Squid Game’s popularity slaughters the competition  


Anne Karyo

Sophia Sarcona enthusiastically enjoys Episode 1

Anne Karyo , Reporter

Squid Game, a South Korean battle royale-type survival series has recently skyrocketed in popularity across a wide variety of audiences. Since its release two months ago, Squid Game has continued inspiring many trends across all platforms. As of November 2021, Squid Game, after only two months of streaming, persists in holding a spot in Netflix’s top ten list for the site. 

The well-acclaimed show’s premise begins with Squid Game’s protagonist, Seong Gi-hun, a debt-ridden divorcee and gambler who, proceeding an encounter with a well-dressed individual, is invited to join 455 similarly indebted players in a contest to gamble their lives away in a series of six physically and mentally straining rounds to become the sole survivor. With each life lost during the games adding ₩100 million (around $839.80) to the overall prize, players have a chance of winning a whopping ₩45.6 billion (around $38,331,360) as the remaining victor. Subsequently, this drives Seong Gi-hun and the other players to dance with death itself in an effort to mend their personal lives. 

“I find it interesting that each character had their own developments, with each character having their own reasons for being in debt, and the show having shocking moments like when Cho Sang-Woo stabbed Kang Sae-byeok,” Hailey Chang, a fan of Squid Game, said. 

With Squid Game’s compelling plot and characters, it was inevitable that it’d be the source of many social media trends. One of which, the Dalgona Game, took off immensely on Tik Tok. Influenced by the second round of Squid Game which entails extracting a certain shape from a thin, honeycomb sugar candy piece, utilizing a needle, the trend became widespread. The amusing aspect of the trend came from users replicating their own dalgona from the show and attempting to remove the shapes from their portions of the candy.

In South Korea, dalgona was a popular street snack back in the 70’s and 80’s and has begun to resurface in accordance with Squid Game’s rising fame. As the inspiration of Squid Game’s version of the game, vendors would allow their customers to undertake withdrawing the shape found on the candy. If successful, the customer would receive the dalgona free of charge.

“I thought it was kind of interesting, but heard there was some dangerous aspects surrounding people being inexperienced in making it,” Sophi Sarcona, another fanatic of the series, said.

Another trend that manifested from Squid Game’s extensive reach was the Green Light, Red Light audio, found on Tik Tok as well. The first round of Squid Game, from the episode under the same name, commenced with players being relocated to a vast field with a tagger at the far end and armed guards at the doll’s side. Players were tasked with crossing to the end of the field while paying heed to the tagger’s directions. As the doll recited the phrase “Green light, red light” players needed to further themselves towards the finish line. If players were detected moving even slightly as the tagger turned around, they’d be shot on sight. Tik Tok users would use the Korean version of the “Green light, red light” phrase in the ambience of numerous Squid Game related videos. 

“You can still see that, even though they’re fighting, Ali’s kindness still shows through,” Jae Lareau, a Squid Game enthusiast, said. 

As fans await an announcement of the following season, their content, and their enjoyment of the show itself, will prevail in Squid Game’s global success increasing. If readers are interested in checking out Squid Game, the show can be found on Netflix.