Squid Game theory explains how the players and workers are chosen

29 September 2021, 13:56

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Katie Louise Smith

By Katie Louise Smith

How are the red workers chosen in Squid Game? A viral theory explains how Gong Yoo's Salesman's Ddakji game determines the roles.

Squid Game, Squid Game, Squid Game. It's taken over our lives and now it's taking over Netflix as it stays on course to become the most watched series of all time on the streaming platform.

With Squid Game's popularity rising, theories are starting to go viral on social media. One viral TikTok has taken off thanks to a game-changing theory that suggests the colour of the tile people pick with the Salesman determines your role within the game.

The people that take part in the Squid Game competition consist of the players dressed in green, the workers dressed in red and the Front Man dressed in black. In the series, we see how the players join the game but it's never revealed how the red workers are recruited.

People are now theorising that the red workers are chosen in a similar way to the players – except they are the ones that choose the red tile in Salesman's game of Ddakji that we see Seong Gi-hun playing at the start of the show.

Do the Salesman's red and blue tiles determine what role the player takes in the game?
Do the Salesman's red and blue tiles determine what role the player takes in the game? Picture: Netflix

In Squid Game episode 1, viewers see Gi-hun bump into the Salesman (played by Gong Yoo) on a train platform. He tempts Gi-hun into playing a game of Ddakji, with Gi-hun having the chance of winning 100,000 won if he manages to flip over the Saleman's tile.

Before he plays, the Salesman makes a point of asking Gi-hun which colour he would like to play as. Gi-hun then picks blue and manages to lose several rounds of the game while the Saleman beats him with the red tile flipping his blue tile instantly.

Eventually, Gi-hun wins, the Salesman hands over the money and then he disappears, leaving Gi-hun with the game card.

The green players all appear to choose the blue tile in the Saleman's game
The green players all appear to choose the blue tile in the Saleman's game. Picture: Netflix

Later in the first episode, the players start to question why they've all been 'kidnapped'. Before explaining that they all joined the game of their own free will by calling the number and registering their names, a red worker shows a video of the players all playing Ddakji with the Salesman.

In the footage shown on screen, we see that they all chose the blue tile at the start of the game. Sang-woo chooses blue, Kim Mi-ok chooses blue, No Sang-hun chooses blue, and we see a few more players slamming the blue tile down on the floor too. We're not shown anyone choosing a red tile.

So, if that's the case with the blue squares, then what about those who picked the red?

Well, a theory about the red workers has now gone viral on TikTok with over 37 million views. User @lucy.what1 writes: "He asks him to chose a colour. He chooses blue and wakes up as a player," alongside images of Gi-hun in his green sweatsuit. The TikTok then asks: "What if he has chosen red?" with an image of the red worker.

The theory suggests that the red workers are those who picked the red tile in the game with the Salesman. Once their trust has been won and the Salesman has handed over their winnings, the players then call the number and are recruited as workers instead of players.

The theory has not been confirmed by creator Hwang Dong-hyuk just yet but viewers are pretty convinced that it could be the case. Some have speculated that this also could be revealed if the show returns for a second season.

How are the red workers chosen in the Squid Game?
How are the red workers chosen in the Squid Game? Picture: Netflix

Who are the red workers?

The people in red suits are workers (or soldiers), and are not playing the game. They are called to address the players, hand out the food, act as judges and monitors in certain games and clear up the dead bodies.

The workers are perhaps even more controlled than the players, each confined to their own rooms at night and given basic meals. Depending on their ranking (signalled by the shape on the front of their mask), they are not allowed to speak or interact with anyone without permission. They're also under 24-hour surveillance and are numbered, just like the players.

The red staff, much life the green players, are fairly dispensable too. Several workers are shot and killed by others for breaking the rules and it's noted at one point that no one will care if a soldier goes missing either.

So, what do you think? Does the colour of the tile you choose determine your role in the game?

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