badlt.jpg The ever-perceptive Clive Thompson's latest Wired News column on games finds him asking: "Why are the most violent, brutal figures in video games usually police officers and soldiers?"

Thompson cannily points out: "In Doom, the game that began it all, you were a Marine. Then came a ceaseless parade of patriotic, heart-in-hand World War II games, in which you merrily blow the skulls off Japanese and German soldiers under the explicit authority of the U.S. of A. Yet anti-gaming critics didn't really explode with indignation until Grand Theft Auto 3 came along -- the first massively popular modern game where the tables turned, and you finally played as a cop-killing thug." What else do we have to add? Maybe this McSweeney's primer will calm you all down a little bit - games are just, well, games? Thompson concludes by pointing out: "Maybe our power fantasies are best kept where they belong -- on the console."