Russian reality show exploits human struggle for sake of entertainment


Kun Hong, Features Editor

The Hunger Games are about to become a reality.  Several major media outlets have reported and confirmed the final launching of a Russian online reality show called Game 2: Winter, which showcases human struggle for survival in extreme environment for the sole purpose of entertainment.

The show’s 20 participants will be selected from a group of over-18-years-old and “sane” people. In order to become a participant, one must first sign up for the selection, then pay ten million rubles (roughly 162,000 USD) to the production or be voted in by viewers on the shows official website ( In additional to reading the participants’ profile and voting for them, the website also serves as the sole ticket vendor for the show and will be the only place providing 24/7 live streaming once the show airs.

The contestants will have to survive in the wilderness of Siberia from July 1 2017 to April 1 2018 where temperatures can fall to -40 degrees easily. They will be dropped into the scene by a 30 minute helicopter ride from Novosibirsk, Siberia, the nearest city. Although the show will be streamed live 24/7 for nine months, there will be no filming crew following the contestants. Instead, 2,000 cameras will be set up in the forests around Novosibirsk, and each contestant will be required to carry a portable camera along with their equipment (up to 100 kg worth of equipment). Knives are allowed, due to the fact contestants’ purpose on the show is to push for survival, and there it will necessarily involve hunting and crafting. However, firearms are not allowed.

The men and women on the show will be given special survival training by former GRU Spetsnaz operatives who used to work under Russia’s military intelligence service. Contestants can form teams or try to survive alone. Similar to what it’s like in the Hungers Games, viewers of Game 2: Winter will be able to donate gifts to their favorite participants and help them become the winners and take home the 100 million roubles prize (about 1.6 M USD). And if the situation is too much for a participant to handle or if the participant simply decides to leave the show, he or she can hit a panic button on their satellite phone and be rescued at any time by a helicopter.

According to Yevgeny Pyatkovsky, the show’s organizer and producer, all participants will have to sign a document releasing liability in case they’re injured or dead.

“Fights, alcohol, murder, rape, smoking, anything at all…”  said Pyatkovsky, talking about the possibility of what can happen on the show, “[but]…You must understand that the police will come and take you away. We are [still] on the territory of Russia, and obey the laws of the Russian Federation.”

In his interview with the Siberian Times, he also said: “We will refuse any claim on participants even if they were to be killed or raped. We will have nothing to do with this.”