- Stephen Totilo sent over a note linking to his new MTV News article on "...some observations and interviews I had from Sony Gamer's Day centered around the -- for once -- surprisingly frank and open response to attacks on violent video games" - he comments on it on his blog and the full piece is on the MTV News website.

As Totilo notes: "In previous years, when video games both violent and tame were showcased at the Electronics Entertainment Expo, video game makers did not go out of their way to refer to controversy... Offstage at Sony's San Diego event there were other indications of a change in tone." He's talking to the God Of War PSP folks in particular, and indeed they do try to justify the violent nature of the titles, as follows:

""Chains of Olympus" creative director Cory Barlog knows some people are put off by what Kratos' adventures ask of them. Standing in front of a big-screen TV playing the game, he argued that the discomfort some players feel is intentional. "During [the ancient Greek] wars, people weren't hugging — it was very, very brutal," he said. "We really wanted to stick to that mentality, creating situations within the game to force the player to choose, and kind of morally have to be, what Kratos is like."

You know, I don't really think that's a great explanation. But my God - this _is_ an attempt at explaining artistically why it's done, and that's light years ahead of the normal Rockstar 'do bad stuff, don't comment on it' attitude that they used to radiate - though I will note that even they have got better recently, for example, talking on the record about the same-sex kissing in Bully.

And overall, I do appreciate that there's an attempt to think things through, and particularly, some agreement that there is some thought given to morality: "Ru Weerasuriya, whose Ready at Dawn Studios is handling most of the creative duties on "Chains," agreed that the line is sometimes hard to see. "You go as far as you can," he said, chewing a piece of gum. "Sometimes you have to push it far to then bring it back a little."" The fact that we're discussing a line is certainly making the biz look much less Neanderthal.