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4/4/12blog post

the Hunger Games obsession

My job as a child psychologist requires me to stay connected to youth culture. More often than not, I find this a pleasant experience as it involves listening to different types of music, watching programs, or even playing video games that I would not normally do. Over the past few weeks, “The Hunger Games” has been the topic of incessant conversations among young people. I went to the movies this weekend with my wife and 13-year-old daughter, and I must admit I don’t quite understand why this movie is so popular among young people.

The central theme of the movie is interesting, but immediately put me ill at ease. Teenage representatives from various districts must fight to their death in a reality show type of format for the entertainment of a privileged elite. By contemporary standards, I can’t say that the movie was particularly violent, although I’ll admit to closing my eyes during a few of the scenes. There’s just something about children hurting other children that I don’t find entertaining.

There are some important themes here, including a love story between the main characters, class warfare, the courage of an older sister in protecting her younger sister, and the ethical dilemma posed by living in a society that required you to kill other people to stay alive.

Even so, I just don’t get the appeal of this movie to young people. Can anyone help me understand this movie from a young person’s perspective?