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What I Learned From Squid Game

***This article contains spoilers.

By now, you’ve probably seen all of the memes, TikToks and edits surrounding Netflix’s most-watched show, Squid Game. Usually when a new show drops, I wait until the hype is over to watch it. But with all of the buzz, and that creepy doll from the red light green light game, I decided to just go ahead and give the show a chance.

And I’m glad I did. This survival show follows hundreds of people, who are deep in debt, that decide to play a series of childhood games for the chance to win a large cash prize.

The action, cinematography and music (which were all chef’s kiss) isn’t what just got me. It was also the messaging. Seeing the circumstances of what each character has to go through in their lives outside of the games and the lengths that they went through to get money puts a lot of things into perspective. Here are my takeaways from Squid Game.

Have Self-Control

Right off the bat, we meet the main character Seong Gi-hun, an indebted gambler. Even without having insignificant funds, he impulsively jumps into things like betting on horse races and playing the risky game Ddakji. Though he ended up eventually winning both games, the expense at which he had to was not worth it.

It’s important to not be wasteful or spend more of what you can afford. When life is at its highest or lowest, there will be curveballs that will take you to an even lower place that you have to be ready for.

Never Value Money More than Your Life

I’m pretty sure red light, green light will always feel different to those of us who watched the show. After the remaining players harrowingly won the first game, they quickly learned how deadly the nature of the games were. Even though they were sent home based on a vote, the majority of them came back to compete once again.

I could only imagine what it feels like to actually go through what these players encountered in their daily lives. Oh Il-nam may have reasoned that the despair they experienced outside of the games was not worth living through, but I disagree. Life is precious and isn’t something you can bet on. And at the end of the day, what good is having money if you’re not alive to use it?

Never Value Money More than Other People’s Lives

The games didn’t only test which players could win but also their morality and humanity. From Ali’s betrayal by Sang-woo (still not over that) to the killing spree at night, the lengths certain players went to to increase their chances of winning were unpredictable.

Considering what’s at stake, some may say that that was their only chance at winning and surviving at the very least. Regardless, nothing worth having should come at the expense of other people’s trust, respect or their own lives.

There’s so many sides to our humanity that many have never been put in a position to fully see. It’s important to preserve ourselves and our morals and not lose them for material gain, no matter the circumstance.

Faith is a senior political science major and journalism minor at Georgia State University. In her free time, you can count on her either painting, baking, doing her hair, or occasionally playing guitar. From social justice issues to giving advice, read from a variety of topics that she is most passionate about!
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