Hunger Games, a popular media franchise that focuses on a dystopian future where children are forced to kill each other for the enjoyment of the ruling class, has inspired a themed week at summer camp in Largo, Florida, where campers pretend to kill each other for their own enjoyment. That in turn has inspired a write up in The Tampa Bay Times that's going viral among people who enjoy being outraged over the idea of kids pretending to kill each other.
Here's the leed:
The first day of camp brought girls with lunchbags and suntans and swimsuit strings hanging down the backs of their shirts. They smiled and jumped up and down, excited to see each other; many were classmates at Country Day School, the host of the summer camp. It was this friendship that made Rylee Miller, 12, feel a little conflicted. "I don't want to kill you," she told Julianna Pettey. Julianna, also 12, looked her in the eye. "I will probably kill you first," she said. She put her hands on Rylee's shoulders. "I might stab you."
The piece is peppered regularly with quotes from the mouths of babes about weapons and killing each other.
Campers got to spend a week pretending to be Hunger Games tributes, and at the end of the week got to participate in a game where they snatch flags from each other representing lives.
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The very idea has outraged people both quoted in the story and those commenting on it around the web.
Surely these kids should be engaging in more traditional summer camp activities. Wholesome activities like the following:
- Dodgeball - a game where kids hurl hard rubber balls at each other with all the might of their tiny little arms to eliminate each other.
- Capture the Flag and Kick the Can - some versions of which encourage kids to take prisoners of war.
- Water Wars - in which kids shoot each other with gun-shaped water dispensers and launch water balloons like grenades.
- Hangman - A game where kids must correctly guess a word before a stick figure representation of themselves is killed by hanging.
- Ring Around the Rosie - A game in which children sing in a circle and act out a mass death.
- Duck, Duck, Goose - A game in which one players dares another to track him or her down in a high-speed foot race that may or may not end in tackling.
- Football - a game in which children are supposed to violently tackle the member of the other team who is carrying a ball.