While many Squid Game viewers recoiled in horror watching the tasks that befell the players, some finished the show with thoughts of entering themselves. Now, some viewers really can try their hand at the titular Squid Game as the United Arab Emirates hosts its own real-life version.
Some Squid Game viewers found themselves enticed by the idea of the ₩45.6 billion KRW (about $38.1 million USD) cash prize while watching players battle to the death. Others, meanwhile, were convinced that they could succeed at the tasks at hand, from Green Light, Red Light to the dalgona game. Next, those in the latter camp will have a chance to prove themselves in a real-life Squid Game.
On Tuesday, October 12, the Korean Cultural Center in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates will be hosting its “KCC Squid Game Event”—a reenactment of the popular Netflix series. Over 300 hopefuls applied, but just two groups of 15 participants each will be able to compete.
Closely based on the fictional Squid Game, the event will see contestants dress up in the same costumes as the show’s actors, while staff will wear the iconic circle, triangle, and square outfits. The event will also feature four of the six games from the K-Drama, omitting the eponymous squid game and the tug-of-war round. It will also add a game of ddakji to the roster, which the Salesman (Gong Yoo) played with Seong Gi Hun (Lee Jung Jae) in episode one.
There are just two key differences between the “KCC Squid Game Event” and the version from the show—naturally, no one will die in the games, and there’s also no prize money to be won. Instead, the Korean Cultural Center hopes the event will inspire people in the United Arab Emirates to learn more about Korean culture.
The games seemed a bit brutal in the series to maximise the dramatic element, however, actually all the games in the series are popular games played by Korean children.
— The Korean Cultural Center
To make the game safe for participants, sponge guns will be used instead of real guns, and the game of glass stepping stones will be played on flat ground instead of hundreds of feet in the air.
If the event is successful, it may even give rise to more Squid Games held around the world—possibly with the promise of prize money too. Until then, this is a true testament to just how popular the K-Drama has become across the globe.