Microsoft, looking to boost its Internet Explorer brand, has teamed up with the Hunger Games book series franchise and created an HTML experience that looks to capitalize on the popularity of that brand to boost its browser’s mindshare.

It’s not a half bad idea, given that Internet Explorer could use a shine among younger demographics (who have grown up in a Chrome and Firefox world), and because as I’ve discovered, after a little research, the whole ‘Hunger Games’ bit is a big damn deal. Who knew. Apparently it’s this decade’s Harry Potter or somesuch. It’s moved, I’ve been told, something like 26 million copies. Impressive.

Now, we usually don’t cover things like this, a creation that is an experience used to promote two brands, but in this case, there’s something more. HTML5, the future of the Internet, is on full display. The site, designed to have the look and feel of an app, is soaking in it. And therein lies an interesting setup; Microsoft is promoting its browser brand against its competition directly, again.

In the site are a few technical notes worth thinking about, mostly the curved HTML5 video embeds in the ‘Control Room.’ Also keep an eye on image scaling.

As GeekWire notes, “‘The Capitol recommends you use Internet Explorer 9 during your tour for the best experience of our city,’ visitors are told upon arriving.” That’s a big claim, given that people usually have several browsers installed on their machines, so let’s play it out.

Head to the site, poke around, watch the HTML5 action swirl a bit, and then repeat the process in Internet Explorer 9. Drop a comment, and share what your experience was. I’ll start: In my experience, Internet Explorer 9 performed on par with Chrome 18. I’m very curious to hear your results.

2012 03 20 10h19 06 520x223 Hunger Games + Internet Explorer + HTML5 = This

➤ The Capital Tour