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Where Did Netflix's Squid Game Get Its Name?

According to Forbes, South Korean Netflix series "Squid Game" is now the number one show in 90 countries. An unexpected hit for the streaming service, the series centers on 456 contestants who begin competing in various children's games in hopes of earning a massive cash prize that would leave the winner set for life. However, the games, like Red Light, Green Light, include a violent twist that will be familiar to fans of "The Hunger Games" and "Battle Royale": The stakes are life and death.

The bleak satirical point of the show, made explicit in Episode 2, is that as much as they're risking their lives and doing terrible things, contestants have a far better chance of winning big in the games than they do in the real world. Everything finally comes to a head for the "lucky" finalists in the last episode, "One Lucky Day."

But why is the show called "Squid Game," and where does the title come from originally? Here's everything we know about the real-life squid game.

Squid is a classic Korean children's game

The show's name comes from an actual Korean children's game called Squid, which the characters play in the finale.

Squid, named for the board's resemblance to the sea creature, was especially common among kids who grew up in the 1970s and 1980s (via Screen Rant). It's a multiplayer game similar to tag, where two teams, offense and defense, have to eliminate the other in order to win. The defensive team must stay within certain boundaries, while the attackers can use only one foot to play.

Where the original game is team-based, however, the "Squid Game" final contestants have to face each other one-on-one, and there are very lethal consequences if either one is pushed out of bounds. In an interview with Variety, "Squid Game" writer-director Hwang Dong-hyuk asserted that he intentionally chose to focus on children's games to streamline the story: "The games portrayed are extremely simple and easy to understand. That allows viewers to focus on the characters, rather than being distracted by trying to interpret the rules."

You can see these twisted versions of Tug of War and Squid for yourself by streaming "Squid Game" on Netflix.