The name of the country where "The Hunger Games" is set, Panem, may be unfamiliar, but the area is closer to home than you may think. In Collins' world, some mysterious disaster – it's never stated what – caused what was essentially the end of civilization. America is gone, but on the continent of North America, a new country called Panem formed. (The word "Panem" is part of the Latin phrase "panem et circenses," which means "bread and circuses.") The country was divided into 13 districts, and the city called the Capitol ruled over the area. At the beginning of what is known as the Dark Days in Collins' novels, the districts started a revolution against the Capitol, and during the warfare, the area known as District 13 was destroyed entirely. The other districts were defeated by the government.