Innocence Lost: Games and Memory in the Korean Drama Squid Game

Charles La Shure (Seoul National University)

The hit Netflix drama Squid Game drops its characters into a terrifying world of children’s games with deadly consequences. Commentary on the series has usually focused on aspects of social criticism, framing the show as an indictment of capitalism. This paper, however, examines the role played by children’s games and memory in a decidedly adult environment. How do the characters approach these games when the stakes have changed and the innocence of childhood is long gone? Are they truly on a level playing field, or is inequality inevitable? And how do our memories shape us as individuals?

Part of 05-11 Interpreting Games, Friday, October 14, 10:30 am–12:30 pm