Fake Game Show Players Shock 'Victims' in Chilling Documentary
Recreation of '60s experiment tests power of TV
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 17, 2010 4:09 AM CDT
"In a game, the boundaries between reality and fiction are blurred, so that even if your partner screams and begs you to stop, you still think you're in a game," producer Christophe Nick said.   (Shutter Stock)

(Newser) – Most people are happy to dish out horrendous pain to others if they're told to by a game show host, found a chilling French documentary recreating a famous 1960s psychology experiment. The makers of fake Zone Xtreme told participants they were on a game show pilot, and found that 81% were willing to punish a "victim"—played by an actor—for wrong answers by delivering increasingly painful electric shocks.

Only 19% put a stop to the game before delivering the maximum 420 volts, despite the victim's increasing howls of pain. The aim of the documentary is to highlight the power of television, its producer tells Reuters, noting that in an earlier similar study, Yale psychologist Stanley Milgram's Perils of Obediance, 62% of participants obeyed orders by researchers to shock people, but "with television it's 81%."