"In the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surround by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV."
- The Hunger Games, Suzanne Collins
Panem is a land of suffering and hardship. The majority of its citizens live in poverty and fear, while an elite minority live in super-luxury. The majority inhabitants of the twelve Districts of Panem spend their lives in hard labor, earning barely enough to keep themselves alive. Even then, many die of starvation, disease, or even exhaustion while their fellow citizens look on, unable (or unwilling) to help. Even the richest citizens of the Districts (rare though they are) pale in comparison to even a poor citizen of the Capitol. The people of the Capitol live a life of utter luxury, free to do anything they wish, which often involves socializing and attending fancy parties.
While the origin of Panem is unknown (at least to the average citizen of the Districts), there is a momentous event with which every citizen of Panem is familiar: the origin of the Hunger Games. 71 years ago, the thirteen Districts (for there were thirteen at the time) rose up and rebelled against the oppressive Capitol. However, even with their great numbers, the Capitol's military advantage proved too great. They quashed the rebellion with a single, unforgettable act: they annihilated District Thirteen. The other Districts fell in line once more, but the Capitol was not finished. To prevent further rebellion, and to remind the Districts that the Capitol was all-powerful, they instituted the Hunger Games. Once a year, one boy and one girl between the ages of 12 and 18 are chosen randomly from each district to participate in the Hunger Games. They are taken to the Capitol, where they undergo a process of parading, training, and interviewing. They are then thrust into an Arena (about which they are entirely unfamiliar) and forced to fight to the death over the course of days or weeks.
You are one of these 24 children and have been randomly chosen (or volunteered) to participate in the Hunger Games. While each of you has your own reasons to fight, food, honor, or just lust for violence, you are all fighting for your lives. Let the games begin.