Point of order: in the Hunger games, the arena is not a holodeck. It’s a physical arena, it has been planned and fabricated over the course of years or decades and the “effects” are completely under the control of the gamemakers. Real fire. Real mutant dogs (who in the book were the reanimated corpses of the other 21 dead tributes). And the Hunger Games aren’t “popular”, they are the only thing being broadcast. The districts are forced to watch their children die. The only people who enjoy it are the viewers in the Capitol who don’t send children as tributes. The gamemakers can kill whoever they want because the Capitol is omnipotent.
This could have been fixed in one stupid line from head gamemaker Plutarch Heavensbee (played by Phillip Seymour Hoffman) “Arenas aren’t built in a year.”