Sorry for not updating much around here, folks; I’ve so much I want to write here, but so much I have to write elsewhere that finding the time here is difficult. One such example is the recent double-decker of articles I put together for 1UP.com, which just went up earlier today as part of their cover story “Violence and Pacifism in Games.”

In “Natural Born Killers: Games That Grew More Violent Over Time,” I finally got to look at a subject which has long fascinated me. Many games from today have a lineage which goes straight back to the NES, a time when there was no ESRB and virtually all games (all console games, at least) were considered kid-friendly. Titles such as Contra, Mega Man, and Ninja Gaiden were safe enough, but grew to feature a lot more graphic detail as a result of the violent acts performed in-game, while safer fare such as The Legend of Zelda, Metroid, and even Mario have provided some rather shocking moments over the years.

But not every series has gone full-steam ahead to produce more and more violence as they go; in “A Farewell to Arms: Games That Grew Less Violent Over Time,” we look at games which have taken the road less traveled by actually reducing the amount of violent content in differing ways as the years go on. These include Pilotwings, Mortal Kombat (albeit briefly), Silent Hill, and– ironically– Contra, as former Konami producer Tomm Hulett offered his insight into the latter two.

So I hope you’ll give these two a gander, and if you like them, give them your seal of approval with a “thumbs up” at the bottom of the article. I still have much more to work on, for 1UP and other places (one of which I need to dedicate space to on this very page), and I hope you’ll look forward to it and be patient with me!