How Squid Game’s Workers Are Chosen – Theory Explained
Silly Mistakes in SQUID GAME:

Green Tracksuit:
Red Suit:
Red Mask:
Greenlight Redlight:
Masked man:
VIP Mask:

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How Squid Game’s Workers Are Chosen – Theory Explained

Squid Game is run by a large staff of different workers who carry out various tasks. How did the people behind Squid Game choose its workers?

In the Netflix survival drama Squid Game, the players are chosen based on how desperate they are to get out of debt – but what about the workers? Almost immediately after its release, Squid Game became the most-watched Korean show on Netflix in the U.S. Although the show makes use of recognizable elements from series and movies such as Alice in Borderland, Saw, Battle Royale, and The Hunger Games, Squid Game’s colorful and unique take on death games has allowed it to stand out among a sea of similar properties.

Throughout the nine episodes of Squid Game, the players are all wearing blue-green tracksuits with their respective player numbers. Meanwhile, the masked staff or attendants who handle the events and the players are all wearing pink jumpsuits, and are divided into three groups. The ones with circles on their masks are the workers – charged with distributing items, clean-up, and anything else that involves manual labor. Meanwhile, the triangles signify the armed staff, as they are the ones who visibly carry firearms. As for the squares, they are the middle managers – tasked with ensuring that the circles and triangles do their jobs, or speaking with players if necessary. It’s clear that the staff is there to handle the logistics involved in each game, make sure that Squid Game’s cast of players stay in line, and tend to the needs of the VIPs, who are revealed to be betting on the players.

However, what’s less clear is how the members of this masked crew of workers were chosen in the first place. One theory suggests that the main clue can be found in the red and blue ddakji paper tiles shown in the first episode of Squid Game. At the subway, the character known only as The Salesman convinces Seong Gi-hun (Lee Jung-jae) to play ddakji, a traditional Korean game that’s similar to Pogs in the U.S., but played with only two origami paper tiles. Showing Gi-hun a briefcase full of cash, The Salesman (played by Gong Yoo of Train to Busan) explains that each round is worth 100,000 Korean won, and then asks Gi-hun, “So which color do you want to play as?” Gi-hun chooses the blue ddakji, and this could be why he was chosen to become a player in the games. Meanwhile, those who chose the red ddakji might’ve been the ones assigned to worker duties.

This would certainly be congruent with the choices that players are allowed to make before each game. Much like choosing a shape before the sugar honeycomb game, or a partner before the marble game, the choice between the blue and red ddakji paper tiles comes with tons of surprise consequences. Also, while the blue tiles match the blue-green tracksuits worn by players, the red tiles in turn match the pink jumpsuits worn by the staff. Moreover, as Squid Game’s ending reveals that different VIPs are involved in organizing and betting on the games, it makes sense if the staff members chosen are just as desperate and deeply in debt as the players themselves. This would give The Front Man (Lee Byung-hun), along with the other powerful people behind Squid Game, the maximum amount of leverage over their entire staff. And in turn, this would make it easier for them to maintain the game’s secrecy, as well as to run the whole operation like a machine.

Interestingly, if the red ddakji paper tiles do correspond to becoming a Squid Game staff member, Gi-hun’s red hairdo in the final episode could suggest that he’s planning to infiltrate the games in a pink jumpsuit. After all, Squid Game is a Korean drama series that’s riddled with metaphors and clues. It would be even more absurd if the red and blue ddakji paper tiles didn’t mean anything at all. In any case, the audience uproar for Squid Game season 2 could see to it that this theory, along with the other emerging theories about the series, are settled soon enough.


  1. Square:manager
    Circle: working class

  2. Triangle:soldier

  3. square manager triangle military circle workers class

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