French ‘Torture’ Show Game of Death: It’s Milgram All Over Again

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Game of Death, a French documentary about a fake reality show of the same name, aired in France on Wednesday to great public alarm and caused ripples in the stateside political blogosphere. The reason why is that the game show in question essentially reconfirmed Stanley Milgram‘s infamous 1960’s experiment: Contestants on the fake show were willing to keep on electrocute another ‘player’ past the point of pain, into unconsciousness, and even to death when the show’s audience and hostess urged them on.


The fictitious game show had all the trappings of a real TV quiz show, including a beautiful and well-known hostess, and a raucous audience. A group of contestants posed questions to a man sitting inside a box in front of them in an electric chair.

The hostess and a chanting audience urged the players — who had levers in front of them — to send jolts of electricity into the man in the box when he gave an incorrect answer.

Even when the player screamed out in pain for them to stop, 80 percent of the contestants kept zapping him. In reality, the man in the electric chair was an actor who wasn’t really being shocked — but the players and the audience did not know that. The documentary makers say reality television relies increasingly on violent, humiliating and cruel acts to boost ratings. They say they simply wanted to see if we would go so far as to kill someone for entertainment.

Russia Today reports on Game of Death, with video footage from the show:

(NPR via Hacker News)

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