#squid game spoilers
Caught up in the game, that was the last I heard
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The Three Finalists | Squid Game 🟥
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wow that finale sure was something huh i can't believe ali got to go home with the gang and grow old with his wife and child *sobs*
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Also, something else I appreciate about Squid Game is its approach to how the game is won. Most Death Game media is very straightforward in "only one winner or team/pair of winners, everyone else must die." But in Squid Game, no one is explicitly told that everyone else must die in order to for someone to win-- the only rule is that you have to "survive all six games." So conceivably, multiple people could win. It's even easy for some viewers to walk away thinking "well, there's no reason to not cooperate, then." It seems simple on the surface that the key to victory is Friendship and blah blah blah. However. In practice, the system itself is crafted against this.
1. The prize money only grows when people die. Meaning the more debt you have, the more you are pushed to want people to die. Even if only passively-- even if you would never want to kill someone with your own hands, the system conditions you to see the deaths of others as a positive thing.
2. The first two games are simple tests of survival. No one is directly pitted against each other. Instead, everyone is grouped in the same enclosed space as they play, and while they're not forced to kill, they are forced to watch others die. This further desensitizes the players to death. Then when the third game rolls around, the players are forced into a situation where in order for one person/group to win, another must die. And specifically in the game we are shown, Tug of War is very direct-- in order to win, you have to be the ones to pull the other team over the edge. By this point in the game, the players are not only being deliberately desensitized to the death around them, but are actively being conditioned to kill their competition. This is only reinforced by what happens before the third game...
3. Before the third game, the players are purposely provoked into rioting by limiting their food. We see that the people running the show are trying to make a riot break out and are stoking tension however they can. So even before the third game, players are being provoked to direct any aggression at each other, and that violence is rewarded and encouraged. While no one is outright telling the players they have to kill their competition, they prompt them to realize that by killing each other they can quickly increase the prize pool, and the games they force them to play directly pit them against each other, desensitizing them to the concept of killing.
4. The "majority vote to end the game" is a trap. Firstly, as we saw, the players are handpicked-- they're people in such desperate situations that their Normal Lives are little to no better than a Death Game. And in some cases, some of them would statistically fare better with their odds against a few hundred others than the insurmountable odds that they could crawl out of debt outside of the game. Even when people vote to leave, it's pretty much guaranteed that most will return after being reminded of their situations. But beyond that, when a vote doesn't succeed, that increases tension amongst the players. Much like point 3, it encourages them to direct their aggression at each other rather than those running things.
And as the games progress and the amount of players dwindles, the majority vote becomes a loaded gun-- any group or pair suddenly has the possibility to call for the game to end. And in doing so, all of the shit you'd been through, all of the people the system had encouraged you to kill-- it would all be for nothing. So by the time it would be easier for people to call for a majority vote to end the game, it would also be easier for those opposed to just kill them, and those people have already been desensitized to the idea of killing and encouraged to do so. If you get down to five people, and you're suspicious that three might want to end the game, you might risk a 3 v 1 to ensure you might still walk away with something. And whether you succeed and kill all of them or whether you yourself are killed in retaliation, that further dwindles the amount of players.
5. By the time of the last two games, all the stops are pulled to cull the herd as much as possible. The glass pane game was designed so that, even if everyone cooperated, there was no escaping the fact that people would die-- someone would always be making a 50/50 call. And then of course, we saw how the timer contributed to setting the players at each others' throats. With it being guaranteed that few players will survive to the last game, it's then easy for the game-runners to pick a game that could only have one winner out of those few players. It's no coincidence that it seems like every game has only ever had one winner. And it's no coincidence that the final game we saw play out was a game where one person winning meant the other lost and not something like Red Light, Green Light or Honeycomb where both players could have survived and won.
As always, they have control over what happens and what games are played, and though they may not explicitly try to get players to fight amongst themselves and don't explicitly say there can only be one winner... that is absolutely the end goal they are striving for, the way they manipulate the situation. That is how the game itself is designed.
Like in real life, the system may not say it, but it is designed against cooperation.
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what stood out to me most in squid game is how it portrays how different gambling is for the poor versus how gambling is for the rich.
we are introduced to gi-hun as a destitute divorcee laid off from work for trying to stand up for his rights as a worker, a person completely devoid of dignity barely surviving by stealing money from his mom to gamble. while at first glance it looks like he gambles completely out of indulgence, the appearance of loan sharks shows us that gambling is all he really knows how to... do. he gambles because he isn’t given any other choice to get back on his feet. gambling is the most immediate way for him to make money, and money vanishes far more quickly than it’s made. gi-hun’s gambling is a testament to how utterly defeated he feels in life. he feels he cannot take control of his own existence because his agency has been denied by things greater than him, so he feels compelled, almost secure even, in letting luck decide his fate, because at least then his misfortune is not his own doing.
sang-woo seemed like he was set-up to succeed in a capitalist structure. he managed to get into a good school, land a good job, rise higher than anyone around him simply beaming with potential. but he still lost. he took a risk with investments that didn’t work out, and he had no safety net to fall on because he didn’t come from wealth. he too came from a poor background, and when misfortune hit he couldn’t pay his way out of it. he had to cheat, gamble with not just his life and his belongings but with his mother’s to not even avoid but to stall his impending financial ruin. he made desperate decisions that affected not only him but people who trusted and believed in him, and therefore was also easy prey for those running the squid game.
sae-byeok is a poor refugee from north korea who ran away to the south with her brother and was coerced into engaging in criminal activity because the south wouldn’t help her anyway. she is separated from her mother, barely capable of taking care of her brother, unable to reunite her family because the system won’t help her. she has to resort to smugglers who con her out of her money no matter how much she gives or what she sacrifices out of herself. everything is a gamble, and the odds are constantly and purposefully stacked against her.
gambling is the ultimate expression of the uncertainty of poverty. the poor are forced to engage in actions that are uncertain to scrape by because no other choice is given to them, and that makes them the ideal target for those recruiting for the squid game. the poor are already at their lowest point, and so they’ll engage in anything no matter how physically painful and humiliating just for the chance to make an inkling of money. they lose, over and over and over and win once because the salesman has a purposeful advantage over them. when they win after consecutive losses, he baits them with the promise of the sum that will not only solve their problems but make their dreams come true if only they take a leap into a great unknown they will not refuse because they simply can’t. if they want to survive, they have to take the gamble.
the poor quickly find out that in the squid game, they don’t gamble with money. they gamble with their very lives. the risk-taking no longer becomes a question of risking losing property and subsequently losing your life, your life is simply taken. there is no hope of recovery in the squid game if you lose, you simply face the end for your failure with no compensation for all your effort, your fear, or your anxiety.
and that is intentional. the point of the squid game is that there isn’t any real choice for the poor. they either die out there slowly, but eventually with no hope of ever paying back their crushing debt, or they die in the game fighting to survive even if it means sacrificing others to get ahead. the rules were made so the majority would lose anyway, because the orchestrators of the squid game constantly goad the players into working against each other when avenues of collaboration are deliberately deprived. those behind the game only want one person to win, because after all, the struggles and suffering of the poor actually are a game to them. because everything exists to fulfill the rich, human life does too. the rich gamble on the lives of the poor, gamble on who can meet their selfish and whimsical expectations. but the difference is, the rich don’t particularly lose anything significant if they gamble wrong. one american VIP gambles (what i assume are) a million american dollars for a losing contestant who committed suicide out of grief over his dead wife. the VIP is not broken up because he lost money he didn’t have. the VIP is not broken up because a man committed suicide. he isn’t even broken up that he could’ve helped a struggling married couple and didn’t and they died because of him. he’s completely devoid of empathy for a life he indirectly took with his cruelty and self-centeredness. he’s just irritatingly frustrated that he bet on a stranger with no good reason to do so, and that stranger "squandered” money he didn’t even know was on him just because a rich man suddenly decided that he did. the VIPs won’t have anything significant taken from them because, unlike the poor, they don’t live under uncertainty, so a million dollars to the rich is trivial leisure rather than a death sentence. they could gamble anything, lose anything, and still sleep well at night.
the VIPs could’ve afforded to simply help every individual contestant get out of debt, but they chose not to because they were selfish and were looking to entertain themselves. il-nam attempts to convince gi-hun that wealth is just as much a burden as poverty, but il-nam, in an effort to justify his selfishness and cruelty tells gi-hun that humanity in inherently cruel, and therefore the rich should own the fact of human cruelty for their amusement.
il-nam completely fails to realize the alternative: that if too much wealth is a problem then perhaps the solution towards erasing misery in both the rich and the poor is to simply distribute it. il-nam dies proven wrong about his philosophy, a person shows up to help the homeless man he and gi-hun were betting. but what gi-hun doesn’t understand, likely because he still feels broken over the events of the game, is that he too had a choice to help the homeless man. we all can come together and refuse to live under the oppression of capitalism and demand fairness for all. the squid game may be a metaphor for the inequality plaguing reality, but there is no need for reality to be eternally held by the rules of the squid game. if agency is denied to the poor, the poor have a right to take it back. with the ambiguous ending of the show, we are given the agency to interpret whether gi-hun will defy the existence of and those responsible for the squid game and use it for ourselves rather than conform to the rules and expectations of the profit motive and consumerism.
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[player 059 has been eliminated.]
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theyre absolute sweethearts
(like or reblog to use)
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“You don’t win the squid games by being kind” but like....Gi-hun got as far as he did because he was kind. He kept reaching out to the old man and including him even when he thought that this would be a disadvantage to him because he was loyal to him and wanted to protect him, and that put him on the winning side of the tug o war. He paired up with the old man in the game of marbles thinking they would be working together, even though Oh Il-nam seemed the absolute weakest option, because he was worried for him and didn’t want him to get hurt, and that guaranteed his survival because Il-nam, for his own ulterior motives, let him win. He was kind to player 96 and gave him jersey #1 even though he had originally chosen it thinking that was most advantageous, only for it to turn out later that he was able to survive because he was dead last. He was kind to Sae-byeok and protected her and so she helped him in the glass bridge. He was kind, he was kind, he was kind. If he wasn’t kind at any of those points, he would not have survived.
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tw // blood
is this some children's hospital??
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Kang Sae-Byeok and Ji-Yeong
in Squid Game s1e6
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The black box with pink ribbon that Gi-hun won with the help of the kid in the arcade had a gun inside, except it shot a flame, was identical to he boxes they put the dead contestants in to cremate.
The deaths of the other contests served as a gift for the remaining players, and to Gi-hun's daughter, since the only way they would survive and return home was if someone else lost, and got put in a black box with a pink bow
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Amazing Marvel x Squid game Au by Ellizsha on Instagram
Reposted with permission
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it hasn't even been a month since i posted this,, jesus christ
next up on the checklist, an american remake!
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Squid Game spoilers for ep 8 and 9 in the next slides 🦑 :(
Basically, a summery of Gi hun's confrontation with Sang Woo after you know what.
Moral of the story: Sadness is strong but not as strong as meme redraws
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people really out there saying and believing hwang jun-ho is dead smh
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soobsbs i hoep they ar e dirnking mojitos togeter in the afterloifre...
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squid game is a funny show with funny antics
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