Censorship destroys the fourth pillar of democracy, Journalism. Few countries around the world have made truthful journalism a crime. Journalists around the globe were murdered, banned, jailed for upholding truths. In this post-truth era, Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has collaborated with the open-world popular game Minecraft to make banned articles and news available to the censored countries.
24 builders worked from 16 different countries and spent 250 hours to make the world’s first in-game uncensored library. This structure is made of 2.5 million Minecraft blocks and features articles on 160 countries in the index of press freedom. This uncensored library exclusively features exhibition halls of 5 well-known countries (Egypt, Vietnam, Mexico, Saudi Arabia, and Russia) for their press censorship.
The main plus point is once a book is created in Minecraft, anyone can access and read it without changing its data on the server. It created a space for journalists around the globe to uphold the truth. Readers from various countries now can read banned books and articles and identify manipulated news.
RSF has collaborated with workblocks to design the in-game Minecraft library. Workblocks stated it as their most ambitious project to serve value to the freedom of the press. They worked with RSF, MediaMonks, and DDB to finish this one.
The library creators explained how they managed to combine the game mechanics with their message:
“Minecraft is an open-world game where players can explore an intentionally blocky, pixelated world. Here they can discover and extract raw materials, craft tools, build structures, and cooperate with other players. The game’s creative mode is often described as ‘digital Lego’ and is being used in educational environments. Part of Minecraft’s gameplay is gathering and crafting items, such as books. Minecraft books have 100 pages and can be written freely. Other players can read them but cannot change the content of the books on the server.”
Journalists of this project mentioned their reason for choosing Minecraft for this uncensored library. Minecraft is a 10-year-old game that still has over a hundred thousand millions of active player and most of them are youngsters. They can read the banned articles and reports of their country through this.
The library opened its virtual doors for all users on 12 March: World Day against Cyber Censorship to celebrate uncensored brave news. They used hashtag #TrustFindsAWay to spread the message across the world.
You can watch this video about the Uncensored Library: