Games and economy. The presentation of characters is key and the context as well. The starting point is crises, both emotional and economic. Gambling, chance, mental and physical abilities, as well as survival qualities within macabre tests are formulas that rarely fail. And this thematic point is not accidental, taking into account the current pandemic context.
Angry doll. The violent giant doll in the first game is based on a traditional illustration found in primary educational textbooks in Korea. This narrative success is based on connecting a symbol of innocence and empathy, with cruelty. The contraposition of a children’s design as something scary is quite frequent in this type of genre, and it seeks disturbance and anguish. This resource is also used by applying empathic colors to scenes of violence and death.
Salutations to the manga. The original script has an excellent balance in the use of genre. It has strong references to different Japanese manga with desperate characters who seek to earn money at all costs, risking their own lives. The aesthetics used and the language of the cameras have that “cartoon” feature, with close-ups of faces and very marked expressions in frames that represent vignettes. The plots also have references that are reminiscent of films of impact and violence that are satires and social dramas, with doses of black humor, such as “The Hunger Games”.
Recess come true. Its creator, Hwang Dong-hyuk, inspired the series in a game from his childhood, which took place during recess. It is quite common as a creative exercise in script to propose ideas based on experiences and ideas from the personal world. The experiences captured by the author generate immediate empathy for the games remembered by the spectators.
Masks and rompers. We are in an era where series seem to find a sense of attraction in masks and rompers. At the narrative level it always works. The masks give that curiosity to discover the hidden identities, in addition to covering emotions that the characters can transmit to us. This is key, because the costume design and the sound imprint are beginning to take center stage. In this particular case, the skins have classic video game symbols, which are based on the commands of the PlayStation joystick.
Epic of the antihero. The series works on anti-hero and antagonistic characters, thus leaving a sense of gray main characters, full of contradictions and negative values. This is reflected in the actions of each player.
In conclusion, we can say that this series has a lot to tell us. And it will not take long to position himself in fictions to analyze and learn in film or audiovisual classes. Korea is positioned once again, in a factory of excellent fictions. An original series, raw, careful, and risky that catches us from beginning to end and moves us internally like few others, because in each scene justice, morality, and the survival of the characters are at stake in a world with such rules. hard like the squid game.
Head of Degree in Audiovisual Design at UADE.