Hundreds of acres of woods filled with wild animals and deadly insects, a selected number of people with limited survival training pitted against each other, extreme weather conditions, murder, violence, brutality and thousands of hidden cameras to film it 24/7 for an overtly eager audience.
No, this is not the plot for post-apocalyptic, dystopian fiction “The Hunger Games” — well, it actually is the plot for “The Hunger Games” — but it is also the premise for an upcoming Russian reality show called “Game2: Winter.”
Just when you thought reality TV couldn’t get any more preposterous.
Turning Kremlin into the colorfully salacious Panem, a brutal Russian reality TV series will purportedly ditch 30 participants (equal number of men and women) in the Siberian wilderness for a nine-month survival test.
Along with enduring minus 40 degrees Celsius or lower temperatures, the participants will also fight bears and wolves armed with only knives — all for the sake of winning a $1.6 million prize.
As if this wasn’t disturbing enough, it seems like the show boasts about the possibility of contestants being killed or raped.
“Each contestant gives consent that they could be maimed, even killed,” said an advertisement for the show, according to the Guardian. “2000 cameras, 900 hectares and 30 lives. Everything is allowed. Fighting, alcohol, murder, rape, smoking, anything.” Each contestant will sign a contract acknowledging the dangers.
Snopes explains that the waiver also makes clear that the police are free to arrest anyone who commits a crime on the reality show.
YevgenyPyatkovskym, the mastermind behind the project, said he “will refuse any claim of participants even if they were to be killed or raped,” according to the Siberian Times.
“You must understand that the police will come and take you away,” the rules reportedly state. “We are on the territory of Russia, and obey the laws of the Russian Federation.”
The question is, if a participant sexually assaults or kills another, how long would it take for the cops to actually detain them? Also, would the show runners even want to stop such heinous acts in the first place, especially when it can bring them higher ratings?
“Imagine: a forest. The contestants arrive there on July 1 after a short training period. Each will have three to four months before the first cold snaps of winter to construct a shelter,” Pyatkovsky told Sputnik. “They can live separately or join up and form teams. You should also keep in mind that this will be a real forest, with dangerous wildlife and harmful insects.”
As for the safety precautions, Pyatkovsky warned, “It would still take about half an hour to reach the area where the show will take place by helicopter.”
Moreover, just like the actual (read: fictitious) “Hunger Games,” the audience would be able to send their favorite contestant an item of utmost importance by donating money to the game show’s website.
Participants can either pay $165,000 to enter the competition or be nominated by online voters. So far, at least 60 people have allegedly applied — including an American.
Moreover, if more than one person survives the ultimate contest, the winners would have to share the prize.
“The show promises to be international,” Pyatkovsky said. “Five countries have already expressed the desire to broadcast it for their audiences.”
The fact that the "game's" ads advocate sexual assault and murder, even though they are punishable by law, is still deeply disturbing. The notion that any country would want to broadcast a show that uses these crimes as a selling point seriously calls their morality into question.
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