Taking part in the debate are Kristan Reed and Keza MacDonald, veteran Eurogamer contributors and, in real life, common law Mr and Mrs. So basically, read the following pages while imagining the sound of Ricicles being crunched and you can pretend you're sitting round their breakfast table.
Once you've decided whose side you're on, be sure to cast your vote in our poll. Next month: For and Against It Being Keza's Turn to Do the Washing Up (TBC).
The Case For... By Kristan Reed
I've never been a sensitive flower. Perhaps the only thing which has ever made me dive behind the sofa was the infamous infinite tunnel sequence at the end of Doctor Who, and goodness knows what that was all about. I know I'm not the only one.
Before I'd reached the tender age of 10, my older sister had inadvertently (irresponsibly?) turned me into a horror nut. She let my poor young brain devour the likes of Alien, Salem's Lot, Creep Show, The Exorcist, The Omen and An American Werewolf In London.
Some of you might recoil at the mention of those offerings, but I never flinched. They were all memorably violent and tremendously exciting. Compelling, yes, but emotionally harrowing? Not remotely.
For me, some of the most disturbing, dreadful things in life are the things you can't see. What really gets to me is the terror of a lonely bike ride down a country lane in the midst of a winter evening, or a tentative stroll in a desolate wood.
The impact of witnessing stuntman violence and pretend gore has always been softened by the knowledge that it's not real. I've long been fascinated by the construction of special effects, and have experienced annoying desires to perform frame-by-frame slow-motion analyses of hideous death scenes.
In real terms, though, seeing an actor perish in bloody agony has always had the same emotional resonance as watching Tom & Jerry flatten each other with anvils and ACME hammers. Somewhere in the background, my logic centres bellow, "It's not real, idiot," over and over.
I have a similar feeling about video games. It all began back in the early days of the ZX Spectrum and the Commodore 64. As a pre-teenager in the mid-eighties, a friend and I obsessed over a horror strategy-adventure called The Rats.
In the game, characters from the infamous James Herbert novel were put in a series of life-or-death scenarios. It was up to you to save them, in real time, from being eaten alive by giant mutant rodents.
There wasn't much point hiding in cupboards. They'd sniff you out, munch through the wood and chow down on your squishy entrails until you blacked out from the pain.
Cue screaming and the splatter of blood over the monitor. You can probably guess that the effect wasn't brilliant in 1985, but we evidently had fantastic imaginations back then.
And we absolutely loved The Rats. That palpitating tension, the triggering of the fight or flight response... These violent, disgusting, horrible video games had an emotional impact that books and movies never seemed capable of getting close to.
As a result, we devoured as many of them as we could lay our hands on. Back then, though, no-one worried about violence in video games, even though there was a fair bit of it going on.
In the years that have followed, in-game visuals have improved to such a degree that attempts to recreate graphic violence have felt like salvos in a petty and pointless arms race.
Mortal Kombat and Doom were two of the first games to push the controversy into the mainstream. The likes of Duke Nukem 3D, Quake and utterly ridiculous gib fest Soldier Of Fortune went even further, allowing you to shoot off individual limbs and watch your victims run away screaming.
Of course no one really needs to see blood gouting from open wounds, but there's a blackly comic undertone to be enjoyed when watching such things play out in the most absurd and grotesque way possible. Peter Jackson knows where I'm coming from. If movies can get away with it, so can video games.
Then again, my penchant for gritty game violence isn't about seeing character models ripped limb from limb and smashed into meaty chunks or beating people up for the sake of it. In fact it is, and always will be, about context, just as it is with any other medium.
Where violence works is when the situation demands it - when the odds are stacked against you and you're forced to fight for your life in a way that gets the blood pumping.
Games like The Rats, Dracula and Frankenstein opened the door for that style of tension-wracked experience. They were followed by Interplay's wonderful Fallout-precursor Wasteland, where you spent most of your time defending yourself from rabid mutants.
Then the genre progressed and what we now regard as survival horror emerged in the shape of games like Alone In The Dark and, of course, Resident Evil. But the games which truly showed how effective the sparing use of violence can be were the early Silent Hill titles.
The beauty of those masterful games lay in the way they created a cloying, oppressive atmosphere by making you continually fear for your existence. Even simple exploration was overshadowed by the knowledge that at any moment you'd be set upon by twisted, nightmarish apparitions.
Most of the time you were pathetically badly armed. You either had to run the hell away or improvise, perhaps trying to batter them to death with a plank of wood. On the rare occasions you actually had a gun, you were so terrified of missing you spiralled into a hapless panic.
Then the genius offering that is Demon's Souls took the menacing survival horror template and expanded it into a vast RPG. In this game, the only solution to anything is pure physical violence. Nothing stands up as better evidence for the argument that violence in videogames is not only justifiable, but necessary.
As Keza herself expressed so succinctly in her review of From Software's opus: "Precisely because the odds are so stacked against you, precisely because the game sometimes seems to hate you with every fibre of its being, when you do finally kill the bastard f***-off enormous boss monster that ended you within half a minute the first time you approached it, the resulting heart-in-mouth euphoria is the purest kind of gaming thrill. Demon's Souls is about facing up to the impossible, and winning."
That Demon's Souls creates this thrill with such a relentless onslaught of physical violence says a lot. Would it have been possible to create such a rush without the endless stabbing and maiming?
I'm not sure it would. That's why, for me, in the right context, we shouldn't be afraid to use violence in video games, in the exact same way it has been used in every other medium.
The Case Against... By Keza MacDonald
I am a pacifistic gamer. The kind of gamer who follows the traffic signals in Grand Theft Auto and feels the urge to apologise when I shoot someone in an online FPS (this comic ably illustrates my internal monologue). I had to turn off the death scenes in Limbo because the sight of the small boy meeting a grisly demise over and over again was starting to upset me.
This doesn't extend to everything - give me a gunlance and put me in front of a dragon and I'll happily stab it through the throat and then harvest its corpse for trinkets, any time. However, when it comes to human-on-human violence, it's safe to say I am a massive wuss.
That's not to say that I don't respect the right of other gamers to shoot the individual limbs off Nazis or splash around in great pools of gore or shoot up a hospital in GTA IV just for giggles. But truthfully, I've never really understood their desire to.
I'm not stupid enough to think video games with violent content turn children into murderers. I don't think violent games should be censored, banned or burned in a big pile outside the Daily Mail offices as a sacrificial offering. I do think we should be mindful of what we expose kids to. That seems obvious.
And I do think games resort to violence too readily and often unnecessarily. They don't so much offer the opportunity for us to commit heinous acts of despicable violence as forcibly impose them on us.
But we'll get to that in a minute. The main issue that I have with violence in video games is that it makes us look like utter psychopaths to anyone outside our inner circle.
Violence still dominates the image of games in public consciousness. It's at the point where we actually have to form activist groups and hold conferences in Parliament to show people that they're not all about killing people in inventive and horrible ways.
I present Exhibit A: the list of Skillshots on the Bulletstorm wiki. Now, imagine you've not played many video games before except maybe a bit of Tetris back in the day, and someone shows you this.
"Kill an enemy by impaling him on a cactus." "Fire a Penetrator drill into an enemy's stomach, then kick it." "Kick an enemy from behind, them shoot him in the ass." "Guide a bullet into an enemy's balls." You'd think we were all completely, dangerously mental.
And that's the cartoonish, over-the-top end of the video game violence spectrum, the end that you'd think would be easiest to justify. There's a lot out there that's much less defensible.
I spend half my life, in both the professional and personal spheres, trying to persuade people that gamers aren't psychopaths. The games themselves don't do much to help me out. Even people who love this stuff feel uncomfortable when describing it out of context.
And yes, context is usually the thing that prevents games from coming across as utterly despicable. So many of them are about war, after all, and killing people during war is a culturally acceptable thing.
By their very nature, games involve a lot of death, even if you're just using up extra lives. It's an intrinsic part of gaming. Obviously. However - must we revel in it quite so delightedly?
Do I need to shoot people in Black Ops? Yes. But do I need an extreme close-up of some poor guy's terrified eyes as my avatar stabs him in the throat? No. Makes me feel all queasy.
The point is that video games are almost unique in that it's almost impossible to avoid violence while engaging with them, unless you basically stick to Nintendo.
I experience a similar nauseous incomprehension when it comes to horror movies, but at least I can choose not to watch them and still enjoy film as a medium. If I were to decide not to play excessively violent video games, it feels like I'd barely have much left to choose from.
Even when games claim to let us resolve things non-violently, they rarely do. I made it through the whole of the original Splinter Cell without killing so much as a fly, patiently piling up tranquillised bodies in hidden corners (those poor guards - when they awoke, they probably thought they'd somehow become part of a workplace orgy). Then Pandora Tomorrow came along and suddenly it was all about upside-down neck-snapping.
There is a moment in GTA IV (the first GTA game I was able to enjoy very much, largely thanks to its decreased emphasis on random and chaotic sandbox violence) where Nico has to steal some documents from a lawyer. I did this without killing anyone.
Next thing I knew the game was telling me I had to shoot the lawyer dead, for no good reason, when I could have just jumped out of the window and run away. I got so frustrated by this I nearly gave up on the whole thing.
Gaming's obsession with violence holds us back as a medium. That's the main reason I'm against it. Let's find other ways of doing things. We resort to bloodshed too easily, and aside from making gamers look unhinged to anyone outside of our subjective moral bubble, this is leading us down a creative cul-de-sac.
I think we can do better. I'd rather hear a developer talking about how their game pushes the boundaries of their genre than about how many rad ways we can totally shoot up a dude. I'd like to be able to show my friends examples of moral controversy in games that go beyond 'No Russian'.
I'd rather be able to ask, "What happens if I talk to this guy?" than, "What happens if I shoot him?" And yes, I'd rather be able to jump out the window than brutally, pointlessly murder that poor lawyer in GTAIV.
Violence has its place in games, as it does in any medium. But we're not teenagers any more. It's time to find other ways of making an impact.
Cast Your Vote
So there you have it. Kristan and Keza have spoken, but what's your take? Do you long for less violence in games? Do you wish developers would take a more mature approach and offer us more original, thought-provoking experiences? Or does that kind of talk make you want to shoot a Nazi space monster in the face, hack its head off and **** down its neck?
Have your say below!