Squid Game discussion

So! Squid Game! The viral sensation that’s sweeping the planet, as millions of people completely miss the thematic points about debt slavery and class conflict and focus on the death game and candy-based facets. I’m curious if anybody else has checked it out, and your thoughts on it. I have a feeling it’s gonna end up in the Tale category, just for the sheer railroady aspect of the plot. The MC’s also a bit of a cipher, and it gets a bit “Shaggy Dog” there towards the end. At the very least, it’s definitely got a very strong Optionlock Limit–both with regards to the six games and the 456 players.

But I definitely wanna hear some other input! :smiley:


I thought the MC arc was fairly clear, from selfish a***hole to compassionate guy who is happy to let others share the prize with him. Influence from a number of the other players, especially the old man.
Spot on with the theme. For me, much more effective at the start with the individual stories and a bit cringe by the end with the VIPs.
Suspect the policeman plotline is a setup for season 2 and will resolve there.
OS winning the games

It seems to me the main character was always ready to share his good fortune. When he had a fish, he shared with a stray cat even. I think he is a person whose fault is he is stuck in the thought that if he gambles/plays games he will win. No matter how far in gambling debt he is, he will not stop thinking he will win. (MC Mind)

The OS I think is people manipulating other people into dysfunctional activities. So I’m leaning towards psychology as OS domain.

I think the IC is the daughter of the MC stuck in a step family that’s going to move away to America. And his mother stuck with bad feet from diabetes (stuck in her physicality?). (IC Situation)

RS then has to fall in activities. ???

If that’s the case, there’s a IC switch-off, because it’s clearly the old man up until the end of the season.

My guess, the Goal is Obtaining, Success Bad. Though in the end the homeless man was saved, it does not end triumphant. The question remains of whether The MC’s nature is changed, so a bit of a Failure hint.

I think the IC is Mind–IC is stuck in the idea that people are jerks. MC is situation–Future (debt/daughter), a universal dilemma with all the characters. But SURVIVING/WINNING is the ultimate goal, not future, so the OS is Obtaining.

I would disagree. They are possibly the RS throughline, contributing to his SITUATION. But only indirectly impacting the steps of the MC or OS.

Success: Bad
Decision Driver

OS: Activity-Obtaining (Altruism?) (P/S Faith/Disbelief in money vs people)
MC: Situation-Future (Focus: Conscience/Temptation)
IC (old man): Fixed Attitude-Innermost Desires-Closure
RS (daughter/mother/old man): Manipulation-Changing Nature-Responsibility

(RS of MC with his childhood friend?) (other RS is the gangster and annoying woman, but this doesn’t add ‘heart’ but frustration to the plot)

In Premise Builder, for Holistic, my premise (above w/Conscience) would be:

Being moral about something (Outside World: ALTRUISM) in order to be a group’s conscience (Inside World: CONSCIENCE) keeps you from growing, leaving you feeling stuck and unfulfilled

Alternately, with Faith

Looking out for everyone (Outside World: ALTRUISM) in order to believe in humanity (Inside World: FAITH) keeps you from growing, leaving you feeling stuck and unfulfilled

Good points! And there is definitely a lot of self interest vs morality theme in the OS. YET even with winning/surviving the OS problems continue? It still feels to me like manipulating people is what needs to stop in order for the OS to be resolved?

Agreed that IC and RS are not strong in my arrangement, your points make sense. Going to think through this more.

1 Like

I guess it depends on what you think the ultimate goal of the story is…I think we’d WISH the goal to be stopping the chaotic manipulation. But for everyone involved, the goal is to get the money (or stop others from winning), the deeper message of the series is about humanity, about grabbing, about losing hope in the world. The idea is that money is boss, survival of the fittest (represented by the gangster).

But they say many times in the movie, “don’t forget, you’re in here, too.” Meaning, it’s not about any single person’s success, it’s about a larger issue. I think it’s about “what does it mean to be human in this rat race of life?” Ie: Altruism (morality) vs Self Interest. The faith in the OS is faith in humanity


(ie: the old man’s disbelief-cynicism and anti-altruism /masochistic altruism).

Is the manipulation what needs to end? We don’t like the game. The MC is struggling with the ethics of the game, sure. I think that’s the MC: Consider/Reconsider. Belief in the system is, I think, his personal question. Look at him playing that rigged crane game at the beginning. He thinks the system is in his favor.

But Manipulation is all about the RS. Look at the old man/MC marble game the childhood friend/Indian man marble game. Compare it to the husband who


hangs himself because he can’t live with himself after his wife dying

–(“OS winning at the cost of humanity.” RS changing our nature uncontrolled/conscience). Also look at the interactions between the annoying woman and the gangster. All about manipulation (control under the guise of temptation, vs doing what’s right) Don’t forget about his grasping for advantage–getting advanced warning of what game is next at the expense of others.

Just my take.

1 Like