In Squid Game, during the vote as to whether the players wanted to participate in further rounds, why did the old man i.e. player #1 vote no? Since

he started it all,

I assume it would have been better if he voted yes and continued the games.

3 Answers 3


A major part of his ideology is that all the players are there of their own free choice. Whether it's for easing whatever remnants of conscience he has, or he's just following that ideology for other reasons, he (as an insider) finds it not compatible to the "fairness" of the games that he alone decides whether the other players continue or not. Let them decide! After they get out and see how hopeless their lives out there are, most of them will come back anyway.

The Front Man is also shown sharing that ideology which the organizers use to justify what they do: (that they're giving a fair second chance to people whose lives were already beyond saving in the outside world, and the players do have a fair chance to choose whether they accept the terms or not). Deciding the vote alone would rob the players of what he considers "fair choice". The fact that the circumstances of the player's lives force them into continuing, doesn't matter for him. Call it hypocrisy if you want, but the fact still remains that he sincerely believes that the contestants do have a fair choice.

An added bonus is making the games more exciting and more suspenseful for the VIPs (just as it is for us viewers): who will come back?

  • The first statement is an excellent point. +1 for that.
    – Sandun
    Commented Oct 12, 2021 at 11:58

They've been doing this since 1988, and so they know that a lot of people will return, even after having been given the chance to not participate. Oh Il-nam reminds Seong Gi-hun of this at the end: everybody had several opportunities to refuse or to back out, and yet virtually all returned and played.

  • It would also be a lot more fun to only play with people who want to play.
    – Flater
    Commented Oct 12, 2021 at 16:10

My understanding is he predicted that they will come back, as he lost hope in humanity. As in his last game with Seong about the future of that homeless guy, he showed how he feel no one gonna help him.

So he might have precited that these people will still get no help to fix their lives and have to come back and play again. Also, this is not the first game so it happened before so he is experienced in prdicted players.

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