Video games are starting to scare me.
By Bob Simpson (Writer/Corporate Lackey)
I can’t believe I’m saying this, but what the hell is going on with video games these days? The violence is out of control, people!
I consider myself a casual gamer. I think video games can be fun, but I’m certainly not someone who takes them too seriously. For example, I almost never play online, because I think that’s a little weird. If I’m whooping someone’s ass (or vice versa) I want to be able to look that person in the eye at the end of the game and say either “You suck” or “I suck.”
Still, I like to play certain games, and some I completely stay away from altogether. Fighting games, for instance, like Street Fighter or Tekken, have never really appealed to me. When they were simple button-mashing games, sure, I’d play them cause the competition would be fun. Nowadays, though, they’ve spiraled completely out of control and are so freaking complicated that I just can’t wrap my mind around them.
The best example of this aversion to fighting games is the Mortal Kombat series. We’ve all probably heard of the games, and how incredibly bloody and violent they were. I remember the first time I saw Mortal Kombat when I was a kid, attending band camp (shut up) at Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches, Texas (City Motto: There’s a catfish restaurant nearby).
I strolled into the on-campus arcade with my fellow nerds and saw Mortal Kombat blaring on one of the machines. I couldn’t believe what I saw, and here are the reasons why...
- There was very little animation in the game. As you might recall, the fighters in the first several MK games were actual people. That freaked me out.
- It was an incredibly ominous game. The voiceover, the stage locations, and the characters were pretty creepy. This was a big departure from the Street Fighter games, but the biggest departure was…
- The freaking blood and gore. Oh my Christ, I had never seen something so violent in my life! When you punched someone, blood spurted out! You could rip someone’s spine right out of their body! You could impale them with a spear!
Suffice to say, I was amazed, and my little pre-pubescent frame quivered with excitement the first time I played the game.
After that initial reaction, though, I rarely played the game again. This was mostly due to the fact that I grew up in a conservative house, and I could never bring that game home. My friends’ parents were the same, so it’s not like I could go over to one of their houses and play it. By the time I had moved out, I was over it and never gave it another thought.
So, when I struck up a conversation with a guy who works at WB Games and told me all about the great new Mortal Kombat game, I wasn’t really excited. A few months later, I was buying a copy of The Michael Jackson Experience game for my wife (I swear), and I saw that the store had a used copy of the new MK game. It was half off, so I said “screw it” and picked it up.
Okay, it’s a really fun game, but I have to ask this: What the crap has happened in the last 15 years! We went from blood and some gore to probably the most grotesque and violent game I have ever seen! Here are a few examples, and please be warned that these are really graphic.
Good lord! What the hell is wrong with our society! I realize that most of those moves up there aren’t physically possible, but COME ON!
I’m not one to be offended by violence or sex in games or other media, but how can you not think this is gratuitous! John Stewart agrees with me.
So look, video game people, I have to thank you for making a fun video game in Mortal Kombat, but for the love of all that is SANE, please just tone it down next time.