Korean Traditional Games Pt.2 (Squid Game ver.)

by Isabel Bang


If you’ve tried the Dalgona Coffee that trended back in 2020, you’ll be familiar with this old Korean street snack. Ppopgi, also called Dalgona, is a traditional sweet street snack in Korea that is usually seen outside primary schools. They’re very simple to make, just with a spoonful of sugar and some baking soda would do - watch one being made here! When flattening the Ppopgi, you use metal cutters to stamp a shape. The game’s point is to use a needle to cut the shape out perfectly - the old tip is to moisten up the needle a bit 👅  If you manage to do it, you win another ppopgi! Very, VERY much more difficult than what you’d think. No, you won’t be able to cut out a Starbuck logo ever. There's also a Ppopgi game filter on Tiktok for you Tiktok users who are interested 😋


There are a number of games that you could do with these marbles, and the ones that the Netflix series Squid Game showed were ‘Hol Jjak,’ and ‘Goosool Nutgi.’ Hol Jjak is a guessing game, where you guess whether the number of marbles in the opponent's hand is an odd or even number. When you guess correctly, you get to keep the opponent’s marbles! As for Goosool Nutgi, there are so many versions for this depending on your childhood province. The one I know is where you dig a hole on the ground and players stand behind a line about 2 metres away. Players take turns to throw their marbles until one manages to score a marble in the hole in any way possible. Whoever does, gets all the missed marbles laying on the ground!

Squid Game

This is a very old traditional tag game that my mum used to play, back in her childhood! The attacking team starts at the safe zone circle at the head of the squid, goes around the squid to reach the safe zone at the tail, then enters the squid’s body to run through the defence and reach the house back at the head. The defence team who stays inside the squid’s body needs to block the attacking team from getting back to the head by pushing them outside the squid. The attacking team needs to hop on one foot at all times, while the defence team needing to hop on the outside of the squid only. A way for the attacking team to step both feet on the ground is to cross the “squid’s leg,” the narrow tunnel between the triangle and the square parts of the squid body. Both teams can eliminate the members of the opposing team by pushing them to make both feet fall while hopping, or pulling them in or out of the squid to enter a zone they shouldn't be in. A game is always easier shown than explained - click on this video (start from 1:47) for a game tutorial!

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