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Korean students are turning the Itaewon tragedy into a cruel game 

Various kids in Korea are mimicking the tragic crowd crush in Itaewon and calling it a game, startling netizens. 

Recently, a trend called “Itaewon Crush Game” (or “Itaewon Game”) is going viral across various TikTok accounts in Korea. The game entails various school students lying on top of each other to create a stack, and the person on the bottom wins depending on how many people they can withstand. Previously named the “Hamburger Game” or “Sandwich Game”, it has earned further popularity after being renamed after the Itaewon tragedy.

Regarding the trend, a middle school student in Seoul shared, “With videos of the Itaewon disaster spreading on social media, the game, which resembles the disaster, has been spreading among students.” 

korean students itaewon stampede

The same students also added that people would clear out all their chairs and desks in the classroom, and around 10 people would lie on top of another every recess. 

Meanwhile, several TikTok users expressed that the game is being transformed into a form of school bullying. 

“Students shouted ‘Push, push’ when the line was long during lunch time,” one said, while another commented that a student in their class forced others to play the “Hamburger Game”. 

itaewon stampede

Even more concerning, the game can lead to heavy consequences, as reflected through the Itaewon incident. In fact, a middle school student passed away after being crushed by their classmates back in 2011. 

Many people are expressing concerns regarding this growing trend, and experts also said students need guidance on how to react to public tragedies. 

Itaewon stampede

“Perverse actions like the Hamburger Game spread among teenagers via social media or other media outlets. We should educate students to grow critical thinking skills,” said Lee Chang Ho, a senior researcher at the National Youth Policy Institute. 

Source: Korea JoongAng Daily

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