Most video games involve taking lives, Mortal Kombat is one that allows you to enrich theirs.

For those who don’t know, Mortal Kombat is a fighting game. It’s known for intense portrayals of violence and has been both lauded and attacked by critics. But, if you sit down and take a moment to play with your child, I believe there are lessons that we can all discover through the endless pools of blood.

Here are some of those lessons…

Mortal Kombat Teaches Empathy

In the old days, making fun of someone lead to a physical reaction. By calling someone a mean name you had to deal with the angst and sadness you’d be putting into their lives. But not anymore. In today’s online world kids are harassing each other from the comfort of their keyboard. And now kids never have to see their peers react to the words that they use. These words used to spur a negative reaction, creating a visceral experience for your child, teaching a lesson that words hurt. Again, this has all changed. Kids have now lost the ability to empathize with other human beings living on the other side of the screen.

Mortal Kombat has changed this. Its lifelike gameplay emulates the violence that kids are virtually inflicting on each other. In this video game, pressing a button causes your character to physically punch another person. Usually this is followed by obscene amounts of blood. But kids can understand this. They can understand that it is them — yes them — causing that pain. They’re internalizing that they are the reason their opponent is bloodied and screaming. When a child performs a fatality and witnesses a spine being ripped out, they can see their pain. This ability to create an action on screen and then immediately see their opponent’s reaction is an experience that only a video game can create. Fights used to happen in a real life between humans, but it has been lost due to our increasingly sedentary lifestyles.

By having your kids play barbaric video games you are letting them virtually discover what is violent. As long as the massive amount of blood is not traumatizing your child, it will be educating them.

Increases their vocabulary

Mortal Kombat is a game rated M for Mature. But do not be too weary of the adverse effects. These Mortal Kombat games are enriching the vocabulary of children to a tremendous degree. Just look at the subtitles of their various games: Mortal Kombat Deception, Mortal Kombat Armageddon, and Mortal Kombat Mythologies. These are the multi-syllabic words that your child may have never come across had he or she not been playing this game that was almost banned by Congress years ago.

Teaches them culture

The character above is Bo’ Rai Cho and fights with a style called Drunken Fist. Coincidentally, his name, Bo’ Rai Cho, is similar to the Spanish word “borracho” meaning “drunk.”

Now isn’t that some clever shit?

And Mortal Kombat is filled with these kultural gems! With characters such as the Aztec called Kotal Kahn, ninja called Scorpion, law enforcement officer named Jax, and even a movie star named Johnny Cage. All walks of life are being represented among this cast. In a world hungry for diversity, Mortal Kombat has it in spades. Moral Kombat was even including female characters all the way back into the early 90’s! Way before Daisy and Rosalina became characters in the oft-forgotten Mario franchise.

It Has Progressive Undertones

Many games and movies are trying to show how progressive they are by directly pointing out their female representation. Rather than just making female characters a part of their story, creators are taking deliberate efforts to ensure sure that YOU know how good of a person they are. In a way, they’re telling their audience, “See, we have a female co-star. Now stop complaining and call me a hero.”

Mortal Kombat doesn’t do this. Women are just simply a part of their game and they are kicking ass like anyone else. Just look at this clip from Conan’s Clueless Gamer segment and watch about twenty seconds in:

Other games would have never let that incident happen. They would have been afraid of the backlash. Mortal Kombat says otherwise. Like a less arrogant Rhonda Rousey, they are kicking down cultural barriers. They are the pioneers of feminism that Susan B. Anthony and Gloria Steinem have been waiting for.

Thank you for reading.