“Panem from ‘The Hunger Games’ series is such a wonderful place. I really wish I could visit District 12 to see what it was like before the government slaughtered all its residents,” said no one ever.
The exception to that “no one” is, of course, Lionsgate, which announced last week the concept art for its theme parks based on Suzanne Collins’ “The Hunger Games” series. Lionsgate is having developers build “Hunger Games” attractions in Atlanta, China and the United Arab Emirates, according to the New York Times. Apparently we should want to want to visit a world where poor children are forced to fight to the death in an arena to the amuse
ment of the upper class, who watch on live television.
There have been reports for months that “Hunger Games” theme parks were in the works, but everyone hoped Lionsgate was just trolling us. The company couldn’t possibly go through with an idea that commercializes the series when it goes against everything the books stand for.
The books and movies capture not just the inequality in the fictional Panem, but the injustices in our world, as well. The way those in the Districts struggle to make a living, while those in the Capitol spend their time frivolously, is reminiscent of the great economic disparity on this planet. We don’t need a theme park to go to Panem. We already live there.
Besides, theme park attractions distract people from what is really going on in our world—just like the Capitol tried to do with the main characters Katniss and Peeta’s relationship.
This series is not a game, and it’s time Lionsgate realized that. ̶ J. Perkins