Binge watching TV series has become the norm since Internet TV/streaming services arrived on the scene. As soon as new shows pop up, it’s hard to not immediately add them to your library/queue while planning a day to watch an entire series. Squid Game, released by Netflix on September 17, 2021, has become the latest topic of conversation, “OMG, have you seen Squid Game?”
Almost instantly it became one of Netflix’s most popular shows with more than 111 million viewers, surpassing 2020’s Bridgerton as the network’s most-watched series to date. The South Korean survival drama depicting cash-strapped contestants competing in deadly tasks inspired by playground games, is rated TV-MA.
Families, friends, neighbors and co-workers are talking about it, kids are viewing it without parents knowing or begging their parents or older siblings to watch it, and the reality is – some of the violent themed games depicted in the series have spilled over onto school playgrounds worldwide as children mimic some of what they have seen on the show. To be clear, the playground games seen on the show are not the traditional versions that children have played for generations, but rather violent versions in which the losers from each game are tortured and face death.
Common Sense reviewed Squid Game and highlights some things families should know about the series and includes some suggestions for conversations that parents can have to help their children process and contextualize the show’s themes.
Netflix has easy-to-use parental controls, which will allow you to block specific movie or show titles, change the ratings of the titles your children are offered while watching Netflix, and even remove titles from the menu options.
Setting up parental controls and blocking specific movie/show titles if you choose to, on any streaming service, will make it easier to keep on top of what your children are viewing and to set up limitations on content and usage.
Just like with the TikTok Challenges it’s important to have conversations with your children about what they see and hear online or IRL from friends. Families need to make sure their children/students know that playing violent games like this at school is not OK under any circumstances. Partnerships between schools and families are essential to keeping our students safe at school.
As shows gain instant popularity it can be difficult for families to limit their children’s access to them. However, it is essential that parents/guardians take the time to preview content or seek out reviews on sites like Common Sense Media before allowing their children to participate in the latest craze.