Popular video game, Minecraft has recently come under fire by Turkey’s Family and Social Policies Ministry for encouraging violence amongst children, prompting the Ministry to file for the game to be banned in the country. Minecraft has been released since 2009 and sold over 60 million copies worldwide on multiple consoles.
The strong accusation stems from the countries recent investigation which concluded that while the game encouraged creativity, players had to defend structures by killing enemies which makes the game based off violence. Another concerned raised was cyberbullying and social isolation from playing the game too much. Also the report indicates that children would be unable to differentiate between the fantasy world and real life consequences of actions portrayed in the game.
Those who have played Minecraft know that there is a lot more to the game than just violence. Players are able to construct various designs out of cubes and have the ability to come up with whatever structure their imagination can create. Along with a wide range of freedom in creativity, there are several gaming modes that can help users better their gaming experience. Creative mode allows access to all materials and resources to help players focus on creating various projects. Adventure mode has restrictions which requires players to travel through custom maps to obtain certain items. It is similar to survival mode but geared towards players experiencing various adventures. Spectator mode lets users watch game play without interaction and multiplayer allows for other players to interact with each other in a single world. The mode that has Turkey most concerned is Minecraft’s survival mode which has players gather resources to shelter them from creatures that live within the world.
Yesterday, a representative from Mojang released this statement to GamesBeat in response to the allegations:
Many enjoy the creative freedom that’s presented by Minecraft and its tools, some are more interested by the opportunity to explore a landscape without boundaries and to go on exciting adventures with friends. We encourage players to cooperate in order to succeed, whether they’re building, exploring, or adventuring. 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.
Though banning the game would appear quite strange, since it has been rated for players aged 10 and up, it isn’t surprising that Turkey would take considerable measures to prohibit Minecraft’s distribution. They have already blocked over 67,000 websites and warned against banning Twitter twice in under a year. Most video games are not bought with the intention of actually living out the game, but rather bought with the intent of experiencing pure enjoyment and entertainment. If Turkey’s Family and Social Policies Ministry is successful in banning the game, it would be the first country to ban Minecraft ever in the game’s history.