The controversy that initially swirled around the Mortal Kombat franchise when it originally hit arcades back in 1992 seems impossible by modern standards. The game’s graphic (and way cartoony violence) was so intense that it helped bring about the Entertainment Software Rating Board to classify releases for various age ranges.
This all seems downright quaint given the subsequent casual mayhem of titles like those in the Grand Theft Autoseries — not to mention more serious real-life horror, but at the time this controversy was a huge deal that helped define the generation gap between 90s gamers and those who sought to harsh their gratuitous violence-induced buzz.
So with this in mind, let’s take a look back at how the media responded to Mortal Kombat and other games of their ultra-violent ilk:
If there’s something politicians know, it’s videogames, amirite?
This 1994 news report is a perfect snapshot of the panic, fear, and “what about the kids?” mentality that swirled around Mortal Kombatin a time when there apparently wasn’t anything else serious going on worth worrying about.
Oh wait. Shit.
More gaming doom-saying via a Los Angeles-area news report from the early 90s, one that contains this priceless exchange:
“How do you feel about cutting his head off?” – Reporter
“Fun!” – Mortal Kombat player
Here’s Tom Brokaw reporting on the establishment of the ESRB rating system. We don’t know his personal feelings on gaming (journalistic distance and whatnot), but we’re guessing dude is a major Dance Dance Revolution fan. It’s always the quiet ones.
Finally, this UPN report (remember UPN? HAW HAW) features game creators Ed Boon and John Tobias discussing the blood and death and mayhem and society-crumbling Mortal Kombat 3, which, as we all know, single-handedly caused all societal ills of the past 20 years.
Seriously though, these dudes are so chill that we totally want to get a drink with them and read them some of our Sub Zero-inspired poetry.
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