Start Training: Squid Game Is Happening In Real Life

Some fans of the Netflix show can compete in the viral games.

Netflix's Squid Game is inspiring fans the world over to try the children's games. In Abu Dhabi, peo...
Youngkyu Park/Netflix

From Instagram filters letting users play Red Light, Green Light, to TikTok’s slew of make-your-own “Dalgona Candy” videos, the hit Netflix series Squid Game ignited its fans’ competitive streak, it seems. Created by Hwang Dong-hyuk, the gory survival series finds 456 debt-ridden players vying for a chance to take home a huge sum of money: 456 billion won (or $38 million), to be exact. For nine episodes, the contestants fervently battle it out over six children’s games popular in Korea because losing means instant death.

If you’ve ever wondered how you would fare in the show and whether you’d make it out alive, well, you’re in luck. If you’re in Abu Dhabi, that is. And if you don’t really want to face the high-stakes life or death situation. Hundreds of fans in the United Arab Emirates capital will get to try the games — sans the lethal consequences, of course — in an organized (and very legal) tournament. Unfortunately, it’s also sans the prize money, so it’s all for fun.

Abu Dhabi’s Korean Cultural Centre (KCC) is organizing its own IRL “Squid Game” tournament in the hopes of introducing Korean culture. A total of 338 people have already signed up, according to an Oct. 10 report by The Khaleej Times. Beginning Tuesday, Oct. 12, contestants will try their luck at four out of the six playground games featured in the series over the course of two days. The contests will include Red Light, Green Light (or the Mugunghwa Flower Has Blossomed in Korean), the Dalgona honeycomb candy challenge, marbles, and glass stepping stones (though it won’t be exactly like the show). Players will also get to play the traditional Ddakji, the envelope-flipping one-on-one challenge featured in Episode 1.

Youngkyu Park/Netflix

Of course, the costumes are a huge part of the show and, therefore, the re-enactment. Participants will wear shirts bearing the show’s logo, while the staff, aka the “guards,” will don the famous pink outfits with the triangle, circle, and square shapes. Luckily, the tournament’s “elimination” isn’t quite as final. Instead of shooting actual guns, the “guards” will shoot sponge guns. Whoever gets eliminated can watch the remainder of the games.

For the rest of the world outside of the UAE, we’ll just have to make do with social media filters, TikTok videos, DIY honeycomb games, and Halloween costumes.