have you seen "Squid Game"?
The drama series from South Korea, which pairs social criticism with survival horror, is on the way to becoming the most watched Netflix series ever.
There are many reasons for this.
They range from the bizarre ideas of the series makers and the popularity of the »deadly game« principle (keyword »The Hunger Games«, in the games area also »PUBG« and »Fortnite«) to an increased interest in content from South Korea (keyword » Parasite «) to Netflix's clever recommendation system.
I had never heard of Squid Game myself before it was released. Shortly after the start, however, the series ensnared me on the Netflix homepage with a large preview image including a note that it was currently the most viewed content in Germany. The latter in particular made me curious, so I put it on my watchlist.
Meanwhile, like dozens of millions of other people around the world, I am through with the nine episodes. And although I found "Squid Game" worth seeing, but not entirely successful, I am now also helping to make the series even better known. Once through this article, of course. But also by sending "Squid Game" GIFs to friends via messenger, because from my point of view they hit the nerve of the times. Or by torturing my family on the weekend with a catchy tune from "Red Light, Green Light", a song that appears in the first episode.
From my point of view, this is where the most important success factor is revealed.
»Squid Game« has enormous meme potential: visually, musically, but also in terms of content.
The series is full of points of contact for conversations, network jokes, remixes and self-experiments, which is definitely not a coincidence, but the result of a contemporary mix of creativity and marketing skills.
With iconic costumes and masks, for example, the creators have managed to guarantee their series a high recognition value online.
The team behind the Spanish series »House of Money« had already achieved something similar.
She, too, was best known for the advertising power of Netflix as well as mask memes and word of mouth.
Because viewers pass on and develop the songs, pictures and ideas of the creators, the »Squid Game« phenomenon has long been bigger than the series itself which sometimes sounds even more disturbing in the cover versions of fans: something like this.
When jumping into the small talks and chat groups, »Squid Game« also helps that the series revolves around children's games.
Not all of them are common in Germany.
But with any of them, the viewer can ask himself: Would I have a chance there?
Numerous YouTubers and TikToker have already processed the game concepts in the form of their own short videos.
Each of these clips should make the series more interesting for outsiders - for Netflix this is unpaid advertising.
"Squid Game" is also leaving its mark in the world of video games, for example in the online empire of Roblox, where competitions turned into interactive multiplayer games in record time.
It's actually strange that Netflix, which is getting deeper and deeper into the games area, itself does not offer a battle royale mobile phone game for the series.
But maybe it doesn't even need to, the digital and the analog are blurred in the hype about »Squid Game« anyway.
The current high point of this development are media reports that some British schools are allegedly warning parents not to let their children watch the series, which is released from the age of 16.
In some places there seems to be too much concern that young viewers might re-enact the most dangerous variations of children's games imaginable.
Meanwhile, the Thai police are also warning of the brutality of the series.
I can only report anecdotally what effects such warnings had during my school days: Of course, one really wanted to see what was suddenly forbidden.
The next level of hype could just have been ignited for »Squid Game«.
External links: three tips from other media
"The Big Interview: EA, FIFA and Loot Boxes" (English, ten minutes to read)
Year after year, the soccer game "Fifa" tries to encourage players to spend money on virtual card sets.
Does it really have to be?
And isn't the whole "Ultimate Team" system unfair?
This »Eurogamer« interview with Chris Bruzzo, a representative of the manufacturer EA, is about such questions.
»Reaction YouTubers earn this with my videos« (YouTube video, 16:27 minutes)
Many well-known streamers like to show their audiences YouTube videos from third parties, which they then comment on live.
In this clip, Robin Blase uses his own experience to show what this trend towards so-called reaction videos means for video makers who provide the templates for such live comments.
"1 Billion TikTok Users Understand What Congress Doesn't" (English, four minutes to read)
These days, the US is once again debating the regulation of Facebook.
At "The Atlantic" Evelyn Douek reminds that politicians shouldn't forget about TikTok when it comes to the influence of apps on young people.
I wish you a nice week