Deadly children’s games | WORLD

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The South Korean series Squid game has become Netflix’s most popular series launch, the streaming service said on Wednesday. Since its release in mid-September, the 9-episode thriller has attracted 111 million viewers worldwide and topped the charts in 90 countries, including the United States.

The hugely popular show revolves around 456 contestants taking part in children’s playground games for a chance to win over $ 38 million to pay off their crushing debts. The catch: you lose, you die.

Middle-aged driver Seong Gi-hun (Lee Jung-jae) meets a well-dressed man at a subway station who invites him to play a simple game with a cash prize for each round he wins . Given the game, Gi-hun can’t resist. He signs up to play more games for more money. Her alternative is to continue to flee the loan sharks and lose custody of her daughter.

Numbered 456, Gi-hun finds himself with other players wearing the same green tracksuit on a distant island. Their game quickly turns into a bloodbath as masked officials mercilessly take down the losers. Horrified, Gi-hun resigns as soon as he can, leaving behind the giant piggy bank that fills with cash prizes – wads of cash amounting to around $ 84,000 for each player eliminated.

Still, Gi-hun and other players return when they realize the world outside the Deadly Playground is no less grim. He reconnects with his childhood friend, a disgraced investor, and befriends a Pakistani illegal immigrant, a North Korean defector and an old man with a brain tumor. What all returnees have in common is their impossible debt. This makes them desperate enough to gamble, hoping to win and change their lives.

Vices of all kinds come into play in this spectacle of survival. It is rated TV-MA for graphic violence, sex, nudity, and explicit language. Despite the games that leave everyone with blood on their hands, literally and figuratively, not all fall into depravity. Gi-hun grapples with his humanity in the relationships he forms.

While the series emphasizes the dignity of humans, it denies its Christian foundation and presents believers as annoying in their evangelism or hypocrites in their behavior.

Squid game shows how humans become beasts when they seek to progress or have fun at the expense of others. It also tackles the very real problem of growing household debt in South Korea, which has reached over 100% of the country’s GDP, the highest in Asia. To see the imago dei among our fellow human beings can prevent us from dehumanizing both sides of the class division: those with too little money and those with too much.


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