It’s been used to recreate beloved animated picture structures and to teach children various skills, but now Reporters Without Borders, a non-profit organization dedicated to the right of freedom of information, and BlockWorks, a dedicated team of Minecraft designers, animators, and architects, are using Minecraft with another goal in mind: press freedom.
In countries where the press and social media are being strictly controlled by the government, people tend to believe things which are heavily manipulated. But most of these oppressive leaders tend to overlook Minecraft – a cheap, widely accessible video game in which players can create and share their experiences with others.
Among the many things you can create in Minecraft are books. Fully readable and completely uncensored, Reporters Without Borders and Blockworks have decided to use Minecraft as a platform to publish censored works for anyone to read, right under the noses of strict government officials.
And thus, The Uncensored Library was born:
Opened on March 12, the World Day Against Cyber Censorship, The Uncensored Library is designed with a Neo-Classical architectural style and is made up of over 12.5 million Minecraft blocks. It took 250 hours just to design the map, and an extra 3 months for 24 builders from 16 countries to build this digital marvel of architecture.
Once you enter the library, books are sorted according to the country they were censored in. Egypt, Sri Lanka, Mexico, Russia, and Vietnam are the five countries which contain numerous volumes written by journalists who were either banned, jailed, exiled, or killed for telling their stories. Over 200 books reside in The Uncensored Library, with more on the way.
It’s definitely a bit on the dark side, considering these books are being posted on a video game made for kids, but the map is an optional download for those who want to explore and read the untold tales of these countries.
You can find links to Minecraft and the downloadable Uncensored Library map on the official webpage.