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Your questions answered about Netflix's worldwide phenomenon 'Squid Game'

Here's everything you need to know about the TV show everyone is talking about. And yes, the show is worthy of all the hype it's getting.

INDIANAPOLIS — The world is buzzing about Netflix's latest viral sensation, "Squid Game."

What is it? How long is it? How did it get so popular?

Here's everything you need to know about the TV show everyone is talking about. And yes, the show is worthy of all the hype it's getting.

What is "Squid Game" about?

"Squid Game" starts with the misadventures of Seong Gi-hun (portrayed by actor Lee Jung-jae) — deeply in debt due to his gambling addiction — who is divorced and living with his mother.

A mysterious man visits Seong at a train station and is invited to play a series of games with high stakes.

He arrives to find 455 other players, also struggling financially, and learns one person will win billions in prize money. 

The task is simple: Complete a set of children's games or be eliminated. The twist? Those who are eliminated are killed on the spot.

What exactly is squid game?

The TV show gets its name from a popular children's game played in South Korea.

According to the show's opening scene, the game is played in a court shaped like the cephalopod with the following rules: 

  • Children are divided into two groups: the offense and the defense.
  • Once the game starts, the defense can run around on two feet within bounds, while the offense outside the lines is only allowed to hop on one foot.
  • If an attacker cuts through the waist of the squid-passing defense, they are then given freedom to use both feet.
  • For the final battle, all players gather at the entrance to the squid.
  • In order to win, the attackers must tap the small, closed-off space on the squid's head with their foot. If someone on the defense manages to push an attacker outside of the squid's boundaries, the attacker loses.
  • Once someone taps the squid's head, they win and yell out "victory!"
Credit: Netflix
Squid game is a popular children's game played in South Korea.

How can I watch "Squid Game?"

"Squid Game" was released in its entirety on Netflix in the U.S. Friday, Sept. 17. 

In the United States, the dialogue for "Squid Game" can be heard in Korean (its original format), German, English, Spanish and French. If you're looking to match the audio with the people's voices, watch it in Korean with English subtitles — this way, the characters' mouths will match what they're saying.

Subtitles in the U.S. are available in English, Korean, simplified Chinese, Spanish and traditional Chinese.

How long is "Squid Game?"

The nine episodes range in runtime, with the shortest at 32 minutes and the longest clocking in at 62 minutes.

As a whole, the series is just over eight hours long.

How did "Squid Game" get so popular?

Director Hwang Dong-hyuk came up with the concept for "Squid Game" in 2008 and originally planned for it to be a film, Netflix reports.

Ten years later, Hwang began putting his vision to life. 

"Thanks to Netflix, there was no limit and I was given creative freedom to work as I wanted to," Hwang said in the Netflix making-of article.

Netflix co-CEO Ted Sarandos recently revealed "Bridgerton" is the streaming service's most watched series, with 82 million subscribers watching at least two minutes of the period drama during its first 28 days on Netflix.

However, while applauding "Bridgerton's" success, Sarandos reportedly said it could be a short reign at the top as "Squid Game" has a "very good" chance of becoming the biggest Netflix show ever.

"We did not see that coming, in terms of its global popularity," Sarandos said during an appearance at Vox Media's Code Conference at the Beverly Hilton last week.

According to FlixPatrol, "Squid Game" has been the top-streamed show worldwide for 12 consecutive days — and it only seems to be growing in popularity.

On Sept. 30, "Squid Game" was the top streaming TV show on Netflix in 82 countries, tying the record with Dave Bautista film "Army of the Dead" on May 23 and 24.

What is the currency in South Korea?

The currency in South Korea is called the won, which has been in circulation since 1945, according to Global Exchange.

Credit: pigprox - stock.adobe.com
Stock photo of South Korea won money bills in different values.

Global Exchange reports 1, 5, 10, 50, 100 and 500 won coins and 1,000, 5,000, 10,000 and 50,000 won bills are currently in circulation.

According to the Google converter, $1 in the U.S. is currently equal to 1,188.69 won.

To put this in perspective, the winner of the six games in "Squid Game" is promised 45.6 billion won, which converts to $38.42 million.

Will there be a second season of "Squid Game?"

Although the ending sets itself up nicely for a second season, don't expect a follow-up anytime soon.

"I don’t have well developed plans for 'Squid Game 2,'" Hwang told Variety. "It is quite tiring just thinking about it. But if I were to do it, I would certainly not do it alone. I'd consider using a writers' room and would want multiple experienced directors."

I need more content like "Squid Game." What should I watch next?

The easiest comparison is "The Hunger Games." Suzanne Collins' three young adult novels in the dystopian series were adapted into four films.

Jennifer Lawrence stars as Katniss Everdeen, who competes in a televised battle royale against kids from 11 other districts.

"The Hunger Games" is streaming on Hulu.

South Korean film "Parasite" became the first non-English language film to win Best Picture at the Oscars in 2020.

The dark comedy thriller is about a poor family who schemes to get employed by a wealthy family.

"Parasite" is streaming on Hulu.

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