It is clear by now that violence in video games is thought more pernicious than comparable violence in more traditional media. Just look at coverage of Halo, the top-selling science-fiction series that is akin to "Star Wars" in its level of made-up mayhem. In the mainstream media Halo is often described as a "violent space epic" or a "violent shoot-'em-up game." But when was the last time "Star Wars" was described as George Lucas's "violent space movie"? For that matter, when was the last time anyone referred to "The Sopranos" as a "shoot-'em-up television show," which at some level it was?
The answer to both questions is basically never, and that is because American culture has become so inured to violence in linear media that even the most heinous depictions of brutality go almost without comment. Video games don't get that pass.