2

After the first game, the remaining players decide to take a vote to stop the game.

Before the vote, the following is told:

[masked manager] If you wish to give up on playing, the 25.5 billion won will be sent to the bereaved families of the late players, 100 million won each. However, you will all return home empty-handed.

The majority votes to stop.

[masked manager] The majority of the players have voted to terminate the game. Therefore, this game is now terminated.


But a few days later most are back, the money is still there. And they continue with the second game.

If the game was actually terminated then:

  1. The money would have been given to the bereaved families.
  2. The game would have been restarted instead of continued from game 2
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    I guess they had a buffer window for game restarting, before full cancellation
    – Ankit Sharma
    Oct 14, 2021 at 13:21

3 Answers 3

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In Korean, if I hear correctly, they say 이번 게임 여기서 중단 하겠습니다 which can be translated by "the game will be stopped now".

But 중단 has a few different meanings (see this Youtube video):

  1. "to cancel": to end an agreement.
  2. "to call of": to have to stop something that was already started.
  3. "to postpone"
  4. "to shelve": to not continue with a plan although you might continue later.

My Korean is not good enough to understand the rest of the explanation of the rules, or to understand whether the phrasing was left ambiguous by the organizers.

The game is a representation of the struggles of our society, in particular capitalism. We can guess that the meaning of the episode is that the ruling class can bend the rules to its liking, even when the lower class is given some power to choose, and that even if you try to extract yourself from the system, you will have to come back to it eventually.

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First of all, the organizers likely expected at least some of the players to return, because pretty much all of them had financial issues and nothing else to lose.

  1. Because then the cash prize would be decreased. Cash prize at the start is set to 0. Each player is valued for a 100 million Won, and the death of each player adds 100 million to the prize. If they send the cash to families of the dead players, that would decrease the total prize.

  2. Because it wasn't a new game. They resumed it with the players who were in the original pool.

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    I get the motivation of the organizers. But its not what they said they would do. They could have just lied, but that just seems out of character and bad writing Oct 14, 2021 at 13:47
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    @SirDuckduck lied about what? They said they'd send the money to the families of dead players but they didn't because the game eventually resumed. Technically they didn't lie.
    – Sandun
    Oct 14, 2021 at 13:50
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    they successfully voted on termination of the game. You can't resume a terminated game. So they lied about terminating the game. Oct 14, 2021 at 13:56
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    All the players also voted to rejoin the game, so it was not so much terminated as temporarily suspended. Perhaps in the 20-odd years the game has been running they've found this to be a fairly successful tactic.
    – Tetsujin
    Oct 14, 2021 at 15:34
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    @Tetsujin That is exactly my question. Why use the word 'terminate' if they meant suspended? its quite a specific word. Even words like 'stop' or 'end' would leave some leeway Oct 15, 2021 at 7:39
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After several of the players who voted to continue the game voiced their willingness to continue without the others, there was a statement by Front Man that the games may resume if the majority decided to (as noted above, all but 14 re-joined when given the opportunity).

While not stated in the original three rules that were on the consent form, it does seem consistent with their philosophy of what is considered "fair", especially as it as appears that the minority who didn't decide to re-join were left alone.

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