Everybody knows that Japanese reality TV shows are slightly more mean-spirited than their Western cousins … but does this simulated sniper attack go too far?

The objective of the Japanese hidden camera reality show Panic Face King is – as the name suggests – to induce the best possible “panic face” by putting their unwitting target in a terror-inducing situation. One such situation would be to invite a young businessman into a meeting, and then shatter the windows as a “sniper” shoots through them to kill the room’s other inhabitants. The terrified unwitting subject tries to escape the room, only to find that it’s locked and that the gunman is coming after him next.

And all the while, the TV audience is laughing. I don’t know about you all, but while I’ve laughed at other things I’ve seen on Japanese reality TV that may be on the edges of what is acceptable, this leaps over the line – for me, anyway. And at least one BoingBoing blogger agrees with me.

This is the sort of thing that could be honestly and severely traumatic. What do you all think: Is this still all in good fun, or does it go too far in its pursuit of laughs?

(Via Geekologie)

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