I’m so proud of the world… it finally discovered one of my favorite sub-niche’s of entertainment: Games of Death
Everyone has gone crazy recently, the meme machine is pumping out hits, for Netflix’s newest gift from across the ocean, Squid Game.
Now, this premise may have some similarities to other things you’ve seen: A group of people are in a game that when they lose.. they die. Of course the similarities are there to be drawn to a dozen other things: Battle Royale, Hunger Games, Roller Games, Running Man, Gladiator, Alice in Bordertown, Saw… it’s a pretty lengthy list of weird movies that I have an affinity for.
In the month since it’s come out, it has already done the life and death of an internet trend. Some people notice it. Some people meme it. Some people declare it is the best thing that has ever been created and that nothing has ever been as unique. Some people hate those people. Some people get sick of it being mentioned and promptly hate it without ever having seen it. And they are the usual round of reactions.
Is it good, yes, but that’s not what I wanted to talk about here. It’s about how cool I am. You see, it’s a weird thing when something you’ve loved since you were a kid hits the zeitgeist. I get why the hipster mindset of ‘I was there before it was cool’ comes out because it feels like something special that you’ve owned for so long and now it isn’t part of your personal entertainment genetic code. There is this gut reaction of, ‘Yes, I know you like Squid Game, but have you ever seen…’ that makes you sound like a complete tool. I mean, they like Squid Game, sure, but don’t they understand that the trope of the character that can’t be good at the game or the bully are simply common features of the genre? Geez people, come on!
If you look inside yourself, you know you’ve done the same thing. Maybe it was when everybody started loving comic book movies and you stared at your longbox full of X-Force #1 and wrote a lengthy angry Livejournal post? Or when everyone got into Sharknado and you, the foremost authority on horrible ‘animals in disaster’ movies felt horrible when nobody called you for an interview.
Here’s the thing you need to hear though: don’t be that person. It’s great to discuss the origins of a genre or note all of these other movies that people who enjoyed Squid Game may have liked, but guess what… you don’t own a niche or a sub-genre. Yes, it’s frustrating that more people are ignorant to the nuance of people being flayed alive by board games, but you get to be the ambassador. Tell them how fantastic Tag is or find interesting comparisons to make about the characters. Use your obsession for the power of good.. and be happy the popularity of Squid Game means you may get a lot more games of death to watch in the future.