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Mortal Kombat - A Book Excerpt from Replay: The History of Video Games

Gamasutra is pleased to present an excerpt from Tristan Donovan's new and extremely comprehensive book, Replay: The History of Video Games, which is available now in the U.S. and UK. This extract covers the early '90s tumult in the U.S. caused by violent games -- with Senator Joe Lieberman going after Mortal Kombat and Night Trap.

On Wednesday 1st December 1994, the Washington press corps gathered for a press conference called by Joseph Lieberman, the Democrat Senator for Connecticut. Next to Lieberman on the stage was Bob Keeshan, aka Captain Kangaroo -- the USA's favorite Saturday morning kids' TV presenter.

Once the assorted reporters had taken their seats, they were shown footage from two of the latest video games to reach the market. In one scene a digital image of an actor playing a martial arts fighter ripped the still-beating heart out of his opponent's chest.

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