Squid Game is one of the most popular shows in the world, and definitely, the one people talk the most about. It surpassed Game Of Thrones as a fan’s favorite, which says a lot considering GOT aired for over a decade, while Squid Game has only had one season so far. The main character, Gi-hun is a gambling addict, and the main theme of the show is literally a deadly series of games where people gamble with their lives.
The show does an excellent job of teaching us the unpleasant truth about gambling and the Arabic gambling website, Arabic Casino, has done an equally excellent job of analyzing the film in terms of what it teaches us about gambling addiction. The three most important takeaways from their analysis are as follows:
1. Gambling Never Solves Problems
The show is about a contest with 456 participants, all of whom are in the game because they were heavily in debt, due to their poor financial habits. A lot of them were gambling addicts, including the protagonist.
Gi Hun, the main character, thought that surely his next bet would be “it”. He would be rich and all of his problems would be solved. His childhood friend, Cho Sang Woo, was also a gambler, but of a different sort. He wanted to get rich quickly, and as he was a financial investor, he gambled with the money people entrusted to him, losing it all.
In the game, the competitors realized that they were playing with their lives and that every death was added to the cash prize of the winner. Being that most of them were gamblers, they made the choice to keep playing, round after round. The chance of winning was extremely small, and yet they bet on themselves to win the tournament.
Even though Gi-hun won the tournament, the money he won didn’t solve any of his life problems. His daughter still left for the United States, and his mother passed while he was playing the Squid Games.
2. It’s Next To Impossible To Stop
In the show, after the first round, the remaining players are given a choice of whether or not to keep playing. Even though half of the players were shot to death in the first round, most of those who remained alive decided to come back.
When a gambler loses all of his money, it may be especially hard to stop him. He may give everything he has in an attempt “to win back” the money he lost. In Squid Games, all of the contestants acted as though they had no choice, their addiction led to their choices.
This taught us that gambling is an addiction, and addicts can’t just stop on their own. A gambling addict doesn’t think about stopping and finding other ways to earn money. He considers gambling his actual way of earning money, even though his chances are slim to nothing.
3. It’s Very Hard For Gamblers To Face Reality
As we mentioned above, during the first round of the game, half the players died, and over two hundred people! The survivors witnessed the massacre during the game, and yet they voluntarily came back for more. That means that they consciously made the decision to gamble with their lives in order to attain some theoretical prize.
Surely, rational people would not take such risks, even to attain millions of dollars. Is a 50% risk of dying worth it for any amount of money? To normal people, no. But gambling addicts believe in their inevitable success.
We don’t know how many times Gi-hun lost at the race tracks, but we know that he spent more than 5 years before the games gambling all he had there. Did it fix anything in his life? No, instead, it only made his reality much worse.
Gamblers are unwilling to face reality because to do so they would have to abandon their illusionary prospects of winning. Because they can’t face reality, they won't ever get out of the horrible loop that leaves their life a wreck without any chance of winning.
As Squid Game is all about people who are willing to risk it all, despite the odds, we know how bad gambling can turn out to be and why responsible gambling tools are created to be used. In the end, each of the characters paid the heaviest price they possibly could: death. Even though Gi-hun was the winner, and he remained alive, he paid for his gambling addiction with his mother’s life. This is a cautionary tale, and everyone needs to learn these 3 lessons. Unlike Squid Games, gambling addiction is very real, and it has disastrous consequences for the afflicted.