As the most-watched show on Netflix, Squid Game has left quite an impression on not only the entertainment landscape, but also younger audiences -- despite its mature themes.
According to the British newspaper The Guardian, following reports of children as young as six copying the show's violent challenges, a council in the south of England is advising parents to not allow their children to watch Squid Game.
The education safeguarding team from Central Bedfordshire Council sent an email asking parents to "be vigilant after hearing reports that children and young people are copying games and violence from hit new Netflix series Squid Game, which is rated 15 [for audiences 15 and above]."
"There have been some concerning reports recently about children and young people 'playing' Squid Game whilst at school. Squid Game is also being viewed via other platforms such as YouTube and TikTok, and given the popularity of the games in the show, developers have made various mini-games based on Squid Game on Roblox and other gaming platforms. We strongly advise that children should not watch Squid Game. The show is quite graphic with a lot of violent content."
Although Squid Game has some games that are too complex and elaborate for children to recreate, games such as marbles; Red Light, Green Light; and Tug of War are easy to bring to the schoolyard. On the show, players who lose a game are executed by a masked death squad with machine guns. This has influenced children to resort to violence on the playground to "punish" the losers as a substitute to death.
Psychologist Dr. Sandra Wheatley said that Squid Game could hurt a child's social and emotional development if they watch it too young, as it may encourage them to "stand by" or "join in" rather than help a peer who is being harmed. On the show, during the game Red Light, Green Light, players still moving after Red Light is called are shot dead.
The most-watched show on Netflix has made waves with Western audiences, prompting fans to ask for a second season. Squid Game director and creator Hwang Dong-Hyuk addressed the idea in an interview with Variety, saying, "I don't have well developed plans for Squid Game 2. It is quite tiring just thinking about it. But if I were to do it, I would certainly not do it alone. I'd consider using a writers' room and would want multiple experienced directors." ~Sean Olegario