It’s being unofficially called The Hunger Games for Millionaires. Officially, it’s to be titled Game2:Winter. The survivalist reality TV show’s press release reads: “Everything is allowed. Fighting, alcohol, murder, rape, smoking, anything.” The show promises to air 24/7 around the world (with real-time English translations) as contestants attempt to survive Russia’s brutal Siberian wilderness while soliciting desperately-needed items from viewers watching remotely. It’s a real-life Hunger Games and if development of the show follows through, sadly, it’s sure to be a smash hit.
The Game2: Winter contest
The announcement came from Russian entrepreneur Yevgeny Pyatkovsky in September 2016 via the Game2:Winter website. The games are expected to launch on July 1, 2017 and continue through the winter, when Siberian temperatures reach minus 104F, and into April 2018 when any survivors will divvy up the reward money among themselves. If nobody survives, the show will keep the money. According to the show’s producers:
“Participants will be taken to the taiga, and then they will have a choice. Ether to get out of there on their own, or to survive. The winner will get 100 million rubles – around $1.65 million.”
The show will be broadcast around the world and translated to English, French, German, Spanish, Chinese, and Arabic. The aim is to include 15 men and 15 women contestants. Participants are selected in two ways: (1) pay their way with a $165,000 buy in, or (2) be voted in via online polls on the production’s website.
How the Game2:Winter contest will work
The contestant area is over 2,200 acres in size and located in the swampy, impenetrable forests of Taiga. The area will be dotted with over 2,000 cameras and each contestant will be required to wear a head-mounted camera for real-time footage.
Each participant is allowed to carry up to 200 lbs. of gear into the contest, including knives. Each week, contestants can request an additional item from viewers who will donate money via the show’s website. These additional items will be airdropped to contestants, just like in Hunger Games.
Safety precautions are minimal – if someone gets hurt, they can abandon their quest and via a satellite-connected “panic button”, request an evacuation. But they can expect to wait at least half an hour for a rescue helicopter to reach them.
“There will be no doctors with the participants. If someone gets sick, wounded and realize that he/she cannot pass the test, the helicopter will take him/her away to the doctors. Then the participant will quit the game forever.”
During the contest, participants’ survival will depend on their ability to construct weapons, forage and store food, hunt, and fish while avoiding deadly wildlife and harmful insects.
According to Pyatkovsky, five countries have already expressed desire to broadcast the show.
Note: The show’s allowance for fighting, rape, and murder seems to be a business decision (and marketing ploy) to distance themselves from any potentially deadly ramifications. The show will take place on Russian soil so any illegalities can still be handled by Russian authorities. All participants will sign release of liability for injury and death waivers.