This is one of those "Didn't this already happen?" moments, as we've learned that Ed Boon and John Tobias’ classic and bloody fighter, Mortal Kombat, was inducted Thursday into the World Video Game Hall of Fame, along with Commodore 64’s Colossal Cave Adventure, Nintendo’s Super Mario Kart, and the ubiquitous “Solitaire” game built into Microsoft Windows.
The 2019 inductees were honored for their impacts on video gaming and pop culture, and their popularity over time and across countries.
Mortal Kombat quickly raised alarms when it launched in 1992, with critics taking aim at a feature giving players the gory choice of whether to kill by decapitating an opponent or ripping out their heart.
“Instead of enriching a child’s mind, these games teach a child to enjoy inflicting torture,” Sen. Joseph Lieberman, D-Connecticut, said in 1993 when opening a congressional hearing on video game violence that featured scenes from the game. Amid a national conversation about the impact of video violence on kids, the industry established the Entertainment Software Rating Board in 1994 to assign parent-friendly age ratings to games.
The World Video Game Hall of Fame is housed at The Strong museum in Rochester and recognizes individual electronic games of all types — arcade, console, computer, hand-held and mobile. The 4-year-old hall chooses inductees with input from journalists, scholars and others with video game expertise.