If you think about all the videogames that would raise concerns in terms of the effects of its violence, Minecraft probably wouldn’t be all that high on the list, right? Mojang’s game is all about building castles, recreations of real-world landmarks, sweeping recreations of Westeros, gathering resources and exploring a massive, procedurally-generated world.
Sure, there are monsters; but it’s hard to feel squeamish when the thing you’re attempting to slice to pieces with your sword consists of a couple of green boxes and a few pixels. Who could possibly be offended by Minecraft?
The Turkish authorities, that’s who.
Strangely enough, the Turkish government have raised concerns over the various effects of Minecraft’s fantasy violence, according to a BBC report, and have taken action by ordering an inquiry.
The BBC report, which was in Haberturk and was translated later, states that Aysenur Islam, the family and social policies minister in Turkey, has ordered an investigation into the possibility that Minecraft promotes aggression – specifically, according to a report on the Turkish site Leadergamer, the possibility that Minecraft conveys the message that hitting animals and people is okay. Specifically that players “get points” for killing each other. Wait, you’re probably saying to yourself at this point, that doesn’t sound like Minecraft to me! And, of course, you’d be right.
All of this is especially strange when you consider that, in Europe and the United States, Minecraft is rated a suitable for kids of elementary school age and up. And while Islam is the primary religion in Turkey, it’s also a country that isn’t exactly free from violence in its media anyway.
That’s not to say that Minecraft doesn’t contain combat (which is, obviously, a form of violence), but it is of the lowest fantasy level and still remains a construction game at its core, as well as a popular hit among millions of both children and adults all over the world. I mean, come on – it’s hardly like we’re ripping someone’s head off and crushing their skull in our bare hands, is it?
Take a look at the following “Kids React to Minecraft” video below, for an idea of how shockingly violent Minecraft can be:
Sure, we think that violent videogames should be kept out of the hands of minors as much as any sane person. But we can’t help but think the Turkish government is being just a little bit over-zealous with this one, considering that Turkey is no stranger to violence.