Game of Death: France’s Shocking TV Experiment (Video)

From Yahoo News:

Is a crusading French documentary maker striking a blow at the abusive powers of television — or simply taking reality TV to a new low of cynicism and bad taste? That’s the question viewers across France are asking in light of Christophe Nick’s new film Game of Death, which aired on French television Wednesday night. The documentary has generated a massive amount of attention — and naturally, courted controversy — because of the dilemma that faced contestants on a fake game show in the film: Would they allow themselves to be cajoled into delivering near-lethal electrical charges to fellow players, or rather follow their better instincts and refuse?

Game of Death is an adaptation of an infamous experiment conducted by a team led by Yale University psychologist Stanley Milgram in the 1960s. In order to test people’s obedience to authority figures, the scientists demanded that subjects administer increasingly strong electric shocks to other participants if they answered questions incorrectly. The people delivering the shocks, however, didn’t know that the charges were fake — the volunteers on the other end of the room were actors pretending to suffer agonizing pain. The point was to see how many people would continue following orders to mete out torture.

Milgram found that 62.5% of his subjects could be encouraged, browbeaten or intimidated into seeing the test through to its conclusion by delivering scores of shocks of increasing intensity to the maximum of 450 volts. In Game of Death, 81% of contestants went all the way by administering more than 20 shocks up to a maximum of 460 volts. Only 16 of the 80 subjects recruited for the fake game show refused the verbal prodding from the host — and pressure from the audience to keep dishing out the torture like a good sport — though most expressed misgivings or tried to pull out before being convinced otherwise.

[Read more at Yahoo News]

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  • http://www.19nocturneboulevard.com/ julieH

    I produce audio dramas (19 Nocturne Boulevard), and our current episode involves a reality game show with electric shocks – talk about a conspiracy! I wrote it over a year ago, and now i look like the copycat – or at best “ripped from the headlines”.
    ;)
    But it shows that we both showed some interest in Milgram's experiment…

  • http://www.xenex.org/ xen

    So, when can I tune in to the show recreating the Zimbardo Prison Study?

    Oh, wait, that's just society, isn't it?

    • http://www.19nocturneboulevard.com/ julieH

      Hey, I write horror – and THAT one even creeps me out. Though now that you mention it…..
      Hmm.
      Ideas ideas. Where's my pencil…?

  • tonyviner

    So what? We have bigger things to worry about. There is apparently nothing we can do to stop this kind of nonsense. PTC are a bunch of lunatics and the FCC has been bought off so, at least in America, there is nothing we can do, we are stuck with whatever the advertisers want to give us. TLC, The Discovery Channel, The Science Channel, etc., used to be truly informative and have educational shows, but those don't draw viewers. Jon and Kate Plus 8 sure does though. Pitchmen?!?! The World's Deadliest Catch?!?! What is this shit? At least we still get Shark Week every now and again. These channels really should just change their names to MTV and get it over with, because they show just as much music as MTV does.

  • GoodDoktorBad

    Here is a prime example of the putty-like consistancy of the average mind. 81% of “contestants” went all the way. 81% were unable to think for themselves and tortured others simply because they were told to. They had misgivings but did it anyway. My mind is blown once more….. ZOMBIES ARE REAL!!

    At least there is hope for the other 19%…

  • Anonymous

    Why was that experiment ever made? I think the sick one is actually Milgram who, under the image of conducting an experiment, wanted to satisfy some sick pleasures. How can someone even think of doing this “just to see if the subjects will bow to authority figures”? I’m sorry, but it’s better to see a movie with this type of topic than to know it actually happened.
    _______________
    Gordon Mervin – Video Production New Jersey

  • GordonMervin

    Why was that experiment ever made? I think the sick one is actually Milgram who, under the image of conducting an experiment, wanted to satisfy some sick pleasures. How can someone even think of doing this “just to see if the subjects will bow to authority figures”? I'm sorry, but it's better to see a movie with this type of topic than to know it actually happened.
    _______________
    Gordon Mervin – Video Production New Jersey

  • Cyndimiecz

    Isn’t this article taken verbatim from a Time magazine article authored by Bruce Crumley?

  • Cyndimiecz

    Isn’t this article taken verbatim from a Time magazine article authored by Bruce Crumley?