Our perverse obsession with reality competition and death has gone to another level. A Russian entrepreneur by the name Yevgeny Pyatkovsky is reportedly putting $16 million of his own money to launch a real-life Hunger Games set in the taiga of Siberia. The reality competition, called Game2: Winter, will see 30 contestants — 15 men and 15 women — vie to survive for nine months while stranded in a remote part of Siberia with bears and wolves, where temperatures can drop to negative 40 degrees.
The winner of the contest will receive around $1.65 million dollars, and the show — which is set to air in July — has already received more than 60 applicants, including those from professional rescuers. To be chosen, applicants can pay $165,000, or be chosen by online viewers to participate. Multiple winners will share the prize. (Note: The entry fee may suggest a potential financial scam.) With applicants from all over the country, the language barrier may present yet another obstacle for contestants.
The catch is this: Anything goes on the series. “Everything is allowed. Fighting, alcohol, murder, rape, smoking, anything.” Indeed, neither rape nor murder will be disqualifying, and contestants must agree to sign a waiver to that affect. Each contestant will also be given a knife, although no guns will be allowed. However, contestants will still be subject to the laws of Russia, so while rape and murder may not disqualify them from Game2, the Russian police may take the contestant away.
Contestants will be given survival training, and they must be declared mentally fit to participate.
Moreover, no camera people will be present. The taiga will be dotted with 2,000 cameras, and each contestant must wear his or her own camera, which will have a rechargeable battery life of seven hours. No medical personnel will be on hand, either. The only way to leave the game is by hitting a panic button, which will alert a helicopter stationed half an hour away to come and pick up the contestant, who will then be eliminated from the game.
The series will air online 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Several countries have also expressed interest in airing the competition. It will air in English, French, German, Spanish, Chinese and Arabic.
“This will be a very entertaining and educational project,” Pyatkovsky insisted, although by setting the series up so that multiple winners must share the prize, the competition seems designed to encourage violence as a way to eliminate competition.