Fake TV Game Show 'Tortures' Man, Shocks France In a documentary disguised as a game show, participants gave what they thought were electric shocks to a rival contestant when he got a question wrong. They were urged on by an attractive host and an audience chanting, "Punishment! Punishment!" The show reveals how people will set aside their values and obey sadistic orders in the face of authority.
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Fake TV Game Show 'Tortures' Man, Shocks France

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Fake TV Game Show 'Tortures' Man, Shocks France

Fake TV Game Show 'Tortures' Man, Shocks France

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  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/124838091/124838304" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
  • Transcript

MELISSA BLOCK, Host:

Unidentified Woman: (Foreign language spoken)

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC AND APPLAUSE)

ELEANOR BEARDSLEY, Host:

Unidentified Woman: (Foreign language spoken)

(SOUNDBITE OF CHANTING)

BEARDSLEY: Unidentified Man #1: (Foreign language spoken)

BEARDSLEY: Christophe Nick produced the documentary called "The Game of Death" with a group of scientists and researchers.

CHRISTOPHE NICK: Most of us, we have free thinking and so we are responsible of our art. This experiment show that in certain circumstance, a power - the TV in this case - is able to make you do something you don't want to do.

BEARDSLEY: Unidentified Man #2: Stan, I'm not going to kill that man there.

BEARDSLEY: Unidentified Man #3: Incorrect. Continue, please.

(SOUNDBITE OF SCREAMING)

BEARDSLEY: Sociologist Jean Claude Kaufmann says the higher French percentage of 80 percent shows that the manipulative power of television further increases people's willingness to obey.

JEAN CLAUDE KAUFMANN: (Foreign language spoken)

BEARDSLEY: Unidentified Group: (Speaking foreign language)

BEARDSLEY: Television talk shows have been ruminating over the documentary all day. Comparisons are being drawn to the manipulation of the masses in Nazi Germany. One of the game show participants, Jerome Pasanau, said he was still haunted by the experience.

JEROME PASANAU: (Through translator) I wanted to stop the whole time, but I just couldn't. I didn't have the will to do it. And that goes against my nature. I really haven't figured out why I did it.

BEARDSLEY: Unidentified Woman: (Foreign language spoken)

(SOUNDBITE OF DOCUMENTARY, "GAME OF DEATH")

BEARDSLEY: For NPR News, I'm Eleanor Beardsley in Paris.

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