Violence is a modern version of dungeon crawling, in which you shot your way through an apartment building instead of slashing your way through a dungeon. The authors write:
Violence is a lot like Dungeons & Dragons by that other company. You and your friends play characters in an imaginary world. You wander about a maze, kicking down doors, killing whatever you find on the other side, and taking its possessions. The main difference is this: The world isn’t some third-rate fantasy writer’s drivel about elves and dwarves and magic spells, but the world of today. The doors you kick down aren’t those of a subterranean dungeon–unless you’re in the subway but those of decent, honest, hard-working people who merely want to live their lives. The things you kill aren’t cardboard monsters whom the game defines as okay to kill because, well, they’re monsters but fellow human beings, with families and friends and hopes and fears and highly developed senses of morality far better people than you, in fact. And the things you steal aren’t magic items and gold pieces but stereos, computers, jewellery, and whatever other items of value you can lift.
In a sense, it seems that you’re not supposed to play this game as much as read it. As they pointed out on Play This Thing, reading it should bring about questions about what you’re doing in a standard dungeon crawl. What’s the real difference between raiding the homes of monsters and stealing their stuff and raiding apartments and stealing their electronics?
It is a good read, though.