Dystopian Society

Just watched the Hunger games – fantastic film yet such a disturbing view of the impact of social hierarchy. Two kids from a poor district competing – life or death against other children for big brother style entertainment. The game controllers deciding the fate of what challenges and opportunities the children happen upon.

Running man – Criminals are given the opportunity of freedom if they play for survival in a game show against stalkers who are sent to kill them. Basically a very similar premise to the Hunger games when a victim is forced into violence for entertainment.

Both films show a future based upon an uneven power balance and the worst kind of social control – ‘ the relationship between technology and society is bound up with capitalist modes of production and the associated political, economic and social relations which underlie capitalism’ Dodge and Kitchin (200 1: 26)
Hunger Games is death by equals under the control of a more powerful other and Running Man is death at the hands of professionals – which is worse? I think death by equals is worse as any natural feeling of bonding with humanity is lost or subject to condition.

Martin Dodge and Rob Kitchin (200 1) Mappina Cyberspace, London: Routledge.

Both great films that drive my fear for humanity!!!!

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2 Responses to “Dystopian Society”

  1. sbayne January 30, 2013 at 12:18 pm #

    Anabel, I wonder what it is in the Hunger Games that disturbs you so much – or at least, whether you can say more about it in terms of the reading and thinking you’ve been doing on utopia/dystopia? I guess there’s a clear vision here of ‘the grafting of the digital onto global capitalism’ as Hand says (p15), with the question of economic divide played out in a deeply dystopian way. For me, this was disturbing but not that new. I thought that more interesting in the film was the way in which digital phantoms were used to manipulate players, and the things that said about the interplay of ‘reality’ and ‘game’, and the power relations embedded within that. Great example of dystopia you’ve introduced here : )

  2. Anabel Drought April 5, 2013 at 3:48 pm #

    The Hunger Games shows the fine line between life and death for the players, the technology as destruction and yet salvation Johnston (2009) of ” engines of promise and threat in a global information culture” Hand (2008).

    What I find the most disturbing is the difference between the haves and have nots and the unfairness of the power they hold. The way they change the game plan when the characters have overcome the initial hurdles set for them. I hate that it is important for the characters to be easy on the eye for the game – that ability and skill are not enough – the players also need to be attractive and socially appealing – something they cannot have any control over.

    I thought this was a great image of a World I would not like to be part of!

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