What The Symbols On The Workers’ Mask Really Mean In Squid Game

“Squid Game” is the new South Korean survival drama that combines brutal action with incisive social commentary into one disturbing package. The show follows a group of 456 desperate people who participate in a deadly series of children’s games for a big cash prize, all for the amusement of the rich. As creator Hwang Dong-hyuk told Netflix, “I wanted to write a story that was an allegory or fable about modern capitalist society, something that depicts an extreme competition, somewhat like the extreme competition of life.”

As such, “Squid Game” is full of symbolism, especially when it comes to colors and, well, symbols. One of the biggest enigmas in the first season are the contest’s rank-and-file workers, who all wear red jumpsuits and masks with different shapes on them. The show never reveals who these people are or how they came to work for the games, but there are plenty of fan theories that might provide an explanation. Some believe the employees are the people who chose the red card when approached by the Salesman (Gong Yoo), while others believe they’re former contest winners (and since each contest only has one survivor, that would mean the games have been held a LOT of times.)

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