This study explores the images of women in the video game Mortal Kombat II, and details the effects of those images on players. A content analysis of the game was performed in order to determine the nature of the images of women in Mortal Kombat II (MKII). The content analysis revealed that women in MKII are more likely than the males to be underrepresented as a portion of the population, have blonde hair, be portrayed as sex objects, be dependent on other characters for survival, be subordinate to other characters, and possess attributes which mark them as distinctly feminine. The manner in which women are presented in MKII is similar to how women are presented on television. These findings are consistent with Baudrillard's theory of the sign which holds that the content of one sign is the mirror reflection of another. In an attempt to determine how the images of women in MKII affect players, a survey questionnaire was distributed to 238 College of Wooster students. Cross tabulations revealed some significant relationships between playing MKII and having certain beliefs about women. However, multiple regression analysis showed that other variables (i.e the respondent's sex) were better predictors of a person's beliefs about women, and the significance of having played MKII on the dependent variables was eliminated. These findings lend little support to Baudrillard's theory of the hyperreal, which holds that simulations have become "realler" than true reality. Implications for future research are also discussed.


Hurst, Charles


Sociology and Anthropology

Publication Date


Degree Granted

Bachelor of Arts

Document Type

Senior Independent Study Thesis

Available for download on Thursday, January 01, 2150

Request Access



© Copyright 1996 Timothy P. Hallett