Our bodies have evolved over centuries and part of that involves reacting to stimuli or outside influences. Take the case of running from a predator, our bodies would naturally react in a number of ways, like entering fight or flight mode.

Even in today’s modern society where running from lions is nonexistent, we still have this mechanism running like an application in the background. Which goes into my topic. I was looking at some gameplay footage from the latest Mortal Kombat, MK11. I’m thinking of getting it too because the last Mortal Kombat I owned was MK4 so it’s been a long time since I played the series.

And a lot has changed as far as its mechanics. One in particular I noticed is Mortal Kombat has stepped up its blood and gore aesthetic to the point it makes the games I grew up on look like PG-13. So where does the unconscious or subconscious mind come in to play, you say? Well, it’s been said that the mind runs on autopilot, much like that flight or fight system we have, and it doesn’t know the difference between real or fake; imagination versus something that is actually happening.

Does your brain distinguish real from imaginary?

Judging by the brain scans in the image, it doesn’t seem so. The scans are from one of my favourite pieces of research. Volunteers were asked to play a simple sequence of piano notes each day for five consecutive days. Their brains were scanned each day in the region connected to the finger muscles.

This concept makes the discussion around video games, music and television programs interesting. Because if our mind is responding to any of these stimuli then the claims that these types of content have no effect on us warrants further study, which I’m sure already exists.

Playing video games mimics the kinds of sensory assaults humans are programmed to associate with danger. When the brain senses danger, primitive survival mechanisms swiftly kick in to provide protection from harm. This response is instantaneous; it is hardwired in our genes and necessary for survival. Keep in mind that the threat does not have to be real — it only needs to be a perceived danger for the brain and body to react.

This is Your Child’s Brain on Video Games

On the eve of his big sister Liz’s high school graduation, nine-year-old Aiden sits with his parents and relatives at a celebration dinner, bored by their “adult” conversation and irritated at all the attention showered upon Liz. He can’t wait to get back to his video game!

So to jump back on MK11, I thought about purchasing the game and was thinking if there was a feature (I doubt one exists) to turn off some of the cut scenes, like showing someone’s ribs or skull breaking, then I’d do so. That’s just beyond what I really care to see in a fighting game I’m gonna play for hours on end.

But don’t get it twisted fam, the gore isn’t a turn off or takes away from the game. It’s what makes Mortal Kombat what it is. My only point is I’d rather beat the crap out of someone without the overkill that comes with it. The gruesome fatalities I’ll give a pass (even though they’re pretty fucked up), but in mid-fighting I think some of that stuff is overdoing it.

…Or maybe I’m just getting old lol.

Free Flow

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