Controversial Subjects in Video Games - Should they avoid them or embrace them?

A friend and myself were discussing our pet hates and realism in the video game industry, things such as a place being called a city and only having 300 NPCs or the fact you can go swimming in a full set of iron armour.

One thing that was said (by me) in the discussion was:
"I hate it when games avoid possible areas for controversy such as whether or not to include children and when they do they just make them invulnerable. If I want to butcher two dozen children then I should be because the programmer was lazy and all they do is approach you and ask for money all the time."

I see video games as art, but because of the ever increasing competition (thank you EA and ActBliz) for market share they have begun to shy away from these things and just focus on the 'safe themes' or if they do include things like children they are only to evoke an emotional response (I'm looking at you ME3 and MW3) and not because they make the game more realistic or immersive.

Just wondering how other people feel on this topic.

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