'Minecraft' Banned In Turkey? Government Wants To Censor Game For Being 'Based On Violence'

By Steve Buja , Updated Mar 11, 2015 10:06 AM EDT
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The country of Turkey is seeking to ban Minecraft for - and this is not a joke - for being too violent for kids.

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A report was issued by Turkey's Family and Social Policies Ministry 'calling on the authorities to ban the popular video game on the grounds that it encourages children to resort to violence.'

"Although the game can be seen as encouraging creativity in children by letting them build houses, farmlands and bridges, mobs [hostile creatures] must be killed in order to protect these structures. In short, the game is based on violence," the Turkish daily Habertürk quotes the report as saying.

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The proposal has not been filed with the Turkish courts yet, at which point it will be decided if Minecraft.net - and the game itself - will join the ranks of the 67,000 other banned websites in the country.

"The world of Minecraft can be a dangerous place: it's inhabited by scary, genderless monsters that come out at night. It might be necessary to defend against them to survive. If people find this level of fantasy conflict upsetting, we would encourage them to play in Creative Mode, or to enable the Peaceful setting. Both of these options will prevent monsters from appearing in the world," Gamesbeat adds.

Note the interesting choice of words: 'genderless monsters'. Is not a monster a monster, regardless of what organs it is carrying?

We understand the desire to ban or heavily restrict violent video-games - for instance, Australia has given Hotline Miami 2 a non-rating, which effectively bans it from being sold in the country - but when someone asks you 'name a violent video game', I doubt anyone, of any age, will immediately say 'Oh yeah, Minecraft. Super violent.'

While we cannot exactly refute the claims of "social isolation" which can lead to "exposing children to social risks in the multiplayer form, such as abuse and bullying" - it's an addictive game and everything, this seems less like a policy move and more like grandstanding against a perceived threat. The country has recently levelled a draconian measure of surveillance on the net, which can stamp out dissent. Perhaps they see Minecraft as a sort of meeting ground for young rebels.

It is doubtful that this will go anywhere. Minecraft hasn't been banned anywhere else, because who would even think of doing that? Oh, Turkey, that's who.

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