Guest Blog: Would My Glass Knowledge Have Helped Me in Squid Game?

Most of us have heard about Squid Game by now, or at least scrolled past the memes. As a lover of thrillers, Korean dramas and actor Gong Yoo, Squid Game wasn’t a hard sell for me. As I was bingeing the show I was surprised when, in episode 7, my glass knowledge came into play.

For those who’ve managed to avoid learning anything about the show, here’s a brief synopsis: people in difficult financial circumstances volunteer to play a series of Korean children’s games and risk their lives for a life-changing cash prize. Be warned that the rest of this blog contains spoilers for episode 7 of Squid Game.

In the episode, the fifth game is revealed to be an elevated glass bridge with two rows of 18 glass lites. The lites are connected to metal frames, but not to each other, meaning the players have to jump to each panel. The trick is that, for each step players must decide between the left or right lite, one of which is annealed glass that will break from the weight, dropping the player to their death. The other lite is tempered and will hold the player’s weight.

Sixteen players remain at this stage, and they must attempt to cross the bridge in the order of the number they chose. With 18 steps, player one’s probability of making it across is 1 in 260,000.

As the game was explained, I turned to my husband and said, “You can tell the difference between tempered and non-tempered glass in certain lighting conditions.” He nodded politely and we kept watching.

After most of the players have fallen to their deaths, a player who happens to have worked at a glass company, reveals that he can tell the difference between the tempered and non-tempered lites.

The player crouches down and carefully looks at both lites to determine which is safe to cross. My guess is that he’s taking advantage of the lighting conditions to look for streaks in the glass caused by the tempering process. He guides the remaining players safely through a few decisions before the game makers catch on and turn off the bridge’s lights, removing the player’s ability to make an educated decision and leaving the rest to luck.

As you can imagine, I was very excited to realize that I was right and that my glass knowledge actually came into play during the show. When the glass guy started doing his thing, I pointed at the TV and said to my husband, “Look! What did I tell you?”

I felt validated about calling this before it was revealed in the show and I couldn’t wait to tell USGlass magazine publisher Deb Levy about it. But would my knowledge have helped me to survive the game? You’ll have to watch to find out … or you can scroll down for the spoiler.

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Spoiler: The former glass guy is killed by another player when his knowledge becomes useless and he wastes remaining time on the clock trying to decide which step is the right one to take. So no, I don’t think I would have survived with that knowledge alone. I also don’t think I would have made it that far to begin with, but that’s another story.

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