Squid Game, at the time of this writing, is the most-streamed series in Netflix history. It is also a critically-acclaimed Korean Drama using a modern take on the Action-Thriller, Death Game subgenre.
Death Games had a niche following in the past. This film genre was known mainly for the gore and horror movie lovers for its graphic and over-the-top visual effects. One of the first Death Game flicks is Bruce Lee’s 1978 film, Game of Death. Regardless, Designerpile has compiled several shades of why Squid Game will be an iconic name in film history.
An Introduction to the Death Game Genre
The Death Game was not a go-to genre for an average film viewer. Instead, the titular death game title that made the mainstream was The Hunger Games anthology authored by Suzanne Collins, which accused copying the 1999 cult classic Battle Royale by Koushun Takami.
However, the Hunger Games has less violence on film than the usual death games. But even if it had less gore, the political and horrific narrative of the Death Game genre is still evident in the storytelling. Even the controversy factor helped the movie gain traction worldwide. Nowadays, it is a multi-million franchise.
The Political and Societal outcry of the Death Game Genre
Like Squid Game, Koushun Takami created battle Royal with a political underbelly. In the film, he questioned the formatting of the societal standards of the educational system of Japan. Wherein The young suffer from being molded by education to encourage a dog-eat-dog environment.
The Hunger Games were a critique of how society picks the cream of the crop and the disparity of other nations due to class and political standings.
The Death Game genre is now in mainstream media thanks to Battle Royale games like Players Unknown’s Battlegrounds, Fortnite, and Call of Duty, which copied Battle Royale’s mechanics. Additionally, Battle Royale was Pat Patterson’s invention. In 1985, Pat Patterson invented the Royal Rumble. In 1993, the Royal Rumble winner eventually got to challenge a title of their liking. Everyone wants to play violent games because violent sports entertain humans.
The Colosseum held Gladiator games where the Emperor forced prisoners of war or slaves to kill each other for their proverbial freedom in Roman times. During the medieval or dark ages, Jousting was an honorary death game played by knights and noblemen. Nowadays, Wrestling, MMA, and Boxing top the ratings for the most violent entertainment that mainstream media allows.