Select Page

Squid Game, one of Netflix’s most popular series to date, is a  story of desperation, death, violence, and betrayal. Each episode of Squid Game has viewers at the edge of their seats. If you haven’t heard of  Squid Game by now,it is the Netflix series is a thriller set in Seoul, South Korea. It has 456 people play a series of children’s games to win a big prize of 46.5 billion South Korean won (38 million USD or 296 crores Indian rupee) or die. But there are some great money lessons we can learn from Squid game.

I wanted to write a story that was an allegory or fable about modern capitalist society, something that depicts an extreme competition, somewhat like the extreme competition of life.” Creator of Squid Games, Hwang Dong-hyuk said about Squid Games

Lessons from Squid Games

Lessons from Squid Games

Squid Game Lesson: Too much Debt is bad, it can even kill

All of you in this room have crippling debts and are now on a cliff edge, Do you want to go back and live out your pathetic lives running from creditors? Or will you seize the last opportunity we are offering?” –Guard in Squid games, Episode 1 on why they were selected to play the game

The players in Squid Game come from many walks of life, a chauffeur who is a gambling addict(Seong Gi-hun,456) investment wizard(Cho Sang-woo, 218), gangster(Jang Deok-su, 101), North Korean defector(Kang Sae-byeo 067), Pakistani immigrant(Abdul Ali, 199) but they are all saddled with debt for different reasons. They need to pay the debt. 

In episode 2 of Squid Game,titled Hell, the characters return to their everyday lives after voting to discontinue the game but the grueling conditions of their lives in crushing debt inevitably lure them back. If they are going to suffer they may as well try their hand at the life-altering prize money promised by the game.  But after one day back in the real world, with its indignities, anxieties, and myriad bills past due, almost everyone decides to come back. Money, and the veneer of hope it can provide, is a powerful thing, and the players return like moths to a flame.

Personal debt is a problem even in the United States, nearly 75% of Americans die with an average of $62,000 in debt. 

Even in India Household debt’s share of GDP has risen from 32.5% in 2019-’20 to 37.3% in 2020-’21. A further rise is being predicted for 2021-’22 because of Covid-19 as families struggle with the job losses, burden of health expenses. (Scroll )

Loan Sharks

We also see loan sharks. A loan shark is a person who offers loans at extremely high interest rates, has strict terms of collection upon failure, and generally operates outside the law. Like old Bollywood movies, like Mother India, 2 Bigha Zameen, had Lala to whom almost everyone in the village owed money.

In the first episode Seong Gi-hun, is chased by knife-wielding lenders, who force him to sign a document to give up a kidney and an eye if he doesn’t repay in a month. 

In Real life also Seo Jung-jin, the richest man in South Korea, founder of biopharmaceutical company Celltrion,said that he had to sign away his organs as collateral to borrow from loan sharks to keep his company afloat following the Asian financial crisis of the early 2000s. ( interviews)

Check this video on how one lender terrorizes those who cannot pay their loans?

Don’t fall for Get Quick Rich schemes

Squid Game reminds us that “get rich quick” schemes do not exist. Personal wealth takes time to grow. 

Seong Gi-hu has a horse racing gambling addiction. Cho Sang-woo extremely intelligent who has studied at the University does risky investments using client money which backfires. 

Getting Quick Rich through Gambling is not a shortcut.

As we see in Squid Games, people become so addicted to gambling and get saddled with huge debts.  And then they start taking huge risks. From being slapped on losing to playing the game of death. 

The scene in Squid games haunts me. A mysterious man in a suit approaches Seong Gi-hun in a subway station with an offer.  If he can defeat the man in a little game of skill and chance(ddakji), he’ll win 100,000 won, if he loses, the mystery man will slap him. After Countless slaps, Gi-hun finally wins the game.  The man offers Seong Gi-hun He can make more, much more, if he calls the man up and plays games like this one for a few days.

Importance of Insurance

Seong Gi-hun, In the 2nd episode of the series, finds out that his mother has to leave the hospital due to a lack of money to pay the hospital bills. Earlier Gi Hun had canceled his mother’s health insurance and spent the money. She then cannot get the medical help she needs.

Insurance is a must for the future it is not an expense.

The best time to buy insurance is before you need it and then be regular in paying premiums. 

Have difficult to guess PassWords

Gi Hun steals his mother’s ATM card and enters his own daughter’s date of birth as the correct PIN number

The ATM scene is a reminder to improve our passwords.  It should not be easy to guess. Using names and birthdays as passwords is a big NO-NO. You should create strong,  passwords, preferably separate for each account and store them safely. Also, don’t share your passwords and take selfies with your cards!

Money is not everything, have a purpose in Life

Money might be important, but it is certainly no substitute for doing something which makes life fulfilling.   

The game was masterminded by a rich person as a way to entertain him and his ultra-rich clients who had grown bored of their lives, the VIPs. a group of rich people who finance the death games.When spectating failed to satisfy him any longer, he joins the game as a player to experience the thrill of life-or-death situations.

Though Gi hun wins the grand prize, he does not spend it, till the end of season 1. Gi-hun’s mother died two days before the end of the game, leaving him to return home with no family or friends. The fact that Gi-hun doesn’t spend much of the 45.6 billion Korean won grand prize, at least at first, is telling of how deeply he was traumatized by the things he did and witnessed. When Gi-hun finally decides to spend his money, the first thing he does is to do right by Cho Sang-woo and Kang Sae-byeok before deciding to visit his daughter in the U.S.

As we are reminded in the last episode, no matter how much money you have, you need family, friends, and a purpose.

As we see Gi hun most passionate, saying to the number written on the card “Listen carefully. I’m not a horse. I’m a person. That’s why I want to know who you people are, and how you can do these horrible things to people … It wasn’t a dream. I can’t forgive you for everything you’re doing.”

Money Inequality in World

THE WORLD’S RICHEST 1% HAVE MORE THAN TWICE AS MUCH WEALTH AS 6.9 BILLION PEOPLE.

ALMOST HALF OF HUMANITY IS LIVING ON LESS THAN $5.50 A DAY.

Squid Game is all about how unfair our world is, how big is the gap between the rich and poor people.

Like Bong Joon Ho’s 2019 Oscar movie Parasite, Netflix’s Squid Game dramatizes the horrors of modern inequality and exploitation in South Korea and shreds the capitalist myth that hard work guarantees prosperity.

Squid game was played for the amusement of the rich. The rich are in a position where money is no concern, and thus it can be used as a plaything to pit those less fortunate against one another in a morbid fight to the end.

Protagonist Seong Gi-hun comes across as someone who steals money from his diabetic mother and can’t pay for his daughter’s support.

But isn’t he also a victim of systemic oppression, kicked from his job. So he was left to stew in his own misery, his outlook on life growing darker and darker.  He turns to Squid Game out of greed, a drive to earn redemption in a world that has left him behind 

It seems that just like society overall has a hierarchy, the game’s organizers have a class system.Just like ants in a colony, the employees have designated roles, which are denoted by the marks on their masks. “Circles are workers, triangles represent armed soldiers, while squares are for managers,” Hwang explained

Did you know?

Symbols in Squid Games

In Squid Games you see often see symbols such as Circles, triangles, square . What do these symbols represent?

For example, these symbols were in the buisness cards given by suited men to people to join Squid Game, or on the masks of the game organiisers. Circles are workers, triangles represent armed soldiers, while squares are for managers,” Hwang explained

These symbols represent letters of the Korean alphabets. 

The circle is the letter “O,” the triangle is part of the letter “J,” and the square is the letter “M.” And “OJM” are the initials for the Korean name for the squid game, “Ojingeo Geim” 

About Currency of Korea : Won

Prize Money in Squid Game was 46.5 billion South Korean won, which is around 38 million USD or 296 crores Indian rupee or £28,217,003.20.(in Oct 2021)

The South Korean won (symbol: ₩; code: KRW) or Korean Republic won is the official currency of South Korea. A single won is divided into 100 jeon(but it is rarely used in real life). North Korea has it’s own currency called Won.

The old “won” was a cognate of the Chinese yuan and Japanese yen, which were both derived from the Spanish-American silver dollar. It is derived from the hanja 圓 (원, won), meaning “round”, which describes the shape of the silver dollar. Just like Indian currency, rupee which is derived from the Sanskrit word rupya, which means silver

The exchange rate of won to US dollar is one won which is equal to 0.00084 USD.

There are more than 185 different currencies in the world. However, according to the United Nations, only 180 of these currencies are internationally recognized. Our article covers the Tricks to Remember Currencies

Related Articles:

Did you see Squid Games? Do you think it is very violent? Which game in Squid Game did you like? Which game in Squid Game did you not like? Who was your favorite character in Squid Game? Have we missed any lesson? Do you think there should be sequel to Squid Game?

Share