The Squid Game: How Netflix’s ultra-violent series affects young children

Promotional picture for Netflix’s Squid Game. photo credit: facebook/netflix

Promotional picture for Netflix’s Squid Game. photo credit: facebook/netflix

Jessica Balanzategui. By

dystopian south korean horror series squid game It has become Netflix’s most-watched TV series, but it is quickly becoming controversial as popular as it is.

Latest controversy arising around squid game, which is rated MA15+ in Australia, is related to the interest it has aroused in young children. This includes a warning from an Australian school that children under the age of six are re-creating a game featured on the hit show Dark and Gory.

A council in southern England recently sent an email to parents urging them to “be vigilant” after receiving reports “young people are copying sports and violence” from the show. In Australia, similar warnings have been issued by teachers in Sydney and Western Australia.

In squid gameCharacters compete for cash prizes by participating in challenges that enhance the classic Korean kids game, with the “loser” being killed at the end of each round. These games are staged in highly stylized arenas, such as an adult-scale children’s playground, further emphasizing the show’s twisted take on children’s play. After each challenge, these traditional children’s play areas are covered in blood and littered with piles of corpses.

Read more: Social inequality and over-violence: why the bleak world of Netflix’s squid game is a streaming phenomenon

squid game on tiktok and youtube

While recent warnings urge parents not to let their kids see squid gameYoung children’s awareness of the violent show is related to its widespread presence on social media, which has spread to viral content on TikTok and YouTube, popular with teens and children. The show is definitely a craze in children’s digital cultures.

Several successful channels on YouTube Kids (designed for audiences under 12) have taken advantage of this squid game Trend. How to make character videos of the squid game in this YouTube material, and . Are included squid game themed gameplay videos from online videogames roblox. This videogame, which is popular among children, enables users to program games and share them with other users.

squid game Has become a very common theme in these user-programmed Roblox games. Many Squid Game Roblox videos have hundreds of thousands or even millions of views.

Videos aimed at kids have people (often kids) playing it, both for kids and on the main version of YouTube squid game Inspired Games robloxThe “red light, green light” challenge is emerging as a particularly popular trend. The challenge is also a trend on TikTok, with people emulating the game in a huge variety of real-life settings, and in the video games Roblox and Minecraft.

The “Red Light, Green Light” scene has become one of them squid game Most widely shared moment: The giant animatronic doll that acts as a deadly motion sensor in the game has been heavily missed. This doll often appears in the video thumbnails for squid game-Related children’s YouTube content. Most of these kids’ YouTube videos are quite spontaneous on their own. However, they show how squid game Have entered digital content clearly targeting young children.

questionable boundaries

Given squid game With bright, childish aesthetics and a focus on playground games, it’s probably not surprising that kids love the viral online content about the show. But the boundaries between adult and child-oriented content online have always been vague.

YouTube has been at the center of many controversies over content that is inappropriate for children. TikTok has faced similar controversies related to the safety of children on the app and problematic content being viewed by children, such as anti-vaccination videos. Tik Tok allows full access to the app for children over the age of 13, but reports suggest much younger children are using it: Along with YouTube, TikTok is currently in the US Senate on the safety of children. facing trial.

After the US Federal Trade Commission imposed a historic US$170 million (A$227 million) fine on YouTube in 2019, extensive changes were made to clarify the distinction between adult and children’s content on the platform. For example, creators now must notify YouTube if their content is intended for children and machine-learning is used to identify videos that clearly target younger audiences.

Despite these changes, YouTube remains a very different animal to television broadcasts, and content popular with children on both the main and children’s versions of the platform is often markedly different from children’s TV.

Children’s YouTube Content That Influences squid game The characters and visuals continue an old trend of “mash-up” material for children on stage. like squid game Content, “mash-up” videos use trending themes, search terms and characters – often featuring popular characters in thumbnail imagery and video titles.

read more: In the era of the Elsa/Spider-Man romantic mash-up, how to monitor YouTube’s kids’ content?

about adult concerns squid gameIts deleterious effect on children builds on earlier concerns about this “mash-up” material, but also about children’s interactions with the web in general. Growing global panic about children’s participation squid game The challenges echo the ‘Momo’ phenomenon of 2018 and 2019. In this case, a photo of a sinister figure that was associated with the nickname ‘Momo’ went viral online (the picture was actually of a Japanese sculpture).

An international news cycle surfaced about ‘Momo’, with claims that the creature is appearing in children’s content on YouTube and encouraging children to participate in deadly games and challenges.

Read more: The Momo Challenge shows how even the experts are falling for the digital hoax

as it is happening now squid gameIn Australia and beyond, official warnings were issued to parents about the ‘Momo Challenge’ advising them to be vigilant. It soon became clear that the ‘Momo Challenge’ was a viral hoax.

Momo embodied parents’ worst fears about the dangers of children’s Internet use. concerned about squid gameIts effect on children is the same: These fears may not be a response to real threats, but a manifestation of our dismay at how easily adult-oriented media can seep into online content aimed at young children.

uncontrolled traps of squid gameshows how streaming media challenges existing notions of “child-appropriate” content.


Jessica Balanzategui is Senior Lecturer in Cinema and Screen Studies at Swinburne University of Technology

This article is republished from The Conversation under a Creative Commons license. Read the original article.

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