Insanely popular game Minecraft is known for a lot of things. It’s a fantastic creative outlet and the digital sandbox of youngsters’ dreams, for instance. The game has also been known to raise the ire of unrelated companies who somehow think all that creativity by gamers is something that can be sued over. It’s known for amazing user-generated content, including games within games and replicas of entire cities. The nation of Turkey is known for very different things. It’s a country that absolutely loves to censor stuff, for instance. And, thanks to recent developments, Turkey is also known as a great place to get a front-row look at the incredible violence done by the Islamic State in Syria and Iraq.
But the Turkish government has a plan to keep its youngsters from witnessing too much violence: it is calling to ban Minecraft.
Turkish websites Hürriyet Daily News and LeaderGamer report that the country’s Family and Social Policies Ministry is now calling for Minecraft to be banned in the region. The ministry’s report has been sent to the legal affairs department, along with instructions for the legal process for the ban to begin. Ultimately, whether the game is banned or not will be decided in the Turkish courts.
When it comes to the issue of violence corruption the national youth, one would really think that the Turkish government might have bigger fish to fry than a sandbox game in which battling fictional and non-human monsters is almost an aside from the actual gameplay mechanics. The point of the game is to build, to be creative, to express. For a Turkish government with the barbarians quite literally at its doorstep to call for censorship of one of the more benign gaming titles in recent memory would be comical if it were parody. But it isn’t.
Nor are some of the hilariously contradictory claims to Ministry made in its report.
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 report stated (via Hürriyet Daily News). The ministry feels as though children may confuse the in-game world with the real world, and even begin torturing animals, oblivious to the pain they’re inflicting. The report added that not only would Minecraft cause “social isolation,” but that the online component might lead to internet bullying.
Ah, of course! It’s a video game, so it has to create isolation amongst players, except it’s a video game, so it must also create bullying problems because of the all the interacting going on between those isolated players. Don’t think about that sentence for too long or your brain will storm out of your noggin in protest.
Turkey may be censorship happy, but going after Minecraft over violence concerns? C’mon guys…