Posted by: robinsonwarner | July 15, 2008

Mortal Kombat, despite its spelling problems, was not the problem

Remember in the mid-nineties when the frontier of videogames was being explored by the likes of Nintendo, Sega and Playtation 1?  Well I would imagine that many men between the ages of 20 to 30 recall quite vividly that the envelope was being pushed by video game creators with more edgy games that were more violent.  I’m not talking about more violent in the sense that when Mario jumped on a turtle’s head that there were visible signs of head trauma, I’m talking about how, if the proper button sequence was pressed, an eight year old could rip the spine out of a video-human.  And of course at eight years old there’s nothing more appealing than true, excessive, violent power.  This is why dinosaurs are so appealing. 

Now many parents were rightly alarmed about the violence going into the brains of their pre-pubescent and mostly pubescent children; especially when ER’s across the country saw a 600% increase in spine ripping and children were screaming, “FINISH HIM!” during friendly games of Smear the Queer instead of just Smear the Queer like normal children.

So when these slowly aging baby boomers realized something may have been damaging the fragile cerebral cortexes of their younglings, they flipped out.  Soccer moms wrote letters to the game’s maker Konami, games were banned from Christian neighborhoods, the LA riots started, Palestine inexplicably decided to go to war with Israel after a thousand years of peace, etc.  Violence in videogames was the new violence on television.

Many people cited rising gang violence in inner cities, higher dropout rates and the exponential decline of the American education to these horrible videogames their children were playing.  I offer two hindsight observations to parents concerned about what their children play, listen, watch, etc.   Firstly, you should have been parenting.  Secondly, now bear with me folks, you should have never ever, by any means, let them watch commercials for cereal from the mid-nineties.  This is some of the most subliminal, chaotic, morally reprehensible behavior coding I’ve ever seen.  Here are a few examples:

Corn Pops:  A kid is about to go to school and he’s ready to get on the bus when he sees that his mother has purchased him Corn Pops.  He then fakes sick to stay home and eat Corn Pops, presumably before going to smoke a shit load of crack.  It then flashes to this adolescent’s mother heading to school while he eats Corn Pops with a sly smile on his face and his inner monologue then echoes, “I gotta have my pops.”  Are you kidding me?  Cereal is encouraging children to stay home from school to eat cereal, and do crack.  I’m not so sure about the crack part, but skip school for cereal?!  Priorities folks, priorities.

Apple Jacks:  The scene flashes to three ethnically diverse children playing in a tree fort and devouring bowls of Apple Jacks.  The father comes out, asks them what they’re eating.  The children respond with “Apple Jacks!”.  The father tries them and says, “But they don’t taste like apple.”  The kids then respond with an enthusiastic, “We eat what we like!”  This is the equivalent of saying, “Dad, you’re a fucking retard.”   What we don’t see is the dad beating all the children with his belt some seconds later. 

There are indeed a few things we can surmise from this commercial.  Firstly, that it does not take place in New Hampshire or Maine.  This cereal is encouraging a rational disconnect between nomenclature and preference.  It is not entirely necessary for something’s name to automatically describe its characteristics, such as Cinnamon Toast Crunch, but it would be nice for some explanation from the children.  One child may have exclaimed, “Why yes father, there is a noticeable omission of apple flavoring, however despite this, we do, in fact eat what we enjoy eating, as it were, ergo, concurrently, henceforth, esquire.”  Apple Jacks encourages irreverence, paternal alienation and a flawed rationality for personal proclivity.  Shame on you Apple Jacks.

The next group of cereals are by far more damaging.

Trix:  I saw this rabbit struggle to eat cereal for ten years.  We can assume he’s had it before and fuckin loves it because why else would he be constantly trying to get it in spite of the roving gang of malevolent children who have taken the high order that Trix are only for kids.  Hey rabbit. Fuck you. 

So not only does Trix encourage kids to deprive others of the luxuries of life, but it encourages them to do so through stealing.  I wonder if any of the young executives of Haliburton, Blackwater or Enron were big fans of Trix cereal.  You know that Dennis Kozlowski has a pool filled with it surrounded by cages of white rabbits just so can he laugh in their faces.  If ever there was a mid-nineties cereal advertisement that is an allegory for Western capitalism, this must be it.  Or is it…

Lucky Charms – In addition to being a terrible stereotype against our Irish friends, it encourages the same kind of selfish antics that Trix does.  The commercials, which have Lucky the Leprechaun running like a landshark is chasing him, always end with the kids taking the Lucky Charms cereal from Lucky.  There is one question that warrants answering:  Why is Lucky holding back his cereal?  Maybe he knows it’s too sugary and he wants to save their parents the dental bills to fill a cavity.  Maybe Lucky is a spokesperson for the Dental Association of America when he’s not conjuring marshmallows out of thin air.  Maybe those kids should wait to have Lucky Charms for dessert because it’s got about as much sugar as a bowl of ice cream.  There couldn’t possibly be more, but wait…

Fruity/Coco Pebbles – The fault of the “Pebbles” franchase, besides teaching children across America how to spell incorrectly, is that it also encourages stealing.  True fact, the final word in every spelling bee is always “cocoa” and every single child born between the years of 1986 to 1990 got it wrong on the first try.  Do you see what you’re doing to the educational system Barney?! 

Fred Flinstone, a supposed blue collar construction worker who is married to Wilma Flinstone (a total fox), is trying to enjoy his Fruity/Coco Pebbles, but Barney is always stealing them from him.  The commercials end with Fred chasing Barney.  Aren’t Fred and Barney neighbors?  I feel like a really important person once taught us to love our neighbors as ourselves and to not covet our neighbor’s things, unless it is his totally smokin’ hot wife Wilma.  It probably wasn’t Hitler.  Fruity and Coco Pebbles teach us to covet our neighbor’s belongings as well as to steal.

To end this tirade.  It is painfully obvious that violent videogames are not the problem.  Yes GTA, you’re off the hook.  I know when I have kids I’m going to watch more for what they see in advertisements than what games they play.  Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go rip my neighbor’s spine out.



  1. […] For those of you who were overprotected as children, you weren’t allowed violent videogames, violent movies, violent conflict resolution, violent thoughts, or even violent utensils.  You weren’t allowed to have Doom, one of the most violently outstanding videogames ever, so shooting a buffalo moving 2 mph was the next best thing.  If you read the post about Mortal Kombat, I would imagine you will realize violence was not the problem.  You can read that here. […]

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