For my intervention project, I decided to intervene in the game of Counter-Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO). The game the way it’s normally played is as follows: players face off against each other in two teams of five, fighting with guns and grenades over objectives. I wanted to turn that convention around by constructing games within the game that mirror the games in the popular Netflix show, Squid Game. Squid Game is a Korean drama about people in enormous debt being recruited to play children’s games for eccentric billionaires’ spectacle with the prize being the equivalent of millions of US dollars and the penalty of losing being death. It is an interesting critique on the failures of capitalism. There are three games I appropriated from Squid Game: Red Light Green Light, Marbles, and Squid Game.
Red light Green Light was played in the show with a giant automaton turning its head towards and away from the players while singing a song that translates to red light green light. When it says green light and the head is turned away, the players are free to move. When it says red light and the head is facing the players, players are not allowed to move. The ones who are caught moving are shot. The players have to reach a line near the automaton, which is some distance away from the starting location, within a time limit. Those who do not make it within that time limit are also shot. For my project, I took on the role of the automaton and would turn away from and turn towards the player while saying red light green light correspondingly. The players started with their backs against a wall and their goal was to reach the wall where I was standing. During the testing, I messed up a bunch of times, saying the wrong thing, like green light when I was facing the players or red light when I was facing away. Thankfully, the testing gave me enough practice that I was able to execute my part without a mistake during the actual thing.
Marbles was played in the show by pairing up the players and giving them ten marbles each. They were told to play whatever game they wanted, but one person had to end up with twenty marbles at the end of a certain time limit. The one without any marbles was shot. One pair in the show did this by betting all ten marbles on one game, they threw a marble at a wall, and whoever got it closest to the wall was the winner. For my project I had the players throw decoy grenades at a wall, and whoever got it closest was the winner. The decoy grenade was a good choice because it stayed around on the ground for a while, unlike the other grenades, so we could see where each one landed clearly. I did not have enough players to have them pair up (there were only three left at this stage) so I had them all do it together as a group. The player with the worst throw was shot.
Squid Game was played in the show on a pattern on the ground shaped vaguely like a squid. One player was the defender and one was the attacker. The attacker had to try to get to the head of the squid, and they would win if they were to do so. The defender has to prevent that from happening and try to get the attacker to step outside the squid. If the attacker stepped outside the squid, they would lose and the defender would win. The two contestants were also given knives and it basically devolved into a knife fight to the death. For my project, I had originally wanted to draw the squid on the ground with bullet holes, but the pattern proved too elaborate for the game system, which would erase bullet holes after a certain number of other bullet holes has been created. I would draw it partially and the first couple of bullet holes would start disappearing. So I figured just a knife fight to the death with no boundary restrictions was close enough to the show.
We played my version of Squid Game in Counter-Strike with four players. One player was eliminated from each game, resulting in a winner being determined by the end. Unfortunately, I had an issue with my recording software and my voice was not captured in the videos.
Video clips from the testing: https://youtu.be/pUd11SJNtK0
Video clips from the final iteration: https://youtu.be/_C9at8Deamk