Side Note: "Ludic" is not a typo of "lucid" - in fact, the two words may well be anathema to each other.
As all of us participating in this Chalk-Talk would already know, there are plenty of controversies surrounding the issue of violence in video games. However, I am not going to talk about these, for reasons that will be elaborated below.
ULTIMATELY WORKS OF FICTION
It should be realized here that these controversies arose over what are no more than works of fiction. Everything that happens in a video game, even if it is "inspired" by real-world occurrences, is ultimately not real. It is little more than a digital manifestation of the imagination of game designers, either completely fictitious, or described to them by their consultants. Even the fine-print and "legalese" that is in the game's documentation, specifically its disclaimers, would already suggest this.
Therefore, cooking up controversies over the realization of someone's imagination in the form of a video game is quite a silly endeavour. Of course, I am aware of all those suggestions of conspiracies by anti-game lobbies against video games and such, but this is a waste of time as well.
MORE HYPE FOR CONTROVERSIAL GAMES
Unfortunately, not everyone can be dismissive enough of such controversies - and certainly not the game-makers, not when there is an opportunity to raise publicity by responding to any group that is bashing their game.
I am going to use an example here, specifically an indie game that is Super Meat Boy and Team Meat's reaction to PETA's accusations.
Team Meat's response is certainly candid in its admission that PETA's outcry is helping its efforts to promote the game; one can even say that PETA used Super Meat Boy to promote its own knock-off (albeit a free Flash-based browser one). I personally do not find Team Meat's honesty to be admirable, but I certainly find it refreshing that Team Meat would be straight-forward and cynical in its response, as opposed to some other game-makers that try to play the victim and such.
(Team Meat conveniently described Meat Boy as a boy without skin - despite a slightly creepy promo trailer by Area 5 that strongly suggests that he is a sentient slab of meat - a trailer sanctioned by Team Meat, mind you.)
Although how much Team Meat - and any other game-maker for that matter - benefited from such outcry by NGOs and politicians is uncertain, they certainly had. After all, not everyone would bite what NGOs and politicians say, but they would have known about the games through them anyway. Taking sides in these controversies help promote the games even more, giving them quite a lot of free publicity.
DESENSITIZATION TO NASTY FICTION IN VIDEO GAMES
I have to say here that I do acknowledge that not everyone can be dismissive of graphically and aurally nasty things that happen in video games, even if they are not real. However, I insist here that everyone should keep the thought "it is not real" in mind, first and foremost.
Of course, I am aware that if one can keep this in mind often enough, one eventually can dismiss terrible things that happen in video games, and likely be desensitized to real violence too, or at least its visual appearance. However, I would argue here that desensitization is not necessarily bad, and it should not be associated with violent tendencies too; there is no study that conclusively correlates these two together.
Sure, one can argue that being shocked at terrible things is the "right" response - but shocks are not exactly healthy.
What is more important than being shocked over real terrible things is the realization that real people can do terrible things to other real people, and the realization that one should be doing more to prevent these from happening instead of being shocked over them when they do happen.
Unfortunately, video games cannot really help one move towards those realizations; they are, after all, works of fiction and more importantly, entertainment products. They are not primarily intended for food-for-thought, and neither are they intended to be tools of education from the on-set.
(Side note: I suggest reading op-eds and editorials about real-world violence to reach these realizations instead of playing video games.)
That's all that I want to say about video game violence. It's not much, but I would like to make a point here that there are people who see an issue in making issues about nasty but ultimately fictional things - especially when it plays into the hands of NGOs/politicians who want to be seen and heard and game-makers who are out to highlight their game.