About a month ago, a curious website popped up on the web: http://www.thecapitol.pn. And my Hunger Games senses went all a tingle.
The strange domain name could only mean one thing: with the dot-pn in the address, Panem, the Hunger Games world, has gone viral.
At that time, the site was fairly basic. It encouraged visitors to sign up for their District Identification cards. I thought perhaps it would be a sorting game ala the Harry Potter Sorting Hat, but it was far simpler: Log in to Twitter or Facebook and receive a random district assignment. And wait for further instructions.
I had honestly forgotten about the site until I received an email last night telling me that District 9’s identification cards had been processed. That particular district placement had been a bit of a bummer; no one knew anything about District 9. I was in no-man’s land. But as it was one of the first districts to gain access to the full site, then I couldn’t complain that much.
The site now has the flavor of something that is going to build over time. There is a pie chart showing the production level from the districts and a bubble graph to show how many tesseraes each district is pulling. Tesseraes are rations that kids eligible for the Hunger Games can sign up for—but for each tesserae they pull, they have to add their name to the potential Hunger Game Victor pool one more time. The more tesseraes a kid takes out, the better the chance he or she has of being selected to go into the arena. The graphs have a lot of potential for future books, when the districts system begins to break down. Perhaps we will be able to watch the Panem revolt in real-time.
I have a curious theory going: District 9 turned out to be the district that produces grain. And all of my friends around here in the Midwest were also sorted into 9, while all my southeast friends have landed in District 11 (Agriculture). I think that maybe the sorting isn’t as random as I thought. The website might pull IP and plunk you into whichever district most closely aligns with your actual location.
So what about you Canaries? Which district are you in?
Read More: Book Review: Mockingjay by Suzanne Collins