Sunday, May 8, 2011

Moral Kombat

Not too long ago I had the chance to play the new Mortal Kombat video game. The title of it is Mortal Kombat (or MK 9). As I destroyed one friend after another with the big homie, Sub-Zero, I started to realize that there was something different about the game. The game was violent by nature but for some reason or another it just didn't SEEM violent to me any more. After I had passed the controller (after having voluntarily retired for lack of competition) one of the people who owned the game finished someone with a fatality where their body was turned into a skeleton standing in a puddle of human soup. Sitting there made me realize that maybe violence doesn't affect me that much anymore; at least Mortal Kombat style violence. The kind of violence that is starting to get to me more and more nowadays is the violence that we see in the crushing of protests around the world. The vocal outrage over violence in games still raises its head every once in a while but I see a major problem with our half-hearted condemnations of violence in real life. I guess when only American lives are at stake does violence become an atrocity worth preventing. Other than that it is largely ignored or worse, underreported.


  1. I agree that there is definitely a level of desensitization after years of video gameplay. It's difficult to tell whether it's the constant playing of violent games that has led to this or the reaching of an age where I can clearly discern that the violence in Mortal Kombat is fake to the point of comedy. On a much more real note, I think there is a greater sense of violence when we realize that the lives lost are real and there is not coming back. I have seen videos of head's being blown open by enemy fire and people dying in the streets of Syria, which I deem to graphic for the blog but provide a great illustration of unsettlingly violent imagery. I agree with the original poster in his comments about the America reaction to violence.

  2. I think desensitization to Mortal Kombat violence has a lot to do with having grown up with videogames, rather than just being old enough to notice that they are cartoonish. There were plenty of adults who saw the early Mortal Kombat games and were genuinely offended. What's more disturbing to me than my own desensitization to violence is the desensitization of people younger than me. For some reason it's just disturbing to me when kids play GTA or Gears of War or whatever. I guess that's always going to be a generational thing though.


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