Warning: This article will discuss all the games shown in Squid Game.It doesn’t need to be said that the drama series Squid Game has taken the world by storm. Topping the charts for series in each of the 83 countries that have Netflix, it would be an understatement to say that it is a global hit. With such widespread praise and affection, it isn’t surprising that fans are clamoring for a look behind the curtain of how this phenomenon was made. Now, Netflix has fulfilled that wish as they have released a video that takes viewers into a behind-the-scenes look at the creation of Squid Game.
In a nearly 8-minute video, members from the team behind Squid Game provide some new insight on the conception and creation of the show and a deeper look into the games showcased in the series. The video starts with director Hwang Dong-hyuk as he explains the project’s origins all the way back in 2008/2009. The idea for the series stemmed from wanting to create a series survival game with “more Korean characteristics.”
Art director Chae Kyoung-sun speaks on the design of the play spaces seen in the show, saying that the intention was for the setting itself to have viewers questioning what the hidden purpose of Squid Game truly is. Stars of the show Lee Jung-jae, Wi Ha-joon, and Jung Ho-yeon all reinforce this intention of the art director as they describe the sets similarly, like a dreamscape or a fantasy world.
The featurette also looks at each of the six games that the players are forced to compete in. Dong-hyuk says the reason that Red Light, Green Light was used as the first game was that it could both be played by a large group of people and is one of the simplest games to play, making it easy for the audience to get drawn into the scene and then be shocked by its violent twist. Ho-yeon adds that one of the most memorable games was Honeycombs because with all of the real honeycomb that was used (per the director’s request) the entire cast, crew, and set smelled like honey all day during shooting. The team also brought in a honeycomb expert to create the props.
When discussing Tug of War, Dong-hyuk describes the mindset of creating a set that attempted to “simulate the atmosphere of real playgrounds,” saying that doing so gave a greater “sense of reality to the actor’s performance.” Jung-jae says that the very act of playing a life-or-death game on a child’s playground acts in its own way as a type of “conceptual art.”
Kyoung-sun says that the set for Marbles was the set that the team put the most effort into, a job that seemed to pay off as many of the actors say that the location created a real sense of nostalgia. She also explains that conceptually, the set sits in between real and fake to parallel the life and death nature of the games. For Glass Stepping Stones, the actors were only 1.5 meters off the ground, but the fact that they were jumping between glass platforms made the experience terrifying. Despite no danger, Dong-hyuk says that the body’s natural fear that was present during this game made the danger of the fictional game much more potent on camera. Finally, there is the titular Squid Game. It is during this section that Dong-hyuk lays out the meaning of the story in the series:
“It seems like all that’s left for the participants is just despair, anger, and sadness. But like the outside world they were living in, they didn’t lose humanity or hope for that humanity. So this story is like Pandora’s Box.”
Squid Game is available now on Netflix. Watch the behind-the-scenes video below: