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What if Squid Game was made in India? A look at all the rip-offs from Indian childhood games

The games played in the show 'Squid Game' are quite popular in India as childhood games. Let's take a look.

A scene from Squid Game (left), Hopscotch being played at an Indian school (Source: TOI)

A scene from Squid Game (left), Hopscotch being played at an Indian school (Source: TOI)


The Bridge Desk

Published: 6 Oct 2021 9:48 AM GMT

The US-based Over-the-top (OTT) service Netflix has found a new breakout hit titled "Squid Game" that has been charting new records every day and has the world hooked on to it. The Korean show, which debuuted on September 17, is receiving rave reviews and terrific responses in India and has already surpassed Netflix's global hits such as Bridgerton, Shadow and Bone, Ginny and Georgia, and Who Killed Sara?

The plot focuses on a group of 456 people, from all walks of life. Each of them has one thing in common, though. They are all in dire financial situations. They are all invited to participate in a series of children's games such as "Red Light, Green Light" in the hopes of winning a massive cash prize. However, it quickly becomes apparent that the consequences for losing at any of these kids' games is a brutal and untimely death.

Creator Hwang Dong-hyuk told Variety that he took inspiration from the games he played in his own childhood and kept the rules simple so that the show could focus on the characters. By binge-watching the show, the games have struck like a rip-off of several childhood games played in India. Here's a look at it:

Ddakji - Tipi Tipi Top

Tipi Tipi Top

The show starts off with the traditional Korean game ddakji, also called ttakji, which is similar to the Indian game Tipi Tipi Top. It is a simulation of a paper game in which children make fun to assume what they are becoming, a famous or exciting character. There are four colours to select. Then there are four numbers form available eight numbers of different famous or exciting characters. The characters are also hidden randomly inside numbers. The character colour also depends upon the colour they selected. Children can make fun of each other to ask choose a color and a number.

Red light green light- Statues

The Korean version of "Red Light, Green Light" has the same basic rules as what we may have played as a kid, where the runners have to freeze to keep from being caught during a red light. It is similar to the game of statues played during our childhood. A person starts out as the Curator and stands at the end of a field. Everyone else playing stands at the far end. The object of the game is for a "Statue" to tag the Curator, thereby becoming the Curator and resetting the game. The Curator turns their back to the field, and the "Statues" attempt to race across and tag the Curator. Whenever the Curator turns around, the Statues must freeze in position and hold that for as long as the Curator looks at them. The Curator may even be allowed to walk around the Statues, examining them. However, the Curator needs to be careful – whenever the Curator's back is turned, Statues are allowed to move. If a Statue is caught moving, they are sent back to the starting line to begin again (or thrown out of that round, whichever way is preferred) and if a statue gets sent back they must go all the way back.

Tug of war

Tug of war being played in Haryana (Source: The Tribune)

Tug of war is one of the most popular games featured in the show, which is popular all across the world. The sport pits two teams against each other in a test of strength: teams pull on opposite ends of a rope, with the goal being to bring the rope a certain distance in one direction against the force of the opposing team's pull. The game has been a popular festival game. In Korea, the game is still played at festivals today, and it's said the winning team ensures a bountiful harvest for their village.

Marbles - Kancha

Marbles being played in India

In the fourth round of the Game, teams of two are given two sets of 10 marbles and told to play in any way they choose. The only rules are that the winner must win all of the marbles without using violence. It is a rip off of India's popular 'Kancha' game played in villages all across India and is similar to other marble games played in North America. Depending on what part of India you're in, people may also call this game "Goti," "Kuzhangal," "Anchankal," or "Kallankal." Equipment needed As many marbles as you would like to play with. Each player gets a turn to shoot their marble into the circle. Any marbles they knock out of the circle go to the shooter. Play rotates from shooter to shooter until all marbles are claimed. The player with the most marbles wins.

Glass stepping stones - Hopscotch

The penultimate glass bridge game appears to be inspired by balance games like hopscotch. This playground game has managed to entertain kids all over the world for generations. It is one of the oldest and most popular streets games to exist. There are many variations of the Hopscotch game all over the world. But almost all variations follow a basic rule – the player throws a small object into numbered spaces and then hops through it to recover the object. The beauty of the game lies in the fact that it can be played by a group of players or alone. We've got all the deets on this game that has managed to keep children entertained for thousands of years.

Squid game - Chor Police

The show's titular game, a version of tag with attackers and defenders, was mostly played in South Korea in the '70s and '80s. It is quite similar to the Indian game 'Chor Police' (translated as Thief and Police), also known as Chor Sipahi. It is an outdoor role-playing game played by children in. The game is usually played by children divided into two teams with no limit of players. One team acts as police and another one acts as thieves within a narrative. Police players chase chor (thieves) in an attempt to catch and mark them defeated.

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