So, I actually liked The Hunger Games. It's a YA dystopian series, emphasis on dystopian, and I don't really blame it for kicking off the weak YA "dystopian" fad that followed, with "dystopian" societies based on vampire breeding farms, Hogwarts-esque caste systems, creepy harem-proms, or societies run by eHarmony.
But, as flawed and watered-down as Hunger Games was for its YA audience, the compelling and horrific part for me was that Suzanne Collins never let you forget that we're reading about children being forced to kill other children for the entertainment of the elite and the oppression and terrorization of the masses.
Of course the entertainment industry is what it is, so we got the Hunger Games boardgame (now you too can be a teenager hunting down and killing your fellow teens!), which I can only laugh at ironically. It's not like I don't appreciate the dark humor — it's no darker, when you think about it, than Zombie dice, and I still have my copy of Nuclear War. ("I need to make change for 25 million...")
But seeing Facebook ads for "the adventures of Johanna" (you know, the psycho axe-killer) that take you to this cute little "social media game" where you wander around collecting food and energy and talking to people... Hmm, so I guess you don't butcher your fellow Hunger Games contestants?
I'm not moralizing, though I guess I am being a bit of a grump about the chipper cartoonish blunting of what little edge this series had.
I'd be less annoyed by a game based on Battle Royale or The Running Man (Stephen King's original novel, not the stupid Schwarzenegger movie) that was up front about the fact that it's a bloodbath.