Gamasutra has an interesting article about how the push toward realistic graphics and extremely lifelike characters in modern games is making the term "murder simulator" — once laughed off for referring to pixelated dying Nazis — a concept to take more seriously. The author is careful to simply explore the issue, and not come to a specific conclusion; he doesn't say that we should or shouldn't prevent it from happening, only that it's worth consideration. (One section is even titled "Forget the kids," saying that decisions for what children play fall under parental responsibility.) Quoting: "We should start rethinking these issues now before we all slide down the slope together and can't pull ourselves back up again. Or, even worse, before governments step in and dictate what can and can't be depicted or simulated in video games via legislation. ... Obviously, what makes an acceptable game play experience for each player is a personal choice that should be judged on a person-by-person basis (or on a parent to child basis), and I believe it should stay that way. As for me, I'm already drawing the line at BioShock — I can barely stomach the game as it is. Sure, I could play it more and desensitize myself, but I don't want to. And that's just me. It's up to you and a million other adult gamers to decide what's best for yourselves and to draw the line on virtual violence where you feel most comfortable."
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