No, nobody dies if they lose, these are just a playful, low-stakes version of the viral Netflix series Squid Game.
It is one of the most-watched series ever on the streaming service, with obsessed fans worldwide loving the show that features characters being killed off if they lose.
Now, South Koreans are set to participate in real-world Squid Game-themed competitions at St. John’s Hotel in Gangneung on October 24.
According to The Korea Times, the players at the upcoming South Korean games are not in danger of getting a bullet to the head if they fail and will only get sent home if they lose.
Those who’ve booked a ticket are said to be expecting a business card with the phone number of the game’s organizer written on it. Then, once the event starts, players would compete in four of the games from the series in a forest near the hotel.
The featured games are reportedly the Mugungwha Flower Has Bloomed (or, Red Light, Green Light), tug of war, ttakji chigi (paper tile flipping), and the dalgona (flat sugar candy) challenge.
The prize money is also low-stakes, with a little over 4,000 worth of South Korean being awarded to the winner – equating to about USD $3.50.
The event is fully booked but has also received official notice that it cannot occur due to Covid-19 health concerns.
So far, the hotel has not canceled its playful take on games, and the future of the gathering remains unclear.
Another Squid Game event is also scheduled to start on Saturday at a camping site in Wonju, where players will compete for three days to win virtual points that can be used for the online leisure activity platform Frip.
A similar event was also held earlier this week in Abu Dhabi.
Residents in the United Arab Emirates carried out their take on Squid Game on Tuesday. Still, it was also just a fun and harmless version, without fatal eliminations for players who failed a challenge.
Kids in a Belgian school have also started their own Squid Game, but there were alarming beatings for the losing players. It is a much darker twist for a real-world Squid Game than the playful events in South Korea or Abu Dhabi.
The Belgian students have been playing 1,2,3 Piano – the Belgian version of Red Light, Green Light – and now are, of course, prohibited from doing so unless they do away with the playground violence.
The school’s Facebook posts urging parents to make their children aware of the consequences have gained traction and have already been shared 30,000 times.
As more Squid Game events pop up worldwide, most of the events are relatively harmless, except for some that violate pandemic health regulations. However, school students deciding to harm fellow students as part of a game is equally, or more so, problematic.
Battle royale and competitive elimination-based real-world games have been around for ages –with Squid Game as just the most recent inspiration for taking the activities to school playgrounds. However, when the games turn to violence – just like a TV show –the problem lies.