Artist Steven Lefcourt put together a great series of illustrations to dramatize the violence that we might otherwise take for granted in our 8-bit video games. The idea of course came to him while he contemplated Mortal Kombat and according to Steven (an area of contemplation that most great art originates from):
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 each other, but in a much more visceral, and gory way than could ever be shown with limited graphical systems.
He then proceeded to post 5 of these wonderfully disturbing images on Flickr. Where it was featured in Make Something Cool Every Day photo pool. All of the fatalities are great, but for sheer gruesomeness I have to go with Dig Dig as my favorite. These should get their own card series like Garbage Pail Kids if you ask me…