8-Bit Fatalities by Steven Lefcourt

Image: TastyPaints.com [Flickr]

Steven Lefcourt of TastyPaints was inspired by the controversy over the violence in video games to create this set of 8-Bit Fatalities:

Before Mortal Kombat, violence in video games was largely unheard of or ignored because of its extreme pixelized simplicity. But when Liu Kang and Sub Zero came along to finish off arcade goers the world changed and parents were in an uproar (not mine though).

I couldn't understand what the big deal was though, because as a videogame player all my life I had already considered my actions life and death. Just because you didn't see pac-man violently tearing into the ghosts with his jaws, or mario smashing in the brains of a goomba, thats what I knew was happening. I knew my goal was to kill these enemies, so Mortal Kombat wasn't a big change for me. To me, it was still just a game, where fake deaths happened as part of game progression. To uninformed adults, however, Mortal Kombat was a photo realistic depiction of kids becoming complicit in virtual murders. And so, I decided to show everyone just what I imagined was happening when these little blocky, pixelized abstractions did when they came into contact with eachother, but in a much more visceral, and gory way than could ever be shown with limited graphical systems.

I'm totally digging the Dig Dug fatality! Link - via kottke

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We've been around long enough to know that we win some, we lose some in terms of covering stuff. There's simply no way to be the first in covering things that happen on the Web. ')
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I was a kid when the MK controversy was going on, so naturally, I didn't care. (I didn't care about the game itself, either) A restaurant I frequent has a MK game and now as an adult and parent, I have to laugh about it. I look at the Tom & Jerry style fighting and what passes for blood in that game (patches of red blobby goo that float away into the air? Really?)and wonder what parents were ever worried about. The big deal at the time was the 'realism' of the violence and honestly, it couldn't be more cartoony.
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Makes perfect sense that kids become murderers after playing Mortal Kombat, just like how kids were trained in cultural relations when they played cowboys and Indians and girls learned to become strippers by undressing Barbie. Seriously, the only thing Mortal Kombat did was screw up kids English skills by spelling the word with a K.
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