This ‘Hunger Games’ Theme Park Kind Of Missed The Point Of The Books

A lot of people may disagree, but I think The Hunger Games was a good dystopian novel. It wasn’t perfect, but I think it really hammered what that kind of society would look for a younger audience. It touched upon poverty, classism and politics all within a world that appealed to the adventure genre that most kids wanted to read. I’ll take reading The Hunger Games over Animal Farm any day.

But as much as I loved The Hunger Games, I’m pretty sure that building a theme park for it missed the point of the whole series.

Motiongate Dubai opened its The World of The Hunger Games theme park on October 20, 2017, and since then its gained the attention of fans everywhere. According to Variety, it’s located in the Lionsgate zone, which features other movie inspired attractions.

The World of The Hunger Games contains a number of attractions that fans might recognize from the film and the books. For example, they have a simulated hovercraft tour of Panem, a Capitol Bullet Train inspired roller coaster and a percussion show by the coal miners from District 12. It sounds fun and all until you remember the horrible conditions of the mine and how Katniss’s dad “bit the dust” (I’m a horrible person, I know).

Feeling peckish yet? If you get hungry they also built Peeta’s bakery. Cosmopolitan also reports that you can hang out with the Peacekeepers, although I can’t think of why we would want to considering their role in the books. Gale is probably hiding out in the back somewhere plotting his revenge for his backside.

“We are thrilled that Lionsgate and ‘The Hunger Games’ are a part of Motiongate Dubai,” said Tim Palen, who acts as Lionsgate’s chief brand officer and president of worldwide marketing. “Dubai Parks and Resorts is a fantastic partner. Together we have created an interactive experience that allows fans from around the world a chance to immerse themselves in the world that Suzanne Collins created in an authentic, fun and exciting way.”

Okay, I can understand creating a park around franchises like Harry Potter and Disney, but to do it for The Hunger Games? Did the marketing and advertising branch even read or watch the books? Correct me if I’m wrong, but beyond all the glitter of the Capitol and the Hollywood glamour of the movies, isn’t The Hunger Games essentially a book on children being forced to fight to the death?

I feel like rereading the books now to make sure I haven’t missed anything. Skepticism aside, I can’t say I hate the park. I appreciate their efforts and their tribute to one of my favorite series. It’s just that I’m not sure if they really understood the dystopian theme of the book. It feels like they just focused on what made The Hunger Games popular. From my eyes, the park aligns more with the Capitol rather than with Katniss.

Despite my reservations, it looks like this won’t be the only Hunger Games themed park. According to Cosmopolitan, Lionsgate is planning on opening another park in South Korea in 2019. Lionsdate also plans on building an attraction in New York.

Oh well. I have nothing against fans that want to celebrate and support their favorite series by having fun at a Hunger Games theme park.

As Katniss would say, “There are much worse games to play.”

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