Squid Game and the Game of Life

Timothy Tin

Recently an original Netflix series from South Korea titled Squid Game went on the air on September 17, 2021, and caused a wave of squid game frenzy. In a matter of 17 days, this drama series attracted a whopping 111 million viewers and became Netflix’s most popular series,  toppling the record set by the British period drama Bridgerton. Squid Game’s producer Dong-hyuk Hwang based the show’s premise on his early life’s economic hardship and the huge disparity between the rich and the poor in Korea.  The series speaks of 456 individuals of diverse backgrounds but all heavily in debt, compete in various deadly children’s games in order to win 45.6 billion “won” (Korean currency). These deadly games were conceived by a group of rich people, in contrast to the poor who are willing to sacrifice their lives in order to be the last remaining contestant to win all the prize money.  This game reveals and lays bare the cruelty and evil nature of the human heart, yet the rich would observe the game’s bloody scenes as if they are watching a horse race! There is not a lack of violence or gory imagery in previous movies, so why has this particular show created such a huge phenomenon?

There are possible reasons for this show’s popularity. Due to the global pandemic,  the amount of time people spent watching TV programs increased dramatically.  In addition,  this show draws viewers in as if they are the show’s VIPs themselves, observing the cruelty of the games yet experiencing the destitute sacrifice their lives to pay off their credit card debts. Some even invented a Squid Games’ crypto currency for anyone to participate in a game much like the show itself.  The value of this currency increased 700 times over the course of three days after it was introduced. At its peak, the value jumped to USD $2861.6 but on November 1st it abruptly devalued to nearly zero, causing many owners of the crypto currency to not only be unable to participate in the game but also lost their life time savings! These squid game fans were the unfortunate sacrificial lambs that lost their own assets to a fake game.

We must be able to distinguish the evil forces and powers that lurk in our world today. They use temptation, illegal trafficking, or kidnapping to design a truly frightening squid game–causing many people to live in misery, sacrificing themselves in vain, and unable to pull themselves out of it! However, there are those who are fearless and willing to risk their lives, who see their own lives as a series of games or gambles, resulting in many people who lose and become destitute, with only a handful of victors who will win at the end.

Even those who are winners eventually sell their souls. Life is like a series of gambles, but in the face of death, we are all losers. (Matthew 16:26) It is evident that life is not merely child’s play. Games are just an individual’s choice for entertainment. But life does not afford that many choices or opportunities! Time does not stand still or wait for us! We can always play a game again if we lose, but in real life, many opportunities just appear once. There is no turning back once a choice is made! Therefore God sent his one and only son, pleading that we don’t succumb to worldly desires nor see our lives as a gamble, and quickly acknowledge God to know the meaning of life. In order for us to have a hope in our future, we should flee from all sin and debauchery and accept God’s sacrifice of his only son. That way, you won’t be lost in the game of life, instead you will be guided by Jesus Christ who can lead you on a righteous path.

Author: Christian Alliance Bible Church in Los Angeles, CA

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