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The Name Of The Game

Safety, hope, unicorns and other fairy tale terms..

The convicts are transferred to the island by air. Before the departure, they are allowed to take a few items with them. They can select them from the list of offered items: these can serve for defense (knife, brass knuckles, pepper spray, hand axe, etc. ), survival (pocket Swiss knife, compass, flashlight, map, lighter, matches, survival guide, fishing gear, etc.. ), protection (bug repellents, small first aid kit, bandages, antiseptic wipes, alcohol, butterfly closure strips,… ) or they can comprise plain food and water ratios (Military MRE, 0.5l bottle of water, canned food). The newcomers are dressed in standard prison jumpsuits of orange color and provided with parachutes. Once they are delivered to the drop location, they are pushed out of the plane. Most manage to open the parachute and survive the fall. It is not uncommon that the prisoners on the island wait and kill the newcomers when they are in the air, looting their bodies upon landing. It is recommended to activate the parachutes as late as possible to buy some time for an escape out of the drop location. Except for the convicts, the planes also drop supplies for the prisoners on the ground. These can contain anything from food, weapons, ammunition to clothes and gadgets. Sometimes fake booby-trapped supplies are dropped, too. The dropped supplies are regarded as hot zones because they attract gangs of prisoners, who fight among themselves for the dropped cargo.

Once they are on the ground, the convicts are free to do whatever they want to in order to survive – there are no strict rules. Most of them do get killed in the first 24 hours anyway. The rest, those that manage to survive, have a chance to achieve the celebrity status and become as popular as movie stars. The celebrity status might provide them with additional sponsored items that are dropped in the vicinity of their locations. However, the same status may prove to be dangerous – being loved by viewers is a good thing; still, gaining too much popularity will put a price on your head! The easiest way to get attention and gain popularity is to kill a celebrity. Popularity points (achievements) are somewhat proportional to the time of survival on the island. More kills usually means more popularity points, but sometimes the plain survival and escape from difficult situations could bring even more points. It is not unusual for the audience to identify with the positive characters’ suffering and struggle.

Although extremes always attract the viewers’ attention, positive characters rarely stay alive long enough. In the first season of the show, a few exceptionally positive characters grouped up to survive. Eventually, the group became larger, influential and strong enough to start reorganizing chaos into a well-balanced society. Soon enough, the audience started to regard them as heroes and hope arised among the common people, followed by an increase in disobedience towards the government and the ruling elite. As canceling the show would make people even angrier, the producers decide to provide positive characters with tougher challenges and several new deadly scenarios are staged in an attempt to eliminate the leaders of the group, who always miraculously manage to survive. The ratings went up and the whole world starts watching the show. It all ends with the leaders of the group disappearing at the end of the first season while engaging in conflict with the hunters (a mercenary squad dropped onto the island to hunt and kill prisoners for trophies). Apparently, their bodies completely disintegrated after an explosion – that’s what the producers claim. This grand finale episode breaks all the ratings; supposedly, over 70% of population watched the end of the first season. Thus, “The Island” becomes the most successful show in the history of television. The story doesn’t end here – a few weeks after the first season has ended, the first activities of ‘Renegade’ resistance movement are recorded. Allegedly, the lead characters have survived, removed their implants and managed to get off the island. The rest of their allies break into smaller groups and the affairs on the island soon gravitate towards the initial chaotic state.

The newcomers have to secure the bare necessities first, which means that they have to search for food, water and clothes. However functional they may be, orange prison jumpsuits are easy to spot from a distance and one of the rules of survival is to blend with surroundings as much as possible. Nobody wants to be a target. There are plenty of things lying around the island, waiting to be found. Items can be obtained from puppets or from other players too, but usually they will be reluctant to give their possessions away. Every encounter can be potentially lethal and it is desirable to be very careful when other convicts or puppets are encountered. Other than that, the convicts can form clans, gather supplies together but it is always a good thing not to trust anybody because friends on the island are as frequent as tooth fairies. Once per day, the top five most popular convicts are projected by BCU implants to all prisoners on the island.

More prisoners usually create a base or a stronghold once they group up and decide that they will stay on the same place for a longer time. The group has to be strong enough to be able to defend their base against all attacks, and if they succeed in doing so, they may become an influential factor in the region. On several occasions during the show, the prisoners try to establish their communities and some of them even last for longer periods. Unfortunately, no group manages to survive for the duration of the whole season, mostly because of the conflicts among the existing factions.