The Uncensored Library in Minecraft Fights For Press Freedom

Published August 17th, 2021 - 11:13 GMT
The Uncensored library on Minecraft
The Uncensored library on Minecraft (Twitter)
Huge Minecraft library is fighting global censorship.
A virtual space becomes home to real-world texts.

Governments around the world are using stealthy strategies to manipulate the media. 

Contemporary thinking about journalism has two ways: the first is that the internet is the most powerful force disrupting the news media. The second is that the internet and the communication and information tools it spawned are shifting power from governments to civil society and to individual bloggers, netizens, or “citizen journalists.” But still, we are facing censorship: suppression of speech, public communication. 

Fortunately, there are places and people who do not give up in the fight for freedom.

Many of you probably consider Minecraft to be nothing more than a children’s game. Well, today we have something that will help change your mind. 

The organization Reporters Without Borders has built a virtual library in the video game Minecraft to give gamers access to censored books and articles.

Reporters Without Borders is an international non-profit and non-governmental organization with the stated aim of safeguarding the right to freedom of information. Its goal is to raise awareness of how various governments around the world.

The Uncensored Library is a place you can visit within Minecraft to read the works of censored journalists from Russia, Mexico, Egypt, Vietnam, and Saudi Arabia. Minecraft is still accessible in countries that tightly control what is reported about their governments, and Reporters Without Borders is now using this loophole to bypass internet censorship.

“Their forbidden articles were republished in books within Minecraft, giving readers the chance to inform themselves about the real political situation in their countries and learn the importance of press freedom."
 The Uncensored Library 

The library itself is divided into six sections, five of which contain the works of censored journalists, and one for Reporters Without Borders. The virtual archive also goes into detail about the journalists featured in each section, and the architecture and what it represents. 

 “The books can be read by everyone on the server, but their content cannot be changed. The library is growing, with more and more books being added to overcome censorship.”

The library’s central space is decked out in the flags of countries from around the world as well as a giant floor map that shows where nations stand on the World Press Freedom Index. Players can open up individual country books to find out more about their relationship with censorship.

Users can "playfully interact" with the library's contents by collecting, sharing, and writing their own books in the game. 

It took 18 builders from 12 countries three months to finish the library, which takes the form of a grand neo-classical structure. Even for Minecraft standards, it’s a huge build, featuring 12.5 million blocks. If the structure was reproduced in real life, it would boast the largest dome in the world. 

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