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Turkey might be right in banning Minecraft

Turkey wants to ban Minecraft (Sandbox independent video game). Naturally, the Internets are in an uproar because this is so obviously ridiculous. After all, we’re talking about a wildly popular game that’s mostly played by kids who spend their time innocently building stuff, and tending sheep, and hanging with their friends.

Maybe there are some Creepers to battle. But otherwise, it’s all just harmless, empowering fun.



Well, if you really believe in the innocence of Minecraft, that tells me one of two things. One, you don’t play. Or two, you haven’t really been paying attention when your kids has been playing for the past couple of years.

Because, in fact, Minecraft is not one thing. It is a million things. The game is wide open to be customized by anyone, a decision that has led to its fantastic success and many creative uses.

However, humans being humans, that structure has also led to people creating an infinite number of gun mods that you can download and plug in. Here’s a demo of a particularly fun one: Heuristick´s Gun Mod: Snipers, Shotguns, Grenade Launchers & More !

You can strap on an assault rifle and mow down some prisoners stuck on an island:

There’s also plenty of zombie mods, including this light-hearted Resident Evil Mod.  Here you can watch this fine, fresh fellow walk around with his spinal column sticking out while you try to whack him:

Then, of course, there are a huge number of servers that third-parties and independent players have created where you can fight in all sorts of player vs player (PVP) settings. The favorite among my son and his friends are the Hunger Games servers, where you pretty much do exactly what you would imagine.

Yes, the violence is extremely cartoonish given Minecraft’s graphics. It’s certainly not as graphic as the stuff big video game studios will roll out at places like the Game Developer’s Conference or E3.

And to be clear, in no way do I think Turkey or anyone else should ban Minecraft. Such efforts are futile, and likely to have the exact opposite effect intended by creating even more awareness and attention to something.

But at the same time, this is no longer the simple little game people imagine it to be. I’m surprised to see the naiveté of threads like this one on Reddit, of all places. And it’s also disingenuous of Mojang to pretend like Minecraft is just a simple little universe where all one has to do is flip a switch and what little bad stuff there is just disappears.

I still love Minecraft. I still think its success is one of the greatest tech stories of our times. And I’m still glad my kids love to play it.

All the same, as the game has evolved and become more complex and drawn in more adults, you should be clear that the innocence is over. And any parent would be wise to make sure they’re discussing this with their kids and monitoring their use.

In other words, like with any gadget or game, use common sense.

About Donald V. Morris

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