Violence in video games, just like violence in movies, is a subject of much heated debate, and should continue to be for quite some time.
As you've noticed on TG we've covered a lot of horror crossover games where there's a lot of violence and bloodshed, and with modern game technology, it's sharper, clearer, and more defined than ever.
While I've always been of the opinion that movies and games shouldn't be blamed for real life violence, a parent should of course be responsible about what their young kids watch and play in their formative years, because we've certainly come a long way since Pac Man and Pong.
Games are certainly a great way for kids to get out their aggressions, and it's better for them to get it out in a way that can sharpen their minds, but again, you don't want them getting too disturbed by the scary elements of games.
Although I'm sure I've heard or read about this somewhere before, cruising around the 'Net I found some items about gore filters, which block out blood, often replacing it with something like sparks from a weapon.
Earlier this month, stories about the Borderlands 2 game hit the 'Net, and as Co-Optimus.com reported, it's got "an easy to use gore filter." The first Borderlands game was so blood soaked, the site joked that "umbrella sales went through the roof…it was the only way that people could protect themselves from the shower of blood and limbs in the game."
Then on Gearbox Community, it was announced the sequel will go live uncut all over the world on September 18, but yes, it does have a "gore toggle" option if you're turned off by excessive blood and violence.
It's funny to think of games going through edits like an ultra-gory horror film would, although I'm curious how much some games have had to cut violence down to appease the masses. Often times in horror, the MPAA would demand a few frames here and there to avoid an X or an NC-17, or if a film is especially nasty, it's got to make a lot of trips to the censors to get the coveted R rating.
I'd also like to think all this is just the bloody icing on the cake. The producers of Friday the 13th liked to mention that it only had to cut 30 seconds out of Part Two for it to be okay to play on TV, and they'll also tell you there's worse gore every night on CSI. In other words, it's not the gore that makes the movie or the game, it's a fun extra. If a game sucks, all the gore in the world can't make it better or more fun.