'The Hunger Games': a quick guide for the uninitiated

Wondering what the commotion over Suzanne Collins' 'Hunger Games' trilogy is all about? Here's a guide to help you catch up before the movie is released on March 23.

2. The Hunger Games

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    Citizens of District 12 are forced to watch the Hunger Games

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After the Capitol quashed the revolution, the government wanted to demonstrate the authority it had over the rebellious districts and so it established the competition known as the Hunger Games. As punishment for the revolution, a boy and a girl between the ages of 12 and 18 are chosen – in a ceremony called "reaping" – from each district in Panem and these children are then required to participate in the Games. The 24 competitors, called "tributes," are taken to the Capitol and put inside an arena built by the government, where they are forced to fight to the death. Only one tribute is allowed to survive and that one is then declared the winner. During the Games, the government will send in obstacles or interfere in other ways to make the Games more exciting or to force the tributes to fight. The Games are televised and thought of as enjoyable television viewing by citizens of the Capitol.

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