Squid Game Rises to Popularity

Traditional Korean dalgona candy.

Creative Commons

Traditional Korean dalgona candy.

Sophia Cacoilo, Reporter

“Squid Game” has become Netflix’s biggest series after it was released on September 17, 2021, rising to popularity in record time.

For those unaware of the new hit fiction series, “Squid Game” is a nine episode series which follows 456 contestants who were given a choice to join deadly children’s games or continue their poor lives. The “game” has a large prize pool of 45.6 billion won (Around 39 million U.S. dollars) with each contestant’s death in the game counting as 100 million won (Around 85 thousand in U.S. dollars). Each player comes from less than wealthy or indebted backgrounds adding to their conviction to be the last person standing.

The show itself appeared to come out of nowhere as it rose to popularity in September and October. Many question the reason for its likeability with critics and viewers alike is caused by the nostalgic children’s games, simple story line, and complex characters.

Besides these points, social media has further exposed the world to the famous Netflix show with easy to do trends and recreations. One of the most well known trends that comes from this show is the dalgona candy game. In the show, contestants are forced to compete in a Korean children’s game where they cut out a shape in dalgona candy, a Korean candy that is cookie shaped and is made out of sugar and baking soda. If the contestants fail they are then eliminated and murdered by men in pink. These men in pink are known as soldiers working under the creator of the game which are tasked to kill the players when they lose a game.

TikTokers or popular content creators recreate this game in trends by making dalgona candy, using a cookie cutter to make a shape and then attempt to cut out with a pin. TikToks such as these can reach up to over a million of likes with over 10 million views.

The show has reached a point where even Netflix officials commented on its adoration and its sudden fame. During the Code Conference in Los Angeles, an annual invitation only conference where the biggest names in business convene, Theodore Anthony Sarandos Jr., head of content at Netflix stated the show is “Number 1 in the world, like everywhere in the world.”

“As a creator, I’m so thrilled that my work has caught the hearts of people all around the world,” said Hwang Dong-hyuk, Squid Game Director on the fame of his show. “It might be once-in-a-lifetime experience.”

As of now, the creator of the series doesn’t have any well developed plans for a season two. Besides this, Netflix has yet to state anything about renewing the series, leaving fans waiting for future developments and news.