May 5, 2009 6:00 AM | Eric Caoili
Freelance artist Steven Lefcourt found inspiration for 8-Bit Fatalities, a series of paintings depicting the gruesome murders of classic video game enemies, from the outrage many conservative adults expressed over Mortal Kombat during his youth, decrying its bloody, violent fatalities.
He argues that fake deaths occurr during almost any game all the time, and that even if Nintendo's depiction of Mario isn't photorealistic, that doesn't mean he isn't smashing a Goomba's brain any less when he hops on its head.
"I knew my goal was to kill these enemies, so Mortal Kombat wasn't a big change for me. To me, it was still just a game, where fake deaths happened as part of game progression. To uninformed adults, however, Mortal Kombat was a photo realistic depiction of kids becoming complicit in virtual murders.
And so, I decided to show everyone just what I imagined was happening when these little blocky, pixelized abstractions did when they came into contact with each other, but in a much more visceral, and gory way than could ever be shown with limited graphical systems."
My two favorites from the series: