Journalists Spread Banned Work Through Minecraft

Journalists+Spread+Banned+Work+Through+Minecraft

Photographs courtesy of rsf.org

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Nonprofit organization Reporters Without Borders and design studio Blockworks have teamed up to create a new server in the game Minecraft. Dubbed “The Uncensored Library,” this server hosts multiple censored works that have been banned or challenged around the world. Using books that were added into the game in previous updates, teams of journalists uploaded multiple articles and biographies for various authors. Currently the library hosts works penned by Jamal Khashoggi, the Washington Post columnist who was assassinated in 2018; Javier Valdez; the Egyptian Newspaper Mada Masr and grani.ru editor-in-chief Yulia Berezovskaia. 

Reporters Without Borders chose Minecraft as a vehicle for The Uncensored Library because it has not been banned in many countries. Using the game as a vehicle for distribution also complicates censoring efforts, as censors have to decide what part of Minecraft should be banned. As news of this map continues to spread, Minecraft could potentially be banned in more countries. As of now Mojang, the company behind Minecraft, along with its parent company Microsoft, have not commented on this issue. 

The library itself is a stunning work of art which I recommend exploring if you can. Inspired by Neoclassical architecture, the building is a sprawling labyrinth of well-lit hallways, stacks of books and multiple world flags. The library itself is not a strictly uniform creation and does feature some odd rooms that make exploring it a treat. The library also features a convenient teleportation feature to aid users trying to explore. 

Currently the active server for the map can only hold 100 players, making it difficult to access at the moment. Fortunately, the map can be downloaded and viewed separately, giving any player a chance to explore the sprawling halls of cyber-freedom. Interested parties who do not want to view the map can still find cyber-tours of it on YouTube.