Unlike the dystopian TV drama though, the contestants’ lives were not on the line and people gathered just for fun and to meet others also obsessed with the latest TV sensation.
The event took place in the United Arab Emirates where, at the Korean Culture Centre in Abu Dhabi, a small group of lucky players got the chance to try out a few games from the show.
Two groups of 15, dressed in green shirts with a three-digit number on them, had a chance to try their hand at four of the series’ games: the ‘red light, green light’ game, the dalgona candy challenge, the marbles game and the ddakji game.
Head of the KCC, Nam Chan-Woo ensured that, while in the bloodbath thriller some of the games appear to be very violent, the event was perfectly safe.
The guards – who wore pink hazard suits and a black plastic visor over their face with the circle, square and triangle symbols – could be seen supervising the challenges and holding skull signs which their places onto contestants when they failed one of the games.
They did their best to replicate the look of the show (Picture: Insagram)
Frenchman Francis (on the right) ended up becoming the winner (Picture: Instagram)
Saying how the games featured on the show reflect Korean play culture, Chan-Woo said: ‘Just as K-Pop gained worldwide popularity through YouTube in the 2010s, I think platforms such as Netflix would be a channel for the global spread of Korean video content such as dramas and movies.
‘The games played in the Netflix series are popular amongst children in Korea and remind Korean adults of nostalgic childhood memories. But similar traditional games are played by children here in the UAE, too.
People were treated like contestants on the Squid Games by the guards (Picture: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP /Getty Images)
The real-life game used footage from the show to remain authentic (Picture: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP /Getty Images)
Everyone remained in character for the entirety of the game (Picture: Giuseppe Cacace/AFP /Getty Images)
‘I hope the global popularity of Squid Game will be an opportunity to spread other aspects of Korean culture, too, such as Hangeul, taekwondo, as well as K-dramas and movies.’
‘Actually coming here was amazing to try this,’ said one participant.
‘They absolutely did everything to the point as Netflix would have represented. And everyone that played with us and even the soldiers, they were all in character.
‘It was scary at the beginning they were not talking to us, they were pointing their guns at us. From the beginning, from the entrance they made it feel like we actually entered the Squid Game.’
Squid Game is available to stream on Netflix.
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