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Squid Game highlights young peoples accessibility to violent content online

Squid Game

So you’ve heard the hype about kids playground copycat games based on  Netflix’s popular ultra violent Squid Game series.  There have been as yet unsubstantiated reports of children ‘beating up’ those eliminated and other potentially harmful behaviours around the games .  

So What is Squid Game?

One of the most popular ultra violent Game Show from Hell series on Netflix. 15+ Pegi rating.

The Premise: Set on an island somewhere off the coast of South Korea, the ‘Elite’ in gold masks –  fund, Hunger Games style, a murderous survival game and watch it for kicks. Recruitment from the city streets is easy – targeting debt-ridden people, most of them gamblers or poverty-stricken, all of them desperate.

Opinion: I’m a fan of the series myself, though like many parents, wont be letting the kids watch it. 

It’s an entertaining show for adults.  It can be sickening and you’ll be thinking about it long after the closing credits.  As well as contestants being herded around by faceless silent stormtrooper-like guards, they’re shot suddenly and frequently while they play childrens’ games. The dystopian backdrop, particularly in the times we’re in, could also be very unsettling for children. 

 Take it from me, or better still watch it yourself. You can then make up your own mind as to whether you believe the survival game show is disturbing and perhaps not appropriate for children or younger teens. A good rule of thumb is asking yourself would you bring the kids to the cinema to watch this show and feel that it was of benefit to them or would it make you uncomfortable to see them watch this.

The Hype

As always there’s a deluge of media attention but not a lot of practical advice on how this latest screen issue should be handled. Add to this Halloween coming up it can be guaranteed there’ll be a frenzy of kids obsessing about the show and Squid Game costumes flying off the shelf. 

So it’s a good time to focus on not just Squid Game but generally the content our children and teenagers consume at home on screen and just about anywhere, on their phones. 

The reality is children will come across Squid Game and other violent and inappropriate content on Instagram, Youtube, Tik Tok, Snapchat and any other social media channel. Netflix run trailors and clips. Tik Tok has a Dad and Daughter pretending to get shot. You name it – at the moment Squid Game will be on it. 

How Schools are Handling it

Schools quite rightly have focussed on reminding parents that this type of show is not age-appropriate and the content can be upsetting.  Some schools have considered sanctions for parents who don’t comply, in the knowledge that trends like this spread around a school like wildfire.  As always it will burn itself out but kudos to the schools for asking for parental support to nip this behaviour which has the potential to the harmful, in the bud.

What Parents can do:

  • Set up Parental  Controls on Netflix
  • Set up Parental Controls on YouTube.
  • Be aware that your children can easily access Squid Game content on all other social media channels. And of course other violent content.
  • Ask what’s popular at school and watch it before giving permission to the kids, just check it out beforehand – like any other environment they visit offline.

As one parent commented on the school note ‘I’m starting to think a more general letter about parental responsibility might be more useful. Keep an eye on your kids’ media consumption people.’ He mi

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Wayne Denner shares his knowledge & expertise on leading tech industry blog.

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