Turkish Ministry Recommends Banning Super-Violent Minecraft

from the not-too-crafty dept

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 for a Minecraft ban.

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 corrupting 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…

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Comments on “Turkish Ministry Recommends Banning Super-Violent Minecraft”

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26 Comments
That One Guy (profile) says:

A serious problem

I’m not sure where the mocking tone is coming from, Minecraft can have some seriously bad effects on children.

Why, just last week I saw a kid punching a tree and getting mad that is was taking so long to cut it down. Only a few days before that I saw another kid carrying a shovel towards the nearby park, muttering something about ‘Going to find me some diamonds’. Probably worst of all, just yesterday I saw someone else, a teenager this time, throwing random sticks and piece of metal on top of a box and screaming about how they wouldn’t turn into a pick-axe.

Laugh all you want at those in Turkey doing their best to head off the serious side-effects a game like Minecraft causes, I can assure you that they are very real, and very hazardous.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: A serious problem

Worse than that, I’ve witnessed some kids gathering cats and placing them on top of a pile of boxes yelling “CAT FOUNTAIN!” and in some sort of satanic ritual the cats started pouring out of the top of the boxes in a way that would mystify even Mr Schroedinger! Truly a work of the devil this Minecraft thing!

Anonymous Coward says:

Maybe they can ban crayons,or pencils since they can be used to draw violent images,
many people play minecraft ,not just kids,
or use it to make buildings,
replica,s of pop culture items.
or replicas of real world buildings.
its not just used by children.
Minecraft can be used for artistic expression,
its up to each individual user.
IT might even lead to a new generation of designers
or artists since its like a primer in 3d design,
architecture .
It,s a symptom of a nanny state to ban this program.

Any online multiplayer game could be used for bullying ,
it makes no sense to pick on minecraft because some
people might use it in a negative manner .

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

When I first read this (pre coffee) I conflated Minecraft with Minesweeper

That is, the default Windows game.

It is serious business in some countries, to the point that local versions of windows will swap the little mines with flowers, because a game about landmines is a trigger issue for too many windows users.

So, it doesn’t surprise me at all when a given nation criticizes that is even more suggestive of violence than clicking on squares looking for landmines.

Randome says:

Minecraft

i find this funny because there are way more violent games out there then Minecraft anyone say halo black ops anyone but really Minecraft building living i herd about this from my friend and was like my gosh really hate to life there. “Violent video games don’t cause violent people
stupid people cause violent people”
just saying and frankly with out Minecraft i don’t think i could stay connected with the friend i have been for a while now threw servers and Minecrafts come a long way developing servers with games and fun activities to stimulate your barain and make you think and react that is all.

Anonymous Coward says:

I took two 6 year olds to the park the other day. A older child say 10-12 years old came into the area and they started to play or act out the game mind craft. I couldn’t believe what I was seeing. The old child was telling the younger children that they needed to get these items and they would go off and collect whatever it was he was instructing them to get. They were like little robots. I thought about this and wondered if minecraft if used by a evil force (Satan) he would have a army of children ready to go to work for his needs. They would do this willingly because they would think we are just playing the game and of course they love to obey and be like their older siblings. Seem too far fetched? Or is this a perfect undetected plan of the evil fallen angel?

Uriel-238 (profile) says:

Re: what you witnessed is a nefarious form of mind-control to which the entire human race is susceptible.

It’s called modeling. We can see it in action when a toddler practices coughing when he sees his mother coughing. Of all the primates, human beings are especially susceptible given how open-architecture our minds are so that we can learn to adapt to any environment on Earth.

This ingrained weakness is also used by priests, teachers, trade instructors and other voices of authority to mold the fragile minds of our youth, usually towards the the ability to performe tasks such as homework, occupational duties, religious ritual, proper protocols for driving or navigating town hazards and so on.

In this case, the older kid invented a form of let’s pretend featuring cultural elements of Minecraft. It probably wouldn’t be much different if they were paying Star Wars, except then they’d have to decide who is the Wookie.

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