Last week, the long awaited Mortal Kombat reboot came out.  Man, was I excited.  With so much going on in preparation for the release of Toonopolis: Gemini in about a month, it was great to have some sort of distraction that didn’t involve a juvenile/young adult novel, G-rated cartoons, fonts, formatting, and marketing efforts.  As I fired it up and immediately saw Scorpion and Sub-Zero on the screen, the MK fanboy in me went, ‘SQUEE!’.

As an old-time fan of the Mortal Kombat series over any of the other stuff, I appreciate the simplicity of the 2D fighting.  I played Marvel vs. Capcom 3 and, while I enjoyed it, the combo/tag gameplay is just way too fast for my aging fingers and mind to handle.  After completing the Story Mode, I felt very pleased that the writers paid wonderful homage to the original series and handled the whole ‘going back in time’ thing extremely well.

Now here’s the part where I talk about this from the perspective of a parent.  The game is, very justifiably, rated M for Blood and Gore (of course), Intense Violence (yep), Partial Nudity (I guess side/underboob counts as partial nudity…), and Strong Language (I haven’t heard much of that).  So, based on this, should I let my son (five years old) watch it?  Of course not.  However, after playing it for a few days and letting the wife watch it a bit, we were wondering if it really warranted restriction from our son.

We are of the belief that the ratings system just stand as a suggestion to parents and that parents deserve to make their own decisions as to what their kids can handle (you hear that, Supreme Court?!).  While Mortal Kombat has intense violence, blood and gore, and some bouncing boobies, we felt that our kid could handle it.

Why?  The blood and gore is so over-the-top, that even with the ‘realistic’ X-Ray vision attacks, it is so grossly unrealistic that it has gone beyond realism and into absurdity.  In fact, the X-Ray attacks have served as a great anatomy lesson for our son (“No, that wasn’t a heart.  That was a stomach.  Do you see where the intestine is attached?”).  Having a mother who is an emergency doctor, he gets plenty of anatomy discussion anyway.

As for the ‘partial nudity’?  Ridiculous.  He won’t see anything on here that any kid in Japan wouldn’t see in the un-American-modestied version of an Anime or JRPG.  Yeah, every female character in the game has over-the-top, unrealistic-for-fighting, skin-showing outfits on… but as long as there is nothing sexual about it, I think calling a little sideboob ‘partial nudity’ is just plain stupid.

But this is just our decision.  We made it based on viewing and playing the game ourselves.  Thankfully, the American government has not yet removed our rights to be parents in this realm.  Hopefully, they never do.




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  1. Sadly, for every set of parents like you, there is a set (or maybe even a few sets) of parents that don’t do their jobs properly and then blame the video game industry when they buy a game without researching first and are shocked when it contains violence or nudity. 🙁 They wouldn’t just buy a movie for their kid without knowing what it was, right? Why would they not look into a game as well?

  2. I know, Jen. As a former store manager for GameStop, I dealt with this on the front lines for the video game industry. One of the reasons I get so frustrated with the concept of government involvement is that I know how hard retailers have tried to educate people on the ratings system and help self-police the industry.

    Some people just can’t be taught, however: the ones that don’t want to take the time to learn.

  1. […] you read my recent blog post about the new Mortal Kombat video game (here), you know how I feel about the government trying to get involved in the ratings of video games […]

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