If you haven’t read or watched The Hunger Games, do yourself a favour and get on it. Side note, how sad is your life if you haven’t done this yet? Now, a brief synopsis:
Annually, the totalitarian government of Panem randomly selects two citizens (called tributes) from each district who are forced to participate in The Hunger Games; a televised battle set in a hostile arena, in which there can only be one survivor. The lone victor, in return, earns food and riches for his otherwise extremely poor district.
Here’s what we imagine The Hunger Games would be like if it were to take place in Malta.
1. The Name Of The Game
Since The Hunger Games can’t be used as a name (copyright issues), we’d opt for something like ‘Żmien l-Għaks u l-Biki’ or…
‘Min se jerdaw dis-sena?‘
2. The Host
Caesar Flickerman is the likeable, eccentric games’ host and tribute interviewer, with his dazzling smile and ability to turn any morose situation into something positive or humorous. For the Maltese version, we’d nominate Joseph tal-vjolin, host of ‘Arani Issa’.
In The Hunger Games, all tributes are assigned a previous victor as a mentor, whose main job is to train and advise them on strategy, ways of making it out alive and finding them sponsors. #TeamHaymitch
In Malta, since there’d be no previous victors seeing as it’d be the first game, the producers would select the typical familiar Maltese faces to do so, regardless of whether they have any experience in survival or not. We reckon the following would make it: Ignatius Farrugia – the dude from ‘Liquorish’ who shat himself on TV; Ben Camille; Rachel ta’ Tista Tkun Int; Stellina ta’ Xarabank; some Eurovision singer – and throw in a shitty actress for good measure.
‘Mhux xorta ħa jmutu’
4. The Arena
The arena where the games take place varies from year to year, with a new arena built for annually for the games. The tributes only find out what kind of environment the arena is when the games begin, so they must be prepared for anything; from forested areas to abandoned cities.
Finding an appropriate place to serve as an arena here would be a challenge due to limited land, a lot of which is already built up. Our guess would be Buskett, Ta’ Qali or Comino. What we do know for sure is that Richard England and the Forzi Armati would collaborate as part of the arena’s design team.
5. The Cornucopia
As soon as the gong indicates the games have begun, the tributes either dash for cover or risk their lives by heading towards the ‘Cornucopia’ to fight over tools, weapons, water and food, which could help them survive the games. This initial fight for supplies typically results in an intense bloodbath, with a significant number of tributes being killed within the first minutes.
What would the Maltese run towards first? Weapons? Water? Equipment? Our guess is food.
Tributes generally band together to increase their chance of survival and hunt down other individuals. Although of course, in the end only one can make it out alive.
Based on patterns observed on the island, our guess is that the first round of allies would be divided according to whether the tributes are mainly English or Maltese speaking. When the numbers start dwindling, allied groups might be subdivided on a political base; Laburisti vs Nazzjonalisti vs The Rest (swing voters, too-cool-to-vote voters, Alternattiva and Norman Lowell supporters).
We reckon complaining would take up at least 40% of the airtime. We don’t deal well with hunger. We don’t deal well with the heat. We don’t deal well with the cold. We hate the wind. To be honest, I’m not sure what we do deal well with. Elements suck.
‘ Il-qaħbec x’bard, jistaw jgħollu naqra t-temperatura ta, kemm huma klieb!’
8. Tracker Jackers
Tracker jackers are a type of genetically engineered wasp, which, at best, cause vivid and terrifying hallucinations to anyone stung. At worst, death. The Maltese version of The Hunger Games would include mutated mosquitoes, enlarged dubbien t’Għawdex and wirdien li jtiru. Enough to lead anyone to their own death.
9. Audience Statuses
The broadcasted annual Hunger Games would be as (if not more) popular as the Eurovision, which can only mean one thing; people would be glued to their mobiles and laptops, ready to write a new status/running commentary about whatever is happening/whoever has died/what the tributes wore for their TV interviews/who they are rooting for, and of course, the ever popular:
‘Ara naqra fej mar jistaħba l-o**!’
9. Betting On The Survivor
We’d have a specific Lottu style office for such bets, as well as a Lovin Malta article predicting who the victor will be.
Here’s hoping the government doesn’t get any bright ideas….the world doesn’t need another excuse to listen to Clinton Paul’s Rebellion.