Minecraft Ban Proposal Moving Forward in Turkey

Country's Family and Social Policies Ministry seeking to block the game, but the courts will have final say.

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Turkey's ongoing investigation into Mojang's hit sandbox game Minecraft over concerns that it's too violent is moving forward.

Results of the country's month-long probe were released Tuesday and detailed in reports from Turkish websites Hürriyet Daily News and LeaderGamer (via Kotaku). They explain how Turkey's Family and Social Policies Ministry is now considering banning the popular game in the country.

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According to local media, the ministry's report has been sent to Turkey's legal affairs department, alongside instructions for how they would go about banning the game in the region. No final decision has been made, and the Turkish courts will get final say.

Given Minecraft's popularity and appeal with children, not to mention its E-for-Everyone rating in the United States, you might wonder why it's being investigated for violence.

In its report, Turkey's Family and Social Policies Ministry acknowledged that Minecraft does have educational merit, but said its depictions of violence were too much to overlook. It wrote that, because the mob creatures must be killed to protect a player's creations, "the game is based on violence."

The report also stated that Minecraft is problematic because it exposes children to abuse and harassment in its online mode and further still, could lead to "social isolation."

When Turkey announced its investigation into Minecraft last month, which also scrutinizes the game's depictions of violence against women, franchise owner Microsoft issued GameSpot the following statement.

"The world of Minecraft can be a dangerous place: it's inhabited by scary, genderless monsters that come out at night," it said at the time. "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."

GameSpot has contacted Microsoft to see if the company has a new statement to provide now that the investigation is moving forward.

Censorship measures in Turkey have increased of late, Newsweek notes. Examples include the Turkish army banning Game of Thrones from being shown in military schools, as well as general steps taken to restrict some content on platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube.

The Minecraft series was created by Swedish developer Mojang, which recently sold the franchise to Microsoft for $2.5 billion.

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