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The Battle Royale Handbook or: How It Can Prepare Us for Our Own Civil Uprising

Things are dicey in the world right now. Global pandemic. Millions of people out of work. Inches away from being ruled by a mad king. It’s a slippery slope from there to the melee of madness that is a fight to the death, no holds barred, only one survives, winner takes all, knock down, drag out battle royale.

Years before Katniss made us hunger for more games, Battle Royale showed what happens when a bunch of high school kids are pitted against one another in a fight to the death.

Battle Royale is a bloody, brutal exercise in violence. Based on the novel by Koushun Takami, the movie is written by Kenta Fukasaku and directed by his father Kinji Fukasaku. Banned in several countries and unable to be released in the United States for ten years, the 2000 Japanese film, set in a modern dystopia, perfectly blends ultra-violence with slick direction in order to give us a look at what happens when a society careens out of control.

It can also serve as an instruction manual for surviving our own potentially imminent civil uprising. So, let’s start prepping for survival as we slowly devolve into a free-for-all!

Maybe DON’T Have a Battle Royale

Now, obviously, first and foremost, we should be looking for ways to avoid a battle royale / civil uprising–type situation in the first place. After all, an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. Surely there are tell-tale warning signs that something like this is on the horizon, right? Of course there are. And don’t worry, all you have to do is follow literally any one of the following three rules and you’ll avoid society instituting friendly matches of kill-or-be-killed.

Have a Strong Economy

This is just a good idea in general. A strong economy means a strong workforce. The worst thing that could happen when trying to avoid the local arena of death is for the economy to collapse, leaving tens of millions of people unemployed. Once their livelihoods are threatened, people get desperate. And desperate people are dangerous.

Live in a Civil Society


In order to keep a civil society, everything within that society must run smoothly. Strong economies are great for this. (See item one.) A civil society means looking out for your fellow American. Giving to those less fortunate than you when you have excess. And coming to the table with smiles and open arms in order to debate differences.

Or, you could live in a society where people want to hang you from the gallows for how you make grilled cheese. If you start to hear talk of a “revolution,” that’s another red flag that you might want to keep your machete handy.

Don’t Give Children Guns

This should be a no-brainer. It’s advised to adhere to strict gun safety at all times and not let a child use a gun until they are twenty-one years old when they can legally drink.

As long as those three things are kept under control, you’ll safely avoid being rounded up and given a spork with which to kill your fellow human beings.

Now, let’s talk about what happens if one or all of the above rules are broken and society starts to get out of hand, beginning its rapid descent into violence. The sooner you’re prepared for it, the better. But a lot of people are saying it’s going to come down to another run-of-the-mill civil war. You know, that old chestnut.

But a civil war has already been done. We’ve seen it. We know how it ends. But a battle royale, well, that has a surprise around every corner. Every bump in the night could be the class clown with a samurai sword. Every whisper carried on the wind could be a cheerleader waiting to take you out. Edge of your seat entertainment all around. Not to mention, there can be one of these every year. Civil war? Only a couple times a millennium.

And why teens? Why so many students participating in the eventual battle royale? My Chemical Romance put it best when they said, “Teenagers scare the living shit out of me.” They believe they know everything, they’re scared of nothing, and they tend to hang out in groups. That sounds like a violent mob to me. All you need to do is give them random garden tools and you’ve got all the makings of a good, old-fashioned battle royale.

Now that we all agree a battle royale will definitely happen sooner rather than later, let’s see what you can do in order to survive your friends coming after you with implements of destruction.

Don’t Trust the Adults

They’re the ones who got us all into this mess in the first damn place and they’ll be the ones to institute a battle royale, for sure. Adults have this annoying habit of blaming everything on the youth. Boomers crash the economy and blame Millennials when they can’t afford to contribute.

And don’t even get me started on teachers. I know what some of you are thinking, “Surely friendly old Mrs. Hofstetler from Home Economics will help me. She’s a sweet old lady.” Wrong, Mrs. Hofstetler is going to rip out your throat with a knitting needle if she gets half a chance. Not because she’s participating in the battle royale, but just because she doesn’t like “punk-asses.”

Every teacher has that one kid they just hate. That kid who disrupts class, disrespects the rules, and is disillusioned about his place in the world. Don’t be the person the teacher hates. Because once the people have been picked for the battle royale, all bets are off. A teacher could merc you right then and there for any reason they choose. And they will.

So, the lesson here is, adults are bad. I guess also teens are bad. Kids aren’t great either–okay, look let’s just assume everyone sucks. Life will be much easier that way, as long or as short as that life may be.

Avoid Field Trips

This one is very important. Adults will use the promise of a field trip in order to get you to file onto the school bus, one by one like sheep. Don’t fall for this trap! School buses are small spaces. Contained.

The lull of the open road causes you to drift off to sleep. You are then drugged and dragged off to the Island of Death, where you’ll have just three days to murder everyone in your class, lest the lot of you is blown to smithereens. Call in sick. Don’t show up for school that day. Better yet, go off-the-grid. Become a mountain man or a medicine woman or a monk. Just stay the hell away from institutions of higher learning if you know what’s good for you.

Don’t Try and Take Off The Bomb Necklace

When you wake up and realize you’ve been fitted with an exploding collar, your first instinct may be to take it off. I would advise against that. Instead, why not embrace your new accessory? After all, all the kids in your class have one and you want to be part of the cool crowd, right? The bomb necklace will not only keep track of where you are, the hidden microphones also make it so your every conversation is heard by the adults in charge. I know, creepy, right? But what happens if you do try and take it off? Well, it’s a bomb necklace, pal, it’s not going to end well.

Team Up with Someone Who’s Been There Before

This may seem counterintuitive since the whole concept is to murder your fellow classmates with impunity, but early on in the game, you’re going to want to team up with some people in order to stay alive. The best way to do that is to find someone who’s been there before and knows how the game works. But be careful who you choose. Because they might be a no-nonsense return player trying to break the system and avenge the death of his girlfriend…


Or they might be a psychopath who returns just because he loves to pump hot lead into people.

Don’t Fall in Love


Having a crush will only hinder your ability to stay alive. Look, puppy love is adorable. But let someone else turn back for a fallen loved one only to be riddled with bullets by that one guy in class you have to sit next to every day who farts all the time. Of course, if you do have a crush, the two of you could do the romantic thing and jump off a cliff together, plunging to your death on the jagged rocks and rough ocean waves below. Ah… young love.

Plan Your Escape


People will have been killed off at an alarming rate during the first couple of days. Now, you may start to feel safer as the herds are thinned due to the fact you maybe don’t come across people as often as you did. That’s a false sense of security you’re feeling. Things aren’t winding down, they’re amping up. Now is the time to plan your eventual escape. Because pretty soon, it’s not going to be throwing knives flying at you, but rather your friend’s head with a grenade in his mouth.

With only three days to be the last one standing, people are going to get more and more desperate. Which, as stated previously, makes them more and more dangerous. So, what you’re going to want to do is put together an arsenal. Find some old vehicles and syphon the gas from them, then build something like…

That should be good, I would think.

Hack the System


Now comes the time to execute the plan. What you’re going to want to do is hack into the system, forcing the dumb old adults to have to shut the whole thing down and reboot it. That’ll give you about fifteen minutes before it’s back up again. Now’s your time to shine. Get ready to take your arsenal of bombs right to HQ and end this thing once and for all. Just be sure you don’t get ambushed by that psychopath I mentioned earlier, otherwise you might have to prematurely blow your wad before you’re ready.

Survive

I know, easier said than done, but this is the most important rule. You have to be the only one left alive in order to win the game. And what fun that will be. Why, just look at how happy last year’s winner is.


And what does this year’s winner have waiting for them after returning home? A lifetime of nightmares and PTSD. So, good luck out there! Have a great battle royale and we’ll see one of you after the long weekend!

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Written By

Seth Boston is an LA-based writer hailing from a small town in midwest Arkansas you've never heard of. He's worked in various positions on numerous TV shows including Eleventh Hour, The Forgotten, and The Mentalist. His prolific writing earned him the work for which he's best known, as a writer and producer on the Emmy-winning series Gotham for Fox.

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