Let's hope there never _is_ such a thing as the Hunger Games -- the sadistic ritual featured in the bestselling trilogy by Suzanne Collins. But if post-apocalyptic fantasy ever becomes reality, these tips will serve you well.
- Step 1: Never give up. You will face so many horrors during the competition that death may at times seem preferable. But if you stay strong, you just may be the tribute who survives the Hunger Games.
- FACT: The premise for _The Hunger Games_ came to author Suzanne Collins while she was channel-surfing and flipped from a reality TV competition to footage of the Iraq War.
- TIP: While others expose themselves to danger at the Cornucopia scrum, go look for water instead.
- Step 2: Beware the Cornucopia -- the golden horn filled with survival items that are up for grabs. Because most tributes descend on it at the start of the Games, it's always the scene of a bloodbath that claims many lives. Either get there first, grab stuff, and bolt, or avoid the Cornucopia all together.
- Step 3: Pick up some survival skills. Archery, knife-throwing, and tree-climbing come in handy in the Hunger Games, as does an ability to feign incompetence.
- Step 4: Work on your personality. Sponsors can send gifts to tributes they like, so try to become a crowd favorite. The audience especially loves a tribute who demonstrates compassion to their competitors. And they're also suckers for a love story -- tributes Katniss and Peeta won many followers with their star-crossed lovers storyline.
- Step 5: Get in the best shape of your life. It takes enormous stamina to survive the physical challenges of the Hunger Games, the annual Capitol-staged competition in which 24 teenagers, known as "tributes," are thrown into an arena to fight to the death until only one remains. In addition to battling each other, the tributes must find ways to survive obstacles like mutated beasts and remote-controlled volcanoes.