In a rather bizarre turn of events, the entire country of Turkey may set a ban on the widely popular multi-platform game, Minecraft, because its Family and Social Policies Ministry’s has deemed Minecraft too violent for kids.
Yes, the simple and harmless game where you click to set blocks, punch trees and build anything your imagination desires is getting called out on violence for specific content related to Survival Mode, a mode in the game where you defend yourself from creatures in the night that may end up killing you. According to Hurriyet Daily, the Ministry also believes kids may mistake the Minecraft blocky and pixelated landscape for real world, which would make children think harming animals and other tasks are alright. The absurdity does not end there, the Ministry goes as far to say, “the game [in its entirety] is based on violence.”
The ministry is calling out the $2.5 billion game Microsoft bought last year. Though Minecraft is based on a block-building and creativity, the scenario is sadly true. VentureBeat noted Turkey would be the first country to ban the game if the Ministry’s petition succeeds, but the country does not have a history of banning games, especially actually violent games.
To lighten the ridiculous news, Reddit made a number of humorous comments regarding the debacle, saying “it’s probably because people are building replicas of tweets that the president doesn’t like,” just as the Turkish prime minister did last year, first blocking Turkish citizens access to Twitter, then YouTube, then access to the Tor website because all channels refused to remove content he did not like, so he in turn set a country blockade against the sites.
Given the governments stands on censorship in the past, it would not be obscure for Turkey to successfully put a country-wide ban on the simplistic block-based game. Many have based the ban of Minecraft to many modern day TV shows and other games, saying the Spongebob television show could be ban as it makes kids think its acceptable for an inanimate sponge to talk and interact, also while big commercial games where you play the criminal are praised throughout the media.
To enact the ban, the Turkish government must first vote so the administration can further push censorship. Microsoft is currently reviewing Turkey’s proposal to ban their game, Minecraft.