‘The Squid Game’: Kids imitate hit Netflix

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to: Mirko Schmid

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In this scene from Squid Games, contestants try to get shapes out of a Ppopgi without breaking their hard cookies. © Youngkyu Park / afp

“Kids’ Games” from the critically acclaimed horror-drama “Squid Game” arrive in schoolyards and children’s rooms. Experts sounded the alarm.

Frankfurt – The “squid game” is conquering the world. A social hit, South Korean filmmaker Hwang Dong-hyuk has racked up over 100 million views and was #1 on Netflix charts in nearly 100 countries. Squid is now the most watched Netflix series. The phenomenon extends to real life. This year’s Halloween costume hit: all about ‘Squid’.

But not only that, while in “Squid Game” children’s games are simply taken from the playground and turned into a fight for life and death, the opposite happens in a weaker form: the games shown on Netflix hit the screen spilling from schoolyards.

Squid on Netflix – Hitting Kids While Playing at School

However, the toys, firmly entrenched in Korean culture, no longer reach children’s groups in their original, innocent form. Due to the fight for survival in the series, which was first added by “Squid Game”, the losers are “excluded” from games, a euphemism for murder, and children’s games are becoming increasingly brutal. If the heroes of the fairy tale were killed, it will now happen that the losers among the children who play are abused or beaten.

And this is what happened in Belgium, for example, where schoolchildren played the game “Ochs am Berg”. In the Squid Game it says “Red light, green light”. Those who failed to finish on time or were caught commuting were hit. In Belgium, but also in England, Italy and Sweden, schools were urgently warned against imitation of “Squid Game” games or even the use of violence.

“Squid game” – honeycomb competition in focus

Parents were asked to show the consequences of such games to their children and to inform them that the use of violence in the “Squid Game” was a fiction. In Kent, England, a school felt compelled to introduce additional measures to prevent violence due to the hype around “squid games”.

Meanwhile, there are also increasing reports of children injuring themselves while trying to make so-called Ppopgi or Dalgona, a candy associated with honeycomb candy. In the “Squid game,” participants have to extract a pattern, pre-stamped in a cookie mould, from this hard cookie made of caramelized sugar and baking powder under time pressure. If they do not succeed in time or if the candy breaks, death awaits them.

Squid game: kids seriously burn themselves while making popgi

The so-called challenge to imitate this game is currently circulating on the TikTok platform, which is especially popular among children and young adults. In order to get the hard biscuits required for this, platform users will also find baking instructions there. Several English-language media are currently reporting on incidents during preparation. For example, a 14-year-old boy from Australia was severely burned when a non-microwave cup exploded in his hand. The mixture of sugar, baking powder, and water has been heated so much in the microwave that the mug cannot handle the heat.

Then the mixture of liquid caramelized sugar and plastic flowed from the knee to the shinbone and, according to his mother, “burned like toffee and my nerves burned.” The boy managed to avoid a serious surgery, but now he has to wear a compression bandage for a long time and is in severe pain. Meanwhile, such reports are piling up, with three cases recently emerging in Australia alone.

series squid game
first broadcast September 17, 2021
Type Drama / Horror
idea Hwang Dong Hyuk
the origin South Korea
swarms 1

It is scenes like this that call the experts to work. Linda Wickham, principal of Dulwich Hill Public School in Sydney, wrote in a letter urging parents to be more careful in monitoring their children’s use of Netflix. With just a few clicks, children can create their own access, where only content intended for their age group can be recalled. “Squid game,” for example, is only released in most regions starting at age 16.

Experts implore parents to talk to their children about the ‘Squid game’.

“The Squid Game features scenes depicting extreme violence and blood, age-inappropriate language, and inappropriate and categorized scary moments for elementary and early high school children,” wrote Wickham. The teacher also mentioned that she knows even six-year-olds who have watched the “Squid Game” and warned: “This inappropriate content negatively affects the games on the playground.”

In an online interview with RP, Stefan Drews, head of the Center for School Psychology in Düsseldorf for 15 years, called on schools to set “clear boundaries” and prevent reactivation of the “squid game,” but also found that: “The high euphoria but interest in the series provides Also opportunities to talk to children and young people about existential issues.” Simply put, ignoring the “Squid game” is not a solution, according to Darwis. Parents and educators have to deal with the fact that the series is now on the market and therefore consumed by children and young adults as well.

Children’s day care in Schleswig-Holstein re-enact “Squid Games”.

Parents here have a duty to speak to their children with understanding, especially about scenes of violence. Especially since children and young people in particular, according to Darwis, want to watch such series among themselves and not with adults. Parents are advised to research the series themselves first so that they are prepared if they need to respond. According to Darwis, especially when children already have a “certain tendency to violence or violent fantasies” with them, special attention should be paid to them, especially in the school environment.

So far, the appeals seem to have gone unheeded in some places. In the town of Bienberg in Schleswig-Holstein, for example, according to the publisher of the Schleswig-Holstein newspaper, even children from the nursery center play a “Squid Game”. The management of the nursery school made an appeal to parents: “Do not let your children watch this series. Not even if you are there.” (Mirko Schmid)

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