Netflix series Squid Game has become such a global phenomenon, people everywhere are attempting to play a less deadly version — including schoolchildren.
The very adult South Korean show depicts hundreds of cash-strapped characters competing in children’s games for a chance to escape severe debt. If they fail, they are killed. So, not exactly the kind of game you want your child to be playing in a schoolyard or at playgrounds.
Guillaume Taillon-Chretien told CP24 his third-grader came home from school and didn’t want to go back.
“She told me older kids were playing the games from Squid Game,” said Taillon-Chretien.
The eight-year-old reportedly recounted how one girl was playing the role of the giant doll that determines which characters will be killed.
“And she was reproducing it, reproducing when they get shot, lying face on the ground,” he detailed.
Statements warning parents about students imitating the show have been sent out by several school boards in Quebec, reported the news outlet.
“We wanted to make sure all our community knows what this show is about,” Sylvain Racette, director general of Riverside School Board in Longueuil, told CP24.
The statement from her board states the “violent storyline promotes a feeling of confusion among young audiences and accentuates the impact of the shocking images or, worse, normalizes or desensitizes acts of violence.”
Wish you could join a ‘Squid Game’? Here’s a safer plan to escape debt
‘Squid Game’ star Oh Yeong-Su reacts to sudden fame
‘Squid Game’ overtakes ‘Bridgerton’ to become Netflix’s biggest hit ever
Rose Deschenes, a teacher at an elementary school in Ste-Julienne, said she noticed young children imitating games from the show, but when she started seeing Squid Game themes in their artwork, she decided to watch it for herself.
“It’s sadly impressive how similar it is,” Deschenes said, before adding the show is just one of many violent things in the media to attract children.
Squid Game has a TV-MA rating, meaning it’s designed for mature audiences only – not elementary school students.