Creating a library of banned news in Minecraft is utter genius

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Freedom of the press is incredibly important but unfortunately many governments don’t hold that opinion and prevent news – particularly news which doesn’t paint them in a good light – from being spread.

Journalists are often censored, threatened or killed for speaking out against the powers that be and informing citizens about corruption, injustice and more.

Everyday, governments restrict the flow of information but a new tool has surfaced that aims to spread news even if its banned by a government.

We say new, but the solution is actually 11 years old. The solution is Minecraft.

Reporters Without Borders has built what it calls The Uncensored Library.

The library is located on an open Minecraft server allowing any of the 145 million monthly players to log in and read articles (presented as books in the game) which were censored in the countries they were published in.

The Uncensored Library was built with help from BlockWorks. It took 3 months to create and is made up of 12.5 million blocks which were placed by 24 builders from 16 countries.

“In many countries around the world, there is no free access to information. Websites are blocked, independent newspapers are banned and the press is controlled by the state. Young people grow up without being able to form their own opinions. By using Minecraft, the world’s most popular computer game, as a medium, we give them access to independent information,” said managing director for Reporters Without Borders Germany, Christian Mihr.

The project is supported by Hatice Cengiz, fiancee of the late Jamal Khashoggi. Internationally acclaimed journalists Nguyen Van Dai and Yulia Berezovskaia have also supported the project.

Alongside the library, Reporters Without Border has launched a microsite explaining the importance of this library, how to play Minecraft and even a “Making Of” film.

Perhaps more importantly, the microsite showcases why The Uncensored Library is so important.

You will need to log into this Minecraft server in order to visit The Uncensored Library in the game.

Having never played Minecraft, this news actually has us considering giving it a go.

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz

Brendyn Lotz writes news, reviews, and opinion pieces for Hypertext. His interests include SMEs, innovation on the African continent, cybersecurity, blockchain, games, geek culture and YouTube.


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