Turkish scholars launch petition against possible Minecraft ban
ISTANBULTurkey's leading academics on game studies have launched a petition against the Family and Social Policies Ministry's controversial initiative to ban Minecraft, a popular videogame.
"Computer games cannot be reviewed as if they are bonzai," said the petition launched on change.org on April 18, referring to a synthetic illegal drug.
Turkish media reported last month that the ministry’s Children Services General Directorate contacted its legal affairs department with an instruction for the legal process to ban the game to be started.
Minecraft is a videogame that allows the player to make designs with cubes in 2D or 3D. The game has several modes and in some of the modes, the player needs to survive in order to proceed.
The ministry had originally launched an investigation into the game in February on grounds that it encourages violence, especially against woman. Last month, however, it concluded the investigation with the suggestion of a ban to protect children from violence and "social isolation."
Initially signed by 24 academics from Turkish universities and published by the Turkish branch of Digital Games Research Association (DiGRA), the petition demanded "the report and the data that it used as source be publicized immediately."
"Computer games should be regarded in the scope of freedom of speech. Limitations and pressures put on gaming culture with a censorship approach cannot be accepted," it added.
The BBC had reported March 11 that Minecraft owner Microsoft launched an investigation into the Turkish media reports.
Minecraft is widely popular in Turkey and a book on the game is one of the best-selling children’s books, with 80,000 Turkish copies selling out in seven months.