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This has to be one of the most bizarre stories I've ever read, but the Turkish Government is actually looking into and investigating Minecraft on the grounds that the game may be too violent. Yes, too violent.
Given all the negative media attention dumped on the games industry over the past six months, some games have been banned in some regions, while other games have been refused classification so they can't even be sold in other regions. In the case of Minecraft, complaints have surfaced that Mojang's game depicts violence against women and could promote aggression in kids, as reported by Newsweek.
According to the family and social policies minister, Aysenur Islam, he stated that...
“[We] will examine the game and see if there is an element of violence,”
The thing is, Minecraft is an open-world building and crafting game. You can choose what you want to do and how you want to do it – of course there's an element of violence if someone wants to go around with a pickaxe and attack any and everything in sight. Who's going to stop them?
With great freedom comes great...ehh... you get the picture.
According to GamesTM Magazine's editor Jonathan Jordan...
“Minecraft is one of the last games I would think would be banned based on violent content,” … “Minecraft is no more violent than the Lord of the Rings films,”... “There are swords, bows and arrows, but most of the attacking is against monsters and creatures rather than human beings.”
It seems kind of silly that people have to even write about Minecraft not being a den of misogynistic violence, but that's what game culture has turned into. Tons of media lies about the industry has resulted in a lot of games being unfairly pelted, especially Grand Theft Auto V.
In fact, GTA V was banned at Target and K-mart in Australia because it was claimed that the game encouraged violence against women. Hotline Miami 2 was also banned in Australia and refused classification due to an implied sexual assault in the game. Though weirdly, Mortal Kombat X managed to escape with just an R18+ rating in Australia, despite the fact that the game had violence and gore extreme enough to cause Marshawn Lynch from the Seattle Seahawks to get up and walk away after witnessing someone getting disemboweled while participating on Conan's Clueless Gamer episode.
Dr Andrew Przybylski, covering experimental psychology from Oxford University, also chimed in to defend Minecraft, saying...
“Thinking of investigating Minecraft for being violent is the equivalent of ordering an investigation into violent Lego playing.”
It is true, if they're going to investigate Minecraft for potential violence against women, they may as well take a look at Lego games, too. I doubt TT Games, the Lego Group or Warner Bros., Entertainment would be too happy about that.
Nevertheless, I would usually stand on the side of positivity that Minecraft would be venerated from the vilification of the media's attacks against its content, but given things like the recent Law & Order: SVU episode further damaging the appearance of game culture, it's anyone's guess if Turkey decides to go through with banning the game in their region.