Sunday, April 19, 2015

Censorship: Minecraft-Turkey Ban Doesn't See The Whole Picture

"Although the game can be seen as encouraging creativity in children by letting them build houses, farmlands and bridges, mobs of creatures must be killed in order to protect these structures. In short, the game is based on violence," says a report from the General Directorate of the Child Services, according to BGNNews.

This is only partially true.

Minecraft has multiple game settings, and the one that concerns the Digital Games Research Association Turkey Chapter, the governmental body seeking to ban Minecraft, is only one of them. Minecraft also has a wholly Creative play mode, which still encourages creativity, but puts the player in a state of invincibility. Putting the game on "peaceful" (one of four difficulty levels) prohibits aggressive "mobs" (the in-game term for non-player characters, or NPCs) from "spawning" (appearing or existing) altogether. On top of that, the traditional play mode, called Survival, can be played in a fully defensive manner, without engaging in aggressive mobs altogether; few people play that way, but it is certainly possible. (It's actually my preferred play style.)

Besides which, is it not good to teach your children the ethical concerns that come with self-defense? What better teaching tool than a game designed to inspire creativity and with a significantly low graphic violence quotient?

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