Monday, March 26, 2012

Betting on Hunger Games

My family saw the movie on Saturday, as my daughter turned my wife on to these books.  I started reading the first one the day before the movie.  Fun stuff.  I enjoyed the movie but have a fundamental question about how realistic the book/movie is.  Spoilers below.

As the Gamekeepers are scrambling to make the game interesting but also prevent more riots out in the Districts, they announce a change to the game: that if two players from the same District, such as Katniss and Peeta, both survive, they can both win.  They don't have to kill each other.  And then the rule gets changed back and then un-changed back within a short span of time.

This is incredibly problematic.  Why?  Because there is a heap of gambling going on, and if they keep revising the rules in mid-game, the post-apocalyptic equivalent of Vegas would be going nuts.  And the "gaming" industry does have a heap of power when it comes to sports--which is why the National Football League releases information about injured players every week.

So, the story was enjoyable, but I could not suspend my belief about this one aspect.  Oh well.  We shall see... maybe the second book is about the revenge of the sharps who lost money on the revised rules.


Brandon Valeriano said...

I am sure President Snow does not allow gambling.

Simon Frankel Pratt said...

If that is the only thing about the plot/premise you found problematic, you are far less pedantic than I am. I actually wrote a long blog post on why The Hunger Games are an atrocious method of pacifying rebellious but productive districts, complete with 'if I were a tyrant' alternatives.