The South Korean drama starts out by introducing us to Gi-hun — a failed business man, gambler and divorced father of one who is down on his luck, struggling financially and in major debt to people in very high places.
He meets a man in a train station who challenges him to a game of ddakji. If he wins, he gets $100,000 and if he loses, the man gets to slap him. Gi-hun loses over and over but ends up winning once and gets his $100,000. That’s when the man offers him a chance to play a mysterious game for the shot at big bucks.
When Gi-hun learns his ex-wife is moving to the U.S., he takes the man up on his offer, and before he knows it, he finds himself in a warehouse full of beds with 455 other people who are all in massive debt also looking to earn extra money.
As it turns out, the players must play a series of six classic children’s games such as Red Light, Green Light and Tug of War. The games start out bright and colorful, but if you lose the game, you die.
After the first game, many contestants want to end the game and begin begging to leave, which they may do if the majority agrees they want to end the game. It goes to a vote and some leave.
But by the third episode of the series, some of the players go back into the game for round two. Alliances form, morals are questioned and more people die as the game continues.
In my opinion, Squid Game really speaks on how desperation and money can drive a person to do unspeakable things. It also shows the importance of teamwork, valuing the lives of others and why greed can be so dangerous.
Looking at it through a parenting lens though, it’s a violent and depressing show that’s wrapped up in colorful characters and childhood games that could be appealing to kids — whether or not they truly understand what’s going on.
And that has inspired some kids to take part in Squid Game-inspired TikTok challenges, including the Honeycomb Challenge, which has reportedly sent several kids to the hospital with burns.
In the show, contestants are required to etch a shape into honeycomb without breaking it. In the TikTok challenge, people are tasked with melting sugar to stand in for the honeycomb and then etching in their own designs.
The hot sugar can result in everything from mild scalds to burns that result in nerve damage.
Other more harmless challenges, such as breaking a cookie in half and less-deadly versions of the games featured in the show, have also arisen.
So what do you think? Would you let your child watch this show or participate in the challenges? Let us know in the comments.
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