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Is “Wolves for Hire” (2016) a real-life example of “The Game” (1997)?

Columbus. Ohio – WEBWIRE

In the book Wolves for Hire,” author Cole Phoenix details a bizarre story of harassment and stalking wrapped up tightly in a smear/hate campaign. He describes how his life changes after a former coworker passes along a message from some unknown and secret individuals who are attempting to extort money from him. Phoenix, knowing he has no dark secrets to hide, doesn’t give the message much thought. However, soon after, he begins to experience a number of unusual and increasingly hostile interactions with coworkers and strangers outside of work. Many people involved in these encounters were strangers to Phoenix, but they all acted as if they knew him.

In the movie “The Game,” the character Nicholas Von Orton believes that he’s been rejected for an unusual “game” offered by a company called Consumer Recreation Services. The game was presented as a gift in the form of a voucher from his brother. Soon, he begins to suspect that every aspect of his life is threatened, including his reputation, finances, business, etc. He believes to be at the center of a vast conspiracy and that his life is genuinely in danger. The movie builds great suspense as it winds through a wild series of events, but only to turn out to be a “game.” So, although Nicholas was at the center of a vast conspiracy, no aspect of his life was ever really threatened—the whole sequence of bizarre events was staged and just a “game.”

In “Wolves for Hire,” Phoenix details the attempted extortion and a growing list of bizarre or hostile coincidences the he labels as “patterns of unwanted attention”—a term usually used to describe stalking behaviors and that seems fitting for many of his encounters. He recounts that while he’s experiencing these activities outside of work, he also begins to encounter bullying and ostracizing at work—something that he’s never experienced, a scenario totally different from just a year earlier. He admits that he never really believes his life is in danger, but alleges that the quality of his life has been greatly impacted.

So, when comparing the two, there are indeed a number of similarities, but “Wolves for Hire” describes a real-life smear/hate campaign that uses harassment, stalking, and bullying to impact the quality of its author’s life. In “The Game,” the main character believes that his life and its every aspect is threatened, but it turns out to be only a game that he himself unknowingly signed up for. Meanwhile, Phoenix states that the activities detailed in “Wolves for Hire” are unwelcome and harmful, in no way appear to be a game, and that he has evidence to support his allegations.

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