Mortal Kombat X, the return of a classic that marked the video game industry

Warner Bros just announced Mortal Kombat 10, the latest edition of a video game series that has generated much controversy, but it has also fascinated game fans for over 20 years. Mortal Kombat X will be available for both PC and PlayStation 3, 4 and Xbox 360 consoles and One, and keep all the horrific attacks in this new version of the game will have more detail and definition, which can lead to new disputes. But it is hard to imagine that this latest edition of Mortal Kombat will cause a wave of protest as bloody as that generated the original game.

In the summer of 1993, Nintendo was preparing to distribute to Mortal Kombat on their consoles. Aken This was one of the most violent video games known so far. Nintendo was characterized until then by distributing video games that children who had worshiped and accepting parents. So the release of Mortal Kombat was like watching Disney distributing the film Reservoir Dogs or American Psycho.

Mortal Kombat was well received in the world of video games, but outside of that area began to be associated with crime rampant glorification. In the game, the fighters could tear out the heart or beheading a defeated opponent and show an opponent’s head as a trophy. Mortal Kombat motivated players to do this with the message “aniquílalo” which appeared intermittently on the screen when the fight was over. How was it possible to sell a game like this with Super Mario in shop windows?


Months after the initial release of Mortal Kombat, Howard Lincoln, and Nintendo Executive met with the general manager of the company Acclaim, Gregory Fischbach, aimed to present a solution to appease critics. Acclaim had charge of adapting the game for consoles. “Lincoln told us we had to change the color of blood from red to green, which seemed rather silly”, Fischbach told the BBC. In addition, aspects of how the dead and background scenes, such as heads on poles, would be completely removed showed. To Fischbach, it was a hasty decision, but still could not stop it.

“For me, Mortal Kombat was like a magazine violent cartoon, but many people bother with this. People thought we were trying to sell this to children nine years”.

The problem was that Mortal Kombat had come at a time of transition from the video game industry. What began as entertainment for children began to serve the interests of adolescents and adults.

Mortal Kombat X

“It was the beginning of the upturn in the video game industry”, Fischbach said.

Long ago, these games were just for kids, and no one took seriously. But with the release of Mortal Kombat, the industry began to be viewed differently. Although video games like Mortal Kombat, Doom and Night Trap, you were created for a more mature audience, there were laws that would prevent minors from acquiring. This led to political and media industry fustigaran strongly.


Nintendo’s efforts to censor the most gruesome scenes of the game did not end the controversy. Sega, Nintendo’s rival, also published the game in its Genesis system, and using a cheat code allowed its users to access the original version. Blake Harris, author of “War of consoles”, says the Genesis version of Mortal Kombat sold five times more than that of Nintendo.

It was also the version of Genesis that caught the attention of a fan who coincidentally was also the son of an officer of Capitol Hill. According to Blake Harris, this connection was instrumental in the campaign that was unleashed against violent video games.

“A son of Bill Andresen, a former chief of staff to Sen. Joe Lieberman, asked his father to buy him Mortal Kombat. Andresen But when he saw the game, showed it to Lieberman and he was shocked”.


On December 1, 1993, Lieberman called for a press conference in Washington to expose what he saw as the corrupting influence of video games on young minds.

“We’re talking about games that glorify violence and lead young people to enjoy acts of unimaginable cruelty”, Lieberman said at the time. John Tobias, co-creator of Mortal Kombat, believed that the reaction was unjustified.

“I think they wanted to scapegoat an industry that did not know anything”, Tobias said.

A week after the news conference, Lieberman led a congressional subcommittee who insisted that the game industry should regulate itself if the state wanted to prevent against established standards. Five months later, the video game industry pioneer established the Board of Classification of Entertainment Software.

One of his first decisions was to assign to Mortal Kombat and similar games classification M (Mature in English) which meant that from that moment it was illegal to sell to minors. So even if the protest from politicians and the media showed a picture of the video game industry at all desirable, through building led to a classification system that is still in force today. Many years later, Gregory Fishbach, reviews these facts. The classification system for videogames, says “the best thing that happened”.

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