The Turkish government has denied reports that it is seeking a legal ban on Minecraft. Local media says officials are concerned the game could encourage children to become violent and even cruel.
It appears the country’s Family and Social Policies Ministry began investigating the game after complaints that it allowed players to attack women characters.
However, Hurriyet Daily News reports the ministry has taken issue with two elements of the game’s survival mode: killing animals to use as food or other items, and defending created buildings by fighting off ‘mobs’. While the graphics aren’t exactly lifelike representations, the vast majority resemble either ‘real’ animals or unspecified monsters. It is possible to attack human-like ‘villagers’, but this is not required by the game as they play a passive role.
Turkish media says that the ministry’s report concluded:
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.
It goes on to express concern that the game might encourage younger players to harm animals, not understanding the possible consequences,.
Under Turkish law, the government does not have the power to ban sales of a game itself. Instead it would have to apply for a court to do so, with local media saying it has begun preparing to do.
However, a spokesman for the Turkish Embassy in the US says there’s no question whatsoever of banning the game. Instead, the ministry will contact Microsoft to ask it to remove the “negative items” in question. It’s possible that could mean producing a local edition that removes the survival mode.
Microsoft says players of all ages who don’t want to deal with conflict in the game should simply play in creative mode, or switch on the ‘peaceful’ setting.
[Image credit: Minecraft Spotlights]