You don’t need a copy of the Communist Manifesto on your bedside table to recognise there are a few elements of capitalism that could do with a rethink. After all, it’s our own morbid fascination with just how bad things could get under a capitalist system which has catapulted shows like Squid Game and Black Mirror into global stardom. But if you’re worried about your own place in the world, never fear, because Squid Game is happening in real life – in Abu Dhabi no less.
In a sign that can only suggest the serpent has begun to eat its own tail, or perhaps simply an example of life imitating art, the Korean Cultural Centre in the United Arab Emirates has decided to run its own version of Squid Game. The KCC listed the new activity on the programme section of its site at the end of last month, just after the show debuted on Nexflix, stating the rules of the game and outlining what contestants should expect.
Every game would contain 15 contestants, each of which needed to apply directly to the KCC to enter, and would be notified of their successful application via email. The games that would be played included Red Light Green Light, Dalgona Candy Challenge, the Marbles Game, and the Ddakji Game.
Fortunately for the selected participants, no one would be getting murdered by a faceless guard in red hooded overalls. In fact, there wouldn’t be any masked villains at all, nor would there be a prize pool of nearly $52 million dollars (yes, we apologise… the headline was slightly misleading). Sometimes in life, you have to take the good with the bad.
“To match up to the worldwide popularity of Squid Game, the Korean series on Netflix, Korean Cultural Center in the UAE has organised an event that you can also enjoy the games played in Squid Game,” the KCC’s website stated.
Squid Game has officially become Netflix’s most popular show of all time, drawing 111 million viewers in four weeks and topping Netflix charts in more than 80 countries. This topped Netflix’s previously most successful series, Bridgerton, which gathered 82 million fans in the same time frame. As you’d expect, season 2 has already been greenlit.
While the KCC version of Squid Game in Abu Dhabi might be a little tamer than the violent struggles faced by contestants in the show, it’s surely a format ripe for a game show in real life. How do we feel about a metaphor for the dark underbelly of capitalism taking form in real life? We’re not quite sure yet.