Injuries for Entertainment

I’m not sure why, but it seems that danger and people getting hurt have always been entertaining. The ancient Romans certainly knew this and took advantage of it in their gladiator games. This changed in our so-called modern age when people started doing it to themselves to entertain others. Take the Three Stooges; were they really funny if none of them got hurt?The game completely changed in the 1990’s though, when people started sending in videos of themselves getting hurt for notoriety (and occasionally a cash prize) to America’s Funniest Home Videos. A sort-of precursor to YouTube, AFHV allowed the average person to send in a video of their cute animal, child, or hilarious injury.

That may be all well and good, but how far is too far?

Screen Shot 2013-03-30 at 5.39.20 PMThe Knife Game” is a video by Rusty Cage that went viral a month ago. In it, he places his hand, fingers spread, on a wooden surface, and then sings a song while stabbing around his fingers with the knife. To be honest, it is pretty entertaining. The scary thing though, is when other YouTubers began copying him. There are now hundreds of videos of YouTubers singing the song and playing this game, some more successful than others. There are even videos where YouTubers have added special effects to make it look like they lost a finger or stabbed themselves. And both the views and videos keep coming.

So once again, how far is too far? Is it worth risking personal injury for the sake of views? If it is, where do you draw the line?