It sure seems that way these days. Most games that receive the “M” rating feature plenty of violence, shown in loving detail. Despite rantings in the media and from “watchdog” groups, designers continue to spew out products with stomach-churning graphics.

During my rounds today, I came across a squib about God Of War 3. The developers said that some of the visuals were too intense to post as screenshots. I agree.

Of course, it won’t be long after release that gamers will post such screenshots on fansites, as well as uploading videos to Youtube and similar. I hate to think what the media will make of that.

The Wii isn’t immune from this, either. While it came out as a “family console”, some less “family friendly” games are showing up there. The official Nintendo magazine has a post where the designers of Dead Space: Extraction say they want to “push the boundaries of mature gaming on the Wii.” Considering the original game, it’s likely that means more violence, and more gruesome graphics.

It’s no wonder the industry keeps coming under fire for its products. Or that, outside the industry, games are not taken seriously. While “M” games are a relative handful, those are the ones most often held up as “bad for our kids”, even though they aren’t aimed at that market.

Yet, most “M” games are, in fact, rather childish. They’re all about killing, blowing things up, and making a mess, shown with the most realistic graphics possible. Where’s the maturity in that?

Of course, such games tend to sell in big numbers. And as long as they do, it’s unlikely that the game industry will grow up. Or really be taken seriously by anyone except gamers.

Brutal GOW3 at PS3center

Pushing The Wii Boundaries at official Nintendo