French television audiences were shocked this week by a documentary in which 80 people, tricked into thinking they were shooting a pilot for a reality TV show, proved they were willing to "kill their countrymen for 15 minutes of fame." In a set-up based on the famous Milgram experiment from the 1960s, the 80 were urged to "electrocute" a fellow contestant - actually an actor - if he got answers wrong. All but 16 of the volunteers punished the contestant until he appeared to die. It's a clever idea, says Bruce Crumley in Time. But this documentary would be more intelligent if it didn't rely "on the same reality TV techniques it is denouncing." Still, it makes a good point, says Archie Bland at the Independent. If the "hideous implications" of this experiment become "widely known," perhaps future generations tested in the same manner might "pause before pushing the button." Watch a video report on France's "Game of Death":
THE WEEK'S AUDIOPHILE PODCASTS: LISTEN SMARTER
- The U.S. is about to sell weapons to Vietnam. That's bad news for China.
- What the Middle Ages can tell us about the GOP's big charity myth
- Why is the Pentagon stuffing caves in Norway full of tanks?
- The most sensible GOP alternative to ObamaCare comes from a Senate candidate who is almost sure to lose
- 10 things you need to know today: October 23, 2014
- When Khomeini said no to Iranian nukes
- The one thing the New Atheists get right about religion
- 43 TV shows to watch in 2014
- How to be the most productive person in your office — and still get home by 5:30 p.m.
- Did Republicans overshoot on the Ebola panic?
Subscribe to the Week