Turkey’s Ministry of Family and Social Policies is calling for a ban on Minecraft following an investigation by its Children Services General Directorate that concluded “the game is based on violence.” The Hurriyet Daily News said the report warned that children could confuse the game world with the real one, leading to increased violent behavior including the torture of animals, and could also result in “social isolation” and greater exposure to online bullying and abuse.
In response to the proposed ban, a Mojang representative told GamesBeat that “Minecraft is enjoyed by many players in a wide variety of ways,” and that while killing mobs is a normal part of the game, it’s not actually a necessary one.
“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 rep said. “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.”
The Family and Social Policies Ministry is expected to file the requisite legal complaint soon, after which the courts will decide whether a ban will be enacted. Turkey isn’t actually big on banning games, but Minecraft is a potential exception because the government views it as exclusively for children. The ban would likely be enforced by blocking the Minecraft.net domain, and Turkey does actually have a history of blocking websites its government deems offensive: It has already dropped the hammer on more than 67,000 of them, according to the GamesBeat report, including 4chan, , and various Wikipedia entries on the naughty bits of human anatomy.