Go to contents

New Yorkers play Squid Game

Posted October. 28, 2021 07:33,   

Updated October. 28, 2021 07:33


Some 80 New Yorkers wearing green tracksuits set with numbers got off a bus and entered into a building in Chelsea, New York on Monday (local time). These people got together to play in an event inspired by the Netflix series Squid Game and determine the winner. Contestants of this event hosted by the Korea Tourism Organization’s New York office played games, including dalgona honeycomb cookie carving, ddakji, and Red Light, Green Light. About 3,110 people signed up for this event, which gives the winner a round trip ticket to Korea, and 80 people were randomly selected to play in the event.

“The acting and the story about social class was interesting,” said Dylan Donovan, who worked as an English teacher in Korea about 10 years ago. “It’s nice to see high-class Korean movies and dramas gaining popularity in the U.S.” Another contestant Julia said she is completely captivated by Korean culture. She said she also saw the movie “Parasite,” adding American dramas are sometimes full of clichés and boring whereas Korean dramas are creative and keep showing something new.

The first game was dalgona honeycomb cookie carving, where contestants had to carve out shapes etched into dalgona cookies. Some contestants cheered while others sighed in despair after seeing the shapes of the dalgona cookie they randomly received. They all lay face down on the floor and started to carve out the shapes, using a needle or licking the candy like actor Lee Jung-jae did in Squid Game. Bellen, who successfully carved out a star shape, handed a piece of dalgona to a reporter, saying she made it by licking the back of dalgona like she saw in “Squid Game.” Chris, another contestant in his 20s, succeeded in carving out the most difficult shapeㅡumbrellaㅡwith a less than a minute left in the game. “I rarely used a needle and just kept licking the candy,” Chris said in an exciting voice.

When contestants are split into groups and started playing ddakji game, the sound of players slamming ddakji hard on the floor filled the studio. Some players slammed their tile on wrong places but everyone was all smiles unlike the actors in “Squid Game.” Contestants showed the highest level of concentration while playing Red Light Green Light, where players had to cross the finish line in three minutes without being noticed by the doll. The organizers of the event wore the red jumpsuits, which were worn by the guards in the latest sensation of Netflix, and one of them wore the black cape to play the role of the Frontman.

The winner of the event was Charles from Queens, New York. “I can’t wait to go to Korea and be immersed in its cultural heritage,” he said. “Korea is creating innovation for other countries.”

Jae-Dong Yu jarrett@donga.com