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"Hunger Games" Site Offers Tour of The Capitol, IE9 Plug

A new website for the sure-to-be blockbuster does double duty as an Internet Explorer 9 promo and an in-depth look at "The Capitol."

After months of near-constant hype, the movie adaptation of the first book of The Hunger Games is imminent, and it’s going to be huge, apparently.

Although the official website went live long ago, a new interactive component, The Capitol Tour, became operational today. The new site is powered by HTML5 and CSS3, which allows for content that’s more accessible across platforms, devices, and browsers without the need for plug-ins. More surprisingly, a message on the site encourages users to experience the tour of The Capitol--the dark and shady center of The Hunger Games’ world, Panem--using Internet Explorer 9. Lionsgate and Microsoft partnered on the site, which serves as a slick teaser for the film and a promo for the new browser, whose new marketing campaign rests on the idea of creating "a more beautiful web."

On arrival to the site, a hologram tour guide helps users get oriented as they step off the train in the Capitol city. Visitors can see the sights and characters they’ll recognize from the book, tour the Capitol, visit the Avenue of Tributes ("tributes" are the characters in the novel who compete in the Hunger Games), and hear an address from President Snow. They can also use Facebook integration to find out which "district" their friends belong to in the online universe of Panem.

Upcoming site features include access to the Training Center, where the tributes prepare for their coming ordeal, and the Memorabilia Center, which contains "archival footage" of past tributes in action. The site was created by digital agencies Ignition Interactive and The Nerdery.

The film premieres March 23.

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