Squid Games in real life: From Belgium to Abu Dhabi, people are playing their own versions!

Gangneung, South Korea - No, nobody dies if they lose, these are really just a playful, low-stakes version of the viral Netflix series Squid Game.

Squid Game has a deadly penalty for players who mess up, but most real-life versions of the games doesn't harm any players, they just send them home if they lose.
Squid Game has a deadly penalty for players who mess up, but most real-life versions of the games doesn't harm any players, they just send them home if they lose.  © IMAGO/ZUMA Wire

It is one of the most-watched series ever on the streaming service, with obsessed fans around the world loving the show that features characters being killed off if they lose.

Now, South Koreans are set to participate in real-world Squid Game-themed competitions at St. John's Hotel in Gangneung on October 24.

According to The Korea Times, the players at the upcoming South Korean games are not in danger of getting a bullet to the head if they fail in the games, and will only get sent home if they lose.

Ye talks presidential run, embarrassing Kim, and that MAGA hat in "prayer" clip
Kim Kardashian Ye talks presidential run, embarrassing Kim, and that MAGA hat in "prayer" clip

Those who've booked a ticket are said to be expecting a business card with the phone number of the game's organizer written on it. Then, once the event starts, players would compete in four of the games from the series in a forest near the hotel.

The featured games are reportedly the Mugungwha Flower Has Bloomed (or, Red Light, Green Light), tug of war, ttakji chigi (paper tile flipping), and the dalgona (flat sugar candy) challenge.

The prize money is also low-stakes, with a little over 4,000 worth of South Korean being awarded to the winner – equating to about $3.50

The event is fully booked, but has also received official notice that it cannot take place due to Covid-19 health concerns.

So far, the hotel has not cancelled their playful take on games, and the future of the gathering remains unclear.

Another Squid Game event is also scheduled to start on Saturday at a camping site in Wonju, where players will compete for three days to win virtual points that can be used for the online leisure activity platform Frip.

Squid Game events are being held around the world

Squid Game features hundreds of cash-strapped players who accept a strange invitation to compete in children's games, with a deadly twist. Too bad some people decided to imitate the show in real life, and in an extreme case, punish failure with beatings.
Squid Game features hundreds of cash-strapped players who accept a strange invitation to compete in children's games, with a deadly twist. Too bad some people decided to imitate the show in real life, and in an extreme case, punish failure with beatings.  © IMAGO/ZUMA Wire

A similar event was also held earlier this week in Abu Dhabi.

Residents in the United Arab Emirates carried out their own take on Squid Game on Tuesday, but it was also just a fun and harmless version, without fatal eliminations for players who failed a challenge.

Kids in a Belgian school have also started their own Squid Game, but there were alarming reports of beatings for the losing players. It is a much darker twist for a real-world Squid Game than the playful events in South Korea or Abu Dhabi.

Jimmy Kimmel burned his hair while cooking Thanksgiving turkey... again?!
Celebrities Jimmy Kimmel burned his hair while cooking Thanksgiving turkey... again?!

The Belgian students have been playing 1,2,3 Piano – the Belgian version of Red Light, Green Light – and now are, of course, prohibited from doing so unless they do away with the playground violence.

The school's Facebook posts urging parents to make their children aware of the consequences has gained traction, and already been shared 30,000 times.

As more Squid Game events pop up worldwide, most of the events are fairly harmless, except for some that are in violation of pandemic health regulations. School students deciding to harm fellow students as part of a game is equally, or more so, problematic.

Battle royale and competitive elimination-based real-world games have been around for ages –with Squid Game as just the most recent inspiration for taking the activities to school playgrounds. When the games make some turn to violence – just like a TV show – is wherein the problem lies.

Cover photo: IMAGO/ZUMA Wire

More on the topic TV & Shows: