Mortal Kombat and three other games were inducted into the Video Game Hall of Fame earlier today. The ridiculously violent arcade fighter pummeled its way past 12 other nominees, including Valve’s PC shooter classic, Half-Life. Oh, and Microsoft’s Solitaire was also inducted into the hall. Much like Mortal Kombat, that one feels like it was a long time coming.
Mortal Kombat debuted to arcades in 1992. At one time, game creators Ed Boon and John Tobias were set on creating a fighting game based on the action star Jean-Claude Van Damme. The idea fell through at Midway. Unperturbed, the duo decided to create something a little more different. Mortal Kombat still used many of the leftover assets, such as Van Damme’s famous leg split for the fighter Johnny Cage.
For many years following, Mortal Kombat grew into one of the most recognized video games of all time. It spurred the creation of comics, cartoons, and films. The first film based on the property was released in 1995, and it’s still recognized as one of the best films based on a video game. Just don’t watch its sequel. Please don’t watch the sequel. The game’s slant toward wanton violence even caused a stir among US politicians. That clamor eventually gave way to the creation of the ESRB.
“Beyond its controversial content and role in triggering debate about the role of violent video games in society, Mortal Kombat’s compelling gameplay, iconic characters, and many sequels have kept players coming back again and again,” said digital games curator Andrew Borman.
It’s About Time
As stated earlier, Mortal Kombat isn’t entering the halls alone. Microsoft Solitaire, which has been included in the company’s Windows operating system since Windows 3.0, is also now a part of the hall. The text-based game Colossal Cave Adventure, which landed in 1976, joins them as well.
Both games have had a place in PC gaming history, so it’s good to see them get the attention they deserve. At least, that’s how I feel for Cave Adventure. I’ve actually never played the game, since it was around long before my time. But it’s impossible to talk about the impact of PC gaming historically without discussing text-based games like it and Zork. Both of these games relied on the imagination of its players, requiring such commands as “open door” or “get lamp” in order to play.
These three were among 12 finalists for induction into the hall. Other games included Candy Crush Saga, Centipede, Dance Dance Revolution, Half-Life, Myst, NBA 2K, Sid Meier’s Civilization, and Super Smash Bros. Melee. I am of the mind that Half-Life will definitely make it into the Video Game Hall of Fame one of these days. But it is not this day.
There was one non-PC game inducted into the hall, however. Super Mario Kart, which landed on the Super Nintendo in 1992, was also recognized.
Mortal Kombat 11 is the latest game in the storied franchise. It released to PC via Steam on April 23.