UPDATE: In an interview with The Christian Science Monitor, Turkish diplomat Faith Oke said, “A ban is quite out of the question. There will be no ban… the Family and Social Policy Ministry does not have that kind of authority to ban any product.” Oke goes onto say that the Family and Social Policy Ministry’s function is to “raise awareness. ”
A month ago we reported that Minecraft was under investigation in Turkey by the Family and Social Policies Ministry. That report is now completed, and according to Hurriyet Daily News, the Family and Social Policies Ministry has come to the conclusion that authorities should ban Minecraft because it “encourages children to resort to violence.” Their recommendation may lead to Minecraft banned in Turkey.
Quoting Habertürk (another Turkish news site), who summarized some of the reports points, says “Although the game can be seen as encouraging creativity in children by letting them build houses, farmlands and bridges, mobs must be killed in order to protect these structures. In short, the game is based on violence.”
In other words, the Family and Social Policies Ministry is arguing that Minecraft conditions children to resort to violence when they want to achieve their goals. Now, those of us familiar with Minecraft know that is not necessarily the case as there is a Creative Mode where you needn’t interact with/kill anything.
A Mojang spokesperson says as much when speaking to Gamesbeat, “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.” And before that quote the spokesperson says that Minecraft can be played many ways and that it encourages friends to cooperate with one another to achieve their goals.
Though for Minecraft to be banned in Turkey, the Family and Social Policies Ministry will first have to file a complaint and send it to court. That has not yet happened, but we will all be waiting that court date. And, as many others have said, if the court agrees with the Family and Social Policies Ministry, Turkey would be the first country to ban Minecraft.
It is also worth noting that the Family of Social Policies Ministry insists that Minecraft is exclusively for children, which is why they believe they have a right to investigate and give their recommendation on it.
Will this lead to Minecraft banned in Turkey? Could this cause a ripple effect, leading other countries to similar conclusions? Is the Family and Social Policies Ministry right in their estimation, including their conclusion that Minecraft is exclusively for children?