MINECRAFT LIBRARY OF UNBANNED JOURNALISM

Reporters Without Borders, also known as Reporters Sans Frontières, are leading a unique movement inside the well known game Minecraft, based around placing blocks. With more than 250 million players each year, the game has for thee first time been considered as a hub of free speech.

Birds Eye View of the library. Source

Governments around the world bring down the “ban hammer” on journalistic freedoms, with the attempt to censor their local and national press, a virtual library has been created to host articles written by journalists which were censored online.

The players are storing worldwide news for the public through a creative loophole, using ingame mechanics and books to preserve articles from around the world.

Library Entrance. Source

“Inside, you can find articles and information about the journalists that are being censored in their own countries,” said Robert-Jan Blonk, senior interactive producer at production company MediaMonks, which helped build the library, in an interview with Fast Company. “We share these stories through the books that live in that library, and people can just openly read them, because even in the countries… where these journalists are from, you’re able to play Minecraft.”

The library itself, which also received some design help from design studio BlockWorks and creative agency DDB Germany, features a fantastic circular rotunda with flags from countries around the world, off of which you can find each of the wings in the library organized by country.

All Readers and gamers can also choose to download the game and map, and for example “walk” their characters into the Russia wing, pick up a book, and read an article from grani.ru, a blocked site in Russia that reports on the government and protests in the country.

Book withing the Library being viewed by a player.

Even the work of Jamal Khashoggi, the journalist assassinated by Saudi agents in 2018, can be accessed and read among the overabundance of books in the library.

The contents of the library can not be changed by players; however they can add more. If a repressive government tries to shut down the server hosting the game, other servers and hosting backups can take over in its place according to Fast Company.

“With so many people playing the game, there’s always a version live, so they cannot take it down,” says Blonk.

According to BBC The server can hold a maximum of 100 players at a time, making it extreemly hard to acces because of the sheer number of players trying to log on at once. Despite this cap, the server been visited by 3,889 players from 75 different countries and the world has been downloaded over 7,000 times.

Statue of “Reporters Without Borders” Symbol. Source

The library itself has been created with an impressive scale. Because of its enormous size, multiple teleports have been set up so visitors can avoid getting lost while exploring. The first thing you see as you approach the structure is statue of a fist holding a pen the official Reporters Without Borders symbol for press freedom.

As far as all digital hosts, for any kind of sensitive information go, The Uncensored Library in Minecraft is the first of its kind. Safeguarding information within an online video game is an idea that definintely has never come up before.

Check out the The Uncensored Library – The Film Created by the RWB.

4 thoughts on “MINECRAFT LIBRARY OF UNBANNED JOURNALISM

  1. Hi Igor,

    I really enjoy this topic because I can really relate to this. As a Journalist and a Gaming part of me. Not only does this topic have a big impact on me but also the world. Access to uncensored knowledge is very educational and entertaining at the same time.

    I find the paragraphs easy to read. The hyperlink to help me as I am reading.

    You need to proofread your work because there are a few spelling errors that you have missed. But other than that amazing topic and great work!

    Broden Halcrow-Ducharme.

      • No Problem!

        Also, I have noticed you don’t have titles to lead your paragraphs.
        It’s not too important thing to add to your blog…
        But it can be easier to read and know what topic the paragraphs will be about.

        Again, Great Work!

  2. Hi Igor,

    Very interesting and informative topic. As someone that is not a Gamer and never will be–I found the Uncensored Library intriguing.

    However, I guess you have to be a Minecraft player to access this portal? Or do you?? Can you provide some further information on how to access the articles for other journalists or people that are just generally interested in reading?

    This is also an important topic to cover because ‘journalistic freedom’ or ‘Freedom of the Press’ is not actually free for some people. Many journalists have willingly and un-willingly sacrificed their lives in the profession. It’s great you’re raising awareness about this topic.

    Loved this topic!

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