Old School Mortal Kombat


By Thomas Matthew Pierson

                I was doing a bit of super casual browsing through the YouTubes on the interwebs (I wasn’t procrastinating or anything, honest) and I happened to stumble upon an old video reel of game developers capturing stock video for the hit game Mortal Kombat.  I had a great sense of nostalgia, it brought be back to a simpler time. A time when arcades still had meaning and not a place to look at dinosaur hardware. I remember being a kid, having my parents drop me off at the mall back when malls had people in them, and arcade games had way better graphics than your Nintendo or Sega. 

                I first saw Mortal Kombat when I was invited to go to a friend’s birthday party.  I remember it was going to be at the arcade and thinking this is going to be amazing.  The premise of the party was simple, go to the arcade and my friends Dad was going to pay for all of us to play any arcade game we wanted.  Sadly, that was not the truth.  The reality was his Dad was going to pay for his kid to play games and we basically got to watch.   I don’t know if I played any games that day, I may have played a couple, but I remember mostly watching other people play games.  It’s funny because I remember not wanting to watch other people play games and now everyone today wants to watch people play video games.  I guess I would rather participate than be a spectator, which is probably a big reason as to why I don’t enjoy watching sports. 

                There was one instance where I saw an older guy lay out quarters on the top of the arcade game console and for some reason I thought those quarters were for us to use, like complimentary quarters; I used them to start a round of Mortal Kombat or at least I tried.  I believe I pissed the guy off, but I was a kid and it was my first time being in the arcade.  I did not know the rules. 

                Seeing this video reminded me of how far games have come, but it also reminded me of all the time I spent playing games.  Time squandered over something and nothing to show for it.  I still enjoy a game or two, but It has been close to six months since I have played a video game on a console.  I am afraid to start playing again.  Afraid that I will get hooked again and waste more time.  I say this because games are a good source of entertainment, but you should enjoy entertainment in moderation.  Today it feels like we are constantly hopping from one source of entertainment to the next and not doing something truly constructive.

                 I stopped playing games for other reasons, one of them is there are just too many now.  There are so many I would like to play, and when I look at it, I literally do not have enough life to play them all.  A little-known fact, the first week Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 came out, it was streamed on Twitch for 38 million hours, which is 4,335 Years.[i]  That is just how many hours of games were livestreamed, not how many hours played the first week.  Imagine if all those people did something productive and invested that time in personal growth.  It is unfathomable to think where we would be.          

[i] Smith, C. (2019, April 4). 15 Interesting Call of Duty: Black Ops 4 Stats and Facts (2019) | By the Numbers. Retrieved from https://expandedramblings.com/index.php/call-of-duty-black-ops-4-stats-facts/


YouTube Video Credit | NeoGamer - The Video Game Archive