“Let the Games Begin!” La figura del gioco distopico nel cinema e nella letteratura fantascientifica


  • Alberto Boschi Università di Ferrara




cinema, distopia, fantascienza, gioco, reality tv


Several sci-fi dystopian novels depict communities of the future in which people spend most of their time fighting each other in mortal combats. Such competitions take sometimes the form of violent sports, like in Rollerball (1975) by Norman Jewison, or of cruel manhunts, like in La decima vittima (1965) by Elio Petri and Hunger Games (2012) by Gary Ross. Sponsored and encouraged by governments themselves, generally totalitarian and dictatorial in their organization, these challenges play an important role both as an outlet for the most violent instincts of individuals and as means of approval, in the wake of the tradition of fights among gladiators. Moreover, these combats do not necessarily need the presence of an audience to take place, like for instance in Battle Royale (2000) by Kinji Fukasaku, but most of the times they are shaped as shows recorded by multiple cameras, in accordance with the practice of reality shows, like in The Running Man (1987) by Paul Michael Glaser. This essay aims to survey the topic of the dystopian killing game in films and novels, starting from the short story The Seventh Victim (1953) by Robert Sheckley, that can be considered a prototype of this kind of fictional theme, till the Hunger Games saga, where the mortal combat motif melts with a satire on contemporary reality TV



How to Cite

Boschi, A. (2017). “Let the Games Begin!” La figura del gioco distopico nel cinema e nella letteratura fantascientifica. Cinergie – Il Cinema E Le Altre Arti, 6(12), 269–280. https://doi.org/10.6092/issn.2280-9481/7389



Cinema and Visual Arts