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It’s crazy that childhood games have a macabre touch now that we’ve seen the new Netflix sensation Squid game. South Korea’s survival drama has become an overnight success and has earned it recognition for being one of the most-watched shows in Netflix history.
The premise is simple. The series focuses on a group of desperately indebted people who are tricked into a deadly children’s game tournament. The only way to earn 38 million winnings is to survive to the last man standing.
Here’s a fun fact. Did you know that local South Korean studios rejected the presentation of the fictional program for a decade because of its overly grotesque content?
According to the Wall Street Journal, creator Hwang Dong-hyuk came up with the idea for the show more than a decade ago when he was living with his mother and grandmother.
The reason Netflix signed him was because “they thought the class struggles shown in the series spoke of reality.”
But what also played close to home is that many of the games in the series encompassed a kind of nostalgia, only this time it is played until someone dies.
One game in particular that caused a lot of debate on social media was Light Red, Light Green. The backyard game where players stop and go at the behest of a tagger is one of six games with fatal consequences.
It could be compared to our own version of Red Rover, only this one is much more sinister and particularly horrible.
Another game that South Africans know is Tug of War. In the series, two teams of ten people use an elevator to take them to a high platform. Each person is locked in a rope and begins to stretch. But this isn’t just any Tug of War game: once you start getting off the edge, they’re tickets for you.
In the Gganbu episode, players combine to play marble games. Playing on the streets outside our home, growing up, the winner must walk away with the precious marble of their choice.
“There are not even any specific rules for doing so Squid game marbles; you just have to play any game you make up with your partner using 20 marbles and whoever wins all who have all the marbles in the end will be the winner, ”writes Toussaint Egan for the Polygon gaming website.
“What’s scary, though, is that the man in a pink military suit standing next to you threatening to shoot you in the face if you lose this set of marbles.”
Probably more terrifying than this is the creepy giant animatronic doll that shoots you laser beams with red light and green light.
The children of the eighties will recognize her as the evil version of the little plasticine girl with polio who guards the entrance of all grocery stores and supermarkets and asks you to let her sad eyes give to one cause or another while the his desolate stuffed animal looks on.
Taking a seemingly childish pastime and turning it into a piece of dark matter is nothing new.
Even our most prized crib rhymes are steeped in truly horrific past events.
Still reciting Baa, Baa, Black Sheep? Maybe you should rest. Compiled in 1731, the use of the cradle rhyme in the color “black” and the word “master” made some wonder if there was a racial message at the center, Mental Floss reported.
“Its political correctness was once again called into question in the late twentieth century, and some schools banned it from being repeated in classrooms,” Jennifer Wood wrote of the online publication.
Of all the supposed origins of the cradle rhyme, Ring around the Rosie he is probably the most infamous, Wood added.
The most popular belief is that the song refers to the Great Plague of London of 1665: the “rosie” is the rash that covered the infected while the smell they were trying to cover with “a pocket full of floods.”