The Hunger Games viral game goes live

Lionsgate films has kick-started a new viral marketing campaign to tie in with the upcoming movie adaptation of the popular 'Hunger Games' trilogy of books, inviting fans to become part of a social media led alternate reality game.

The Hunger Games is a youth-based series of books focused on the struggle of 16-year-old Katniss Everdeen as she attempts to survive a barbaric form of televised entertainment in a dystopian future. The books themselves are a clever mix of a twilight-style love triangle with plenty of Battle Royale style teen-against-teen bloodshed thrown in, which gives the pending movie franchise  plenty of box office pulling potential in 2012.

The hotly anticipated trailer for the first movie debuted at the 2011 MTV Music Video Awards. Despite the fact the movie won’t hit US screens until March 2012, a Twitter tag #What’sMyDistrict? (referring to the various suppressed districts in the book) was revealed at the close of the trailer sending fans into a social media frenzy as they scoured the web for a hidden website.

The Twitter tag ultimately pushed fans to a slowly revealing Capitol-styled website (the Capitol being the ruling dictators in the book) inviting people to sign up for citizenship of District 11 via Facebook or Twitter. Once users have been assigned a district they will progress to compete in the next stage of the game.

It’s still early days, but it will be interesting to see how Lionsgate leverage the strong narrative of the book and its competitive stance to build anticipation and engagement around the release of the upcoming trilogy.

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