. By the end of the show, that smile was long gone. The show made me rethink a lot of things, as well as making me extremely emotional at the death of certain characters that both me and the main character connected to (which I will not spoil, in case you haven’t watched it yet). 

What I really loved about this show was the way it portrayed humanity. The show demonstrated the brutal and selfish parts of human beings in the way that all the players solely cared about their own lives. All of the participants thought about themselves above anyone else and most of them were fine with sacrificing others so that they could win and get the money. Some participants (like the character Jang Deok-su) even actively killed others to eliminate as many people as they could. Towards the end of the first episode, the participants were told that if the majority votes to leave, they all can leave the game. And they do—however, the players go out in the real world and once again realize that their lives are just as hard and violent out there, so they choose to come back to the game. The players play six games and by the time the fifth game is over, only three players survive, one of them being the main character, Seong Gi-Hun. The players are so blinded by money and their selfishness that they neglect the unfairness of killing others.

Through this show, I realized that lack of money can make people do unethical, violent things. For example, one of the characters called Cho Sang-Woo (whom the main character is childhood friends with) betrays one of his close friends in the show, causing his death. Cho Sang-Woo turns into a violent, selfish person that Seong Gi-Hun can no longer recognize. He even almost kills Seong Gi-Hun, blinded by his ambition to be the winner of the money. 

The show depicts the hardships of struggling with money by showing the tough lives of the different characters that all need money but struggle to earn it. The show plays on the theme of trust as well, as some of the characters that the audience, including me, trusted turn out not to be so trustworthy. So, if you haven’t watched the show yet, I’d recommend you not to grow attached to any of the characters, because some of them are not trustworthy and some of them… well, don’t make it out alive.

The shift in Seong Gi-Hun’s emotions in the first episode compared to the last one is heartbreaking. Unfortunately, the selfishness and violent nature of everyone playing the game destroys him on the inside. He loses his will to live and everyone he cares for and though (spoiler alert!) he wins the money at the end, he can’t even bring himself to spend it. He is traumatized by the outcome of the game and feels extremely guilty, which I was really sad to see. 

Squid Game has definitely gained a lot of attention on all of the social media platforms, also leading many people to think about what they would do if they were in the game. Though it is easy to think that we would not be as selfish as the characters when watching the show from a screen, perhaps the show is indeed accurate about the way all humans prioritize their own gain at the end. The show is quite intense and there is a lot of violence involved, so if that is not your thing, it might not be for you. But if you do enjoy dystopian settings that actually reveal a lot about humanity, I highly recommend watching the show because it really changes your perspective. 

Side note: By the way the first season ended, people are pretty sure that there will be a second season. I’m excited to see how Seong Gi-Hun will perhaps bring the game down and learn more about why it was created in the first place!

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Hi! I'm Deniz. I'm an international student from Turkey, and a junior at FSU, majoring in advertising and minoring in criminology! I'm currently an editor at Her Campus at FSU and a writer for Spoon University. I love creating and sharing things and enjoy music, art, and writing :)