Squid Game-inspired competitions miss the show’s point

Squid Game inspired competitions miss the point

Jose Gonzalez-Campelo/The Cougar

The recent Netflix show “Squid Game” exploded in popularity and inspired some to recreate the games in real life, having people compete for money. However, because the show is a clear critique of capitalism, these recreations miss the point and are disrespectful to the original message.

The show takes place in South Korea, where a group of poor people participate in secret games to compete against each other and win a large amount of money. If someone loses, they are killed. The players are desperate to get out of poverty often sabotaging each other to succeed. It’s revealed later that rich westerners watch these games as entertainment.    

“Squid Game” is a tale about how capitalism requires poor people to compete with each other, often having to step on one another to survive. Meanwhile, the upper class sits back and watches as the lower class kills one another.

The creator of the show, Hwang Dong-hyuk has confirmed it was a critique of capitalism. He believes the global economy is unequal and wanted to illustrate that belief in the show. 

The television show and its creator made its message clear. Even if someone doesn’t totally grasp the capitalism critique, they can probably grasp the simple message that people should not have to compete for money.

Unfortunately, many people have either missed this point or just don’t care. 

Many people are now creating real tournaments based on the “Squid Game” show. People compete for a sum of money, but of course, aren’t killed when they lose. One instance took place with a bunch of YouTubers competing. Thankfully the winner donated his winnings to charity. 

However, poor people shouldn’t have to rely on a competition to see whether they get money or not, even if they’re not participating in the competition. If there’s money to donate, it doesn’t need to be dangled as a prize. It should just be donated. 

Now an even worse “Squid Game” re-creation is in the works with popular YouTuber Jimmy Donaldson. He is known as MrBeast and holds competitions where people compete for money. 

Donaldson is recreating the “Squid Game” set and plans on having 456 contestants just like in the show. The contestants are going to be randomly selected from his TikTok following.

Now people are following him just to enter the games, so it’s likely this competition may feature people who actually need the money, and aren’t just competing for fun. 

Based on a critique of capitalism, where the message is clearly against poor people competing for money as entertainment, a wealthy person wants to create a situation in which people in need will compete against each other for money as entertainment. 

If Donaldson wants to donate money to people in need, he should just do that, and he often has in the past. These tournaments having people compete for money totally goes against the message of “Squid Game.” People shouldn’t have to compete for a cash prize, and especially shouldn’t compete against each other for the entertainment of others.

While these tournaments may be entertaining for viewers, it is still wrong. 

The games are also disrespectful toward the creator of “Squid Game.” He meant it as a message of this, and now these competitions are being done in the name of his art.

If people want to create competitions for money, fine, but they shouldn’t use the branding of “Squid Game.” It’s disrespectful to the art and message of the creator.

Anna Baker is an English senior who can be reached at [email protected]

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