The Kindness of Kombat + Poem & Photo Prompt!

So in the past few weeks I’ve fallen in love with a new game. It’s probably one of the most brutal and violent games of all time, the kind of game that’s been banned by many concerned parents that don’t want their kids to grow up to be monsters!

However, as I’ve been playing, I’ve realised there’s more to it underneath the surface. Rather than just being mindless violence, Mortal Kombat 11 has actually given me a lot to think about, both in terms of media, and my own writing!




It started in January this year, when I decided to watch as many movies as possible as part of a New Year’s Resolution. One night on holiday, I couldn’t find anything to watch on the hotel TV, so I browsed Amazon Prime on my phone, and happened across the 1995 Mortal Kombat movie. My husband thought I would like it, and boy was he right!

Even though it was only on a phone screen with tinny speakers, I found myself captivated. I loved it so much that I bought the Blu Ray the very next day, and ever since it’s been one of my top 5 favourite films of all time.

Despite adoring the film so much, I had never ever played any of the games before.

I knew they were ultra violent, but game violence has never frightened me the way movie violence does, (Which is something I want to talk about another time.) So that wasn’t the problem.

Instead, I’m ashamed to say that I’d subconsciously formed a pretty negative stereotype of the franchise for a rather silly reason…




It all stems from High School, where I was unbelievably unpopular. Having no friends, my only option at lunchtimes (if I didn’t want to get hassled) was to hide in the corner of the cafeteria and stay out of sight. Over the years I became very good at this. Perhaps too good, as I ended up overhearing a lot of unsavoury gossip and conversations that I was often not meant to be a part of.

By far the worst of this came from a boy who I’ll call John. To put it politely, John didn’t always treat women with the highest of respect. Let’s just say I’ve heard a lot more about the ‘interests’ of teen boys than I ever wanted to.

Anyway, when John wasn’t trying to impress his friends with his extensive prowess with the ladies, he was describing in gleeful detail the gory violence of the Mortal Kombat games.

Exploding heads, flying limbs aplenty, and spines going left and right seemed to ignite an excitement in John. Looking back now, he failed to mention the fun story, the brilliant graphics, or the great characters and lore, but hey, to each their own.

At the time though, as I saw this boy, who had harassed almost every female in the school at least once, (yes, including the teachers) I formed a stereotype in my mind of the kind of people that played these games. And subconsciously that negatively affected my opinion of the games themselves.




But back to the present year, I was on a shopping trip, when we went into GAME. I browsed through the second hand section, (I’m not about to pay £60 + for a new version!) and saw a copy of the latest Mortal Kombat game for only £15. I thought it was about time I tried it for myself, especially at such a good price.

So I got home, sat through the excruciating installation process, and was too scared to play it, so I spent hours on the tutorial instead!

After all that practicing, I attempted a proper fight for the first time, then I played the story, then I tried the weekly ranked mode, and before I knew it I had played 2000 matches and 180 hours!

By finally having an open mind I found something that I’m really enjoying, that I’m passionate about, and that has actually inspired me to do certain creative things that I haven’t felt like in years.




It’s undeniable that the game is hyper violent. It earns its 18 rating more than any other game I’ve played. However, there is so much more to it underneath that. From a gameplay standpoint, it’s challenging, requiring fast reflexes and a good memory for the complex inputs and combinations. But what impressed me the most, was the characters and story.

From my original, unfavourable first impression, I expected the game to not really have a story at all, or a paper thin one at best, and I expected the characters to be bland, empty murder machines. And while yes, there are a few pure evil baddies, for the most part, the game is filled with characters that have emotional or interesting backstories and who fight to save their friends and family.

That’s like, really… nice.

To be honest, I actually shed a tear during a part of the story where (*Spoilers*) you are forced to play as the villains, and basically massacre all the characters that you’ve come to love. It was seriously pretty emotional!




After playing through the story for a while, I noticed an urge that I hadn’t felt in years. I felt like I wanted to draw something.

I’ve got a slightly complicated relationship with art. I won’t bore you with the details, (at least not now!), but basically, when I was young I loved to draw, and so I opted to do art at school. What I thought was an art (as in drawing and painting) course was actually graphic design, and what little drawing we did was copying the same photo of fruit over and over again (in the same style) till we went mad. In the end I couldn’t grasp the graphic design side of things and the whole experience was rather soul crushing. It killed my desire to do any type of art, and as a result I didn’t pick up a pen or pencil again for about 6 years.

Until I started playing Mortal Kombat.

I loved the characters so much that I found myself wanting to draw them, which to me, is like the ultimate sign of affection!

So I hunted through the cupboards for my good paper and got to work. Surprisingly, I had great fun doing art for the first time in years, and all because of this game!




Around the time that I found the game, I had finished writing an excerpt from one of my book ideas. I had also began to worry about it quite a lot.

This book idea in particular is quite a bit darker than my others, which are usually ‘Sunshine & Rainbows’ type of things! The excerpt I had written was of a murder, and it was the first scene of the story, and I was starting to stress over it being too graphic for an opening. I was thinking people would find it offensive, that nobody would want to read it, and that they might think badly of me for writing it in the first place.

But then I started playing this game, and it got me thinking. When you make something that includes unsavoury material like violence, it’s inevitable that some people won’t like it, and that’s ok. I bet when the first Mortal Kombat game came out, the developers probably got a lot of hate for making something so graphic, but they made it anyway. They kept going with their vision regardless of what people thought, and in the end they created something that I’ve found so much beauty and value in.

So while I’m not sure I’ll ever make something quite as great as they did, I’m definitely inspired to be true to the story I’m writing, and not change it because of over-worrying about what people will think.




So it’s safe to say, I. LOVE. THIS. GAME.

And I would’ve loved it years ago too, if I hadn’t let some silly misconception about it get in the way.

And that’s really what this post is about. I’m definitely aware that there are some movies or games or any media, that really are just violent or gross with nothing underneath. I’d say something like the Human Centipede movies would be a good example of that. But every now and again, you get a hidden gem that has been unfairly labelled a certain way, that might be worth giving a chance!

And that’s certainly the way I feel about Mortal Kombat. It’s provided me with hours of entertainment, restored my passion for art, given me confidence about my writing, and taught me something about making assumptions.

Oh, and it’s given me plenty of epic Halloween costume ideas…




I didn’t want to make this too long, but as I mentioned earlier, I wanted to talk a bit about the difference between violence in movies, games, and books, and how it affects me. So I’m going to make a Part 2 to this post next week, that’s more about that, whereas this part was more for gushing about what this game means to me!

Thanks for reading!




Photo Prompt!

This week’s photo prompt comes from the bus journey of the shopping trip when I bought Mortal Kombat! The weather was beautiful and the sky seemed to blend in to the sea which was really interesting to look at, but to the naked eye it was even more pronounced!




Poem!

Memories of the past souring my opinion.

Once I tried for myself, I knew better.

Racing through the story,

These characters became dear to me.

Already bringing back my passions,

Life would be more bland without video games!




Thank you so much for reading!

Published by Wryter Worldsworst

Young writer, totally unqualified, possibly awful.

9 thoughts on “The Kindness of Kombat + Poem & Photo Prompt!

  1. Interesting read. I’m not a gamer, so this is all very exotic to me. And your photo prompt… is that Ailsa Craig in the distance? Looked very familiar. I’m living in the Central Belt and occasionally travel by bus to the ferry port in Cairnryan. I love the stretch of shoreline where you can see Ailsa Craig – spectacular in any kind of weather, especially when it’s hazy and the rock seems to float on thin air. I like you photo prompts. My favourite so far is the breaded mushroom on a shelf in Lidl. Still haven’t written a story about it… don’t think I can do it justice…

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    1. Yes that’s the Ailsa Craig! That whole coastal road from Cairnryan to Ayr is so scenic, especially in a hazy Summer.

      Thank you, the breaded mushroom was certainly unusual, I still haven’t come up with a feasible reason why it could’ve been there! : )

      Liked by 1 person

  2. I love this. I love when you get inspiration from things like video games and it inspires you to think more. It’s truly beautiful. My favorite character is scorpion also. Have you checked out mortal Kombat x? That game is before 11. It’s absolutely bonkers. The story mode is wild.

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  3. I loved reading this post. We all have preconceived notions about stuff and if we can put them aside, we may discover something interesting or valuable, as you did with Mortal Kombat.

    I’m so glad you enjoyed the game, and that you were inspired to draw again. Your drawings are so clear and bold. I showed them to my Korean students and they said ‘Wow’.

    I always thought I wasn’t musical, but wished I could be. After being persuaded by my husband, who is a guitarist, I nervously and rather dubiously tried Rocksmith and after 500+ hours in 6 months I can say I’m a reasonably skilled beginner bassist (actually my husband says I’m an absolute natural musical genius, but he’s biased). But, as you wrote, you can find a real love for something if you’re willing to ‘get over yourself’ and give it a go.

    Thanks for writing.

    Btw – I love your Ailsa Craig pictures. They sea and sky are so blue and serene.

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      1. Thanks. I love playing. Love that deep E string vibration. Always loved a good bassline, now I play them… So relaxing.

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