Tomorrow is Halloween and surely you have your costumes and plans ready for the scariest night of the year. Among the costumes this year, the most popular by far is the uniform of Squid Game’s “supervisors” and I understand it because this show is EVERYTHING but what has me astonished is that these costumes are…for kids. For kids! Should kids watch this show?
Here we go!
Squid Game is a survival game. It’s about trying to survive as long as possible in the most extreme situations and “games.” This show is like The Hunger Games but, in a way, it’s much more… explicit and violent and, of course, it is not content that we think kids should watch.
I love this show, really. Normally I don’t get on the fashion bandwagon when everyone is talking about a certain show but I was curious so I devoured Squid Game and I don’t regret it because it’s raw, hard, heartbreaking and sad.
It’s a portrait of our society, a critique of it. It exposes our society, our own miseries, our own fears, what we are capable of doing when we’re at the limit, the way in which we’re capable of the best and the worst, everything is naked and shown without inhibitions. That’s why it hooks us so much, that’s why we love it so much. In a way, we’re like the VIPs who watched the game and bet on the winning “horse.” We too are privileged spectators of the brutality of society.
But this is precisely why we don’t believe that kids should watch the show. An adult can see beyond the blood, gore and guts and understand the complexity behind the story, including the criticism that underlies it, but a kid will only see violence, blood and pain. She/he will internalize that.
The fact that Squid Game games are played for kids doesn’t mean that it’s a show for kids. In fact, the game only gets more ghoulish when you learn that it’s originally intended for kids.
That is why I’m horrified to see that there are children who play “Red light, green light” at school and that, although they don’t kill anyone, the punishment for those who are eliminated is physical violence.
Our society still has a lot to advance to eliminate bulling and violence in the classroom, but if kids create a game to use violence because they have seen it on a show, we go backwards everything that we have advanced on this issue. That kid is normalizing violence against another human being, she/he is seeing it as something acceptable.
We must protect children, that’s clear to all of us. In fact, childhood is an innocent time that deserves special protection and if society agrees on something it’s in this, it’s in protecting children, in prolonging their innocence and their belief that the world is nothing less than a magical world full of possibilities and adventures to discover.
If we’re so clear that we must protect this pure and clean vision of the world, why do we allow that to be tainted with a show? Kids will inevitably grow up and understand that the world has a very dirty and unmagical side, and they will also realize that life is not as easy as it appears to be in fairy tales.
But there is no rush for them to do so.