Squid Game’s Hopeful Philosophy

Squid Game, Netflix’s latest hit, is on track to become the most successful Netflix series ever. It will be difficult to explain what all this means as Squid Game is a stimulating philosophical narrative driven by its morally contradicting characters.

Battle Royales have literally taken over the shooter genre. While other media outlets have begun to cool off the concept, Squid Game is a profound and unique take. Squid Games participants arrive at this slaughterhouse on their own initiative, unlike Hunger Games and the Kinji Fukasaku movie Battle Royale. All contestants are driven by massive amounts of debt and human beings at their final legs. A prize of 45 billion won (38 million USD) is up for grabs. The complex characters provide a compelling narrative. Let’s now look at SquidGame through these characters.

The flytrap and the hungry fly

Gi-Hun is a middle-aged man who lost custody due to his inability to get his life together. He still lives with his mother. Gi-hun is approached with a unique business card, believing it is a great opportunity to make money. However, he is tricked and kidnapped. He awakens with Sang-Woo, his childhood friend, and 400 other dazed people. They are told that they must all play in children’s games until there is only one left. You die when you are eliminated.

The players vote to leave the game after the first game. After a quick glimpse into their lives, contestants receive another invitation to the Squid Game. Nearly all of the players return, convinced that they will never be able to fix their lives. Gi-Hun returns home to learn that his mother has been diagnosed with diabetes and requires surgery. His daughter will be moving to the USA with her mother unless he proves he is able financially. These are the main reasons Gi-Hun is returning to the game, despite the fact that he may die.

A clash of friends

This is the beginning of the first clash between philosophy and Sang-Woo. They are almost opposites in every way. Sang-Woo was at the top of his class, and he was accepted to the best school in South Korea. Gi-Hun worked as an investment banker. Gi-Hun, on the other hand, was a chauffeur and their intelligence is even more evident in the games they play. Apart from the honeycomb game Gi-Hun has no creative strategies for the games. Sang-Woo’s quick thinking is evident in the first game “Red light green lights”, and every subsequent game.

Sang-Woo’s motivation to join the Squid Game comes from his work. He stole billions from his clients and now has an arrest warrant. If he fails to pay the debt before he is caught, his mother’s property will be taken as collateral. Sang-Woo’s reasons for being upset are solely his own choices. Gi-Hun, on the other hand, has no control over his mother’s illness or the child’s move to the USA.

They play the Squid Game differently. This is the most striking difference. Sang-Woo acts only with self-interest after the second invitation. Even if that means leaving Gi-Hun behind or killing him. Gi-Hun chose the most difficult pattern for the honeycomb game by withholding information.

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