Mortal Kombat 11 developer Daanish Syed explained that NetherRealm Studios changed Johnny Cage’s ‘Okay’ sign hand gesture because of “Nazis.”

In a now deleted tweet a user by the name of Xiphi questioned why Johnny Cage’s “Got em” okay hand gesture was changed to a middle finger. (Archive link: https://archive.fo/kRJlc)

Daanish Syed simply replied “nazis.”

You can see the original hand gesture that was in Mortal Kombat 11 courtesy of YouTuber Caboose. Cage makes the “Okay” sign around the 3:43 mark. After the camera pans down towards the hand gesture, Cage launches a punch at the camera in reference to the “Circle Game.”

When Xiphi responded to Syed simply asking, “huh?” Syed pointed him to a Reddit thread showing the updated hand signal that Johnny Cage uses.

You can see the updated hand gesture here:

Wow, Johnny did us all dirty from MortalKombat

Instead of the normal “okay” sign used, Cage still makes a circle with his hand, but only has his middle finger flicking off the camera. He still does punch the camera after it pans down and you see the gesture.

Syed’s answer for the decision appears to be the same “logic” used by Blizzard after they reportedly banned the “okay” sign from the Overwatch Arena League.

Much like Blizzard’s decision, Syed and allegedly NetherRealm Studios’ and Mortal Kombat’s reasoning was openly mocked.

And much like the official Overwatch League twitter account, the official Mortal Kombat twitter account also used the hand gesture emoji earlier this year. If they made the decision to remove the sign because of “nazis” why are they using it in their marketing for their game?

And as a number of critics of Blizzard’s reported decision on the okay symbol pointed out, by censoring the hand gesture, Syed, NetherRealm Studios, and Mortal Kombat are actually ceding the popular symbol by somehow claiming it’s a “nazi” symbol now. They are actually giving the symbol more power by trying to universally claim the symbol is somehow related to “nazis” when in fact it is not.

The Anti-Defamation League states the symbol is not a “nazi” symbol:

“The ‘OK’ gesture is a nearly universal hand gesture and most usage of it is completely innocuous. Even when used as described here, the fact that white supremacists, the alt lite and many Trump supporters all use the symbol means that one cannot assume that anyone who poses with such a gesture is intending or exhibiting an association with white supremacy.”

What do you make of NetherRealm Studios and Mortal Kombat changing Johnny Cage’s “Circle Game” reference? What do you think of their reasoning for doing so?

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About The Author

John F. Trent

John is the Editor here at Bounding Into Comics. He is a massive Washington Capitals fan, lover of history, and likes to dabble in economics and philosophy.

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