Confirming a suspicion I've had going back at least to the days of Who Wants To Marry A Multi-Millionaire, modern science has now established what kind of people want to be contestants on reality shows: assassins and torturers. Contestants who thought they were trying out for the pilot of a new French reality show called The Game Of Death (actually, the whole thing was staged by psychologists for a documentary production team) were told they could administer electric shocks to teammates who botched answers. As the studio audience screamed for more, the vast majority of the contestants pushed buttons to deliver up to 460 volts to the errant teammates -- and kept pushing them even when the victims screamed for mercy. The French news agency AFP reports that 80 percent of the contestants kept zapping away until it appeared their teammates were dead.
Actually, the victims were actors who weren't really getting shocked, just pretending they were. But by the time the show premieres on Fox in September, rest assured the switches will be hooked up to real wires.