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Last Updated: Wednesday, 23 April, 2003, 01:00 GMT 02:00 UK
Video game ad 'condoned violence'
Scene from Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance
Some scenes in the poster offended people
A poster for a video game has been found by the UK's advertising watchdog to condone violence.

The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) ruled that a poster for Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance was irresponsible and likely to incite people, especially children, to violence.

The ASA had received 15 complaints about a scene from the poster that showed a hooded youth wiping his bloodied hand on the shoulder of a businessman with text stating: 'It's in us all'.

It found that the image confused real-life crime with a game, ruling that the poster was distressing and likely to cause offence.

Forced to consult

Mortal Kombat: Deadly Alliance is the latest instalment of one of the most controversial video games ever.

The series is notorious for its mix of blood and gore. When the original was released in 1992, it sparked much talk about the violence in video games.

Midway Games, the company responsible for Mortal Kombat, argued that the fantasy game was aimed at players aged 18 or over.

It said that it did not depict a criminal or violent act and was not offensive.

But after an investigation, the ASA decided people looking at the ad "were likely to infer from the poster that a violent act had been committed".

It also noted that the locations where the poster appeared meant they could be seen by children.

Separate complaints that the poster was racist were not upheld by the ASA.

The complaints had been prompted as the ad showed a black man dressed in a hooded sweatshirt behind the hooded youth.

The ASA said that although dressed similarly to the person committing the crime, the black man seemed merely to be an unconcerned passenger on the train and was not linked to the criminal.

Midway Games must now consult an industry advice body before advertising again.

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