Minecraft is already one of the most successful video games in the world, but now it’s also serving to help preserve information in its uncensored form.
Minecraft is a nearly infinite, open-world game that lets users create virtually anything they can image. Rather than creating a building or scene from a movie or TV show, NGO Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has created a virtual library to house works that were originally censored in their countries of origin.
“Minecraft is a favourite – one of the world’s most successful computer games, with more than 145 million active players every month,” reads the statement. “Here communities can build entire worlds out of blocks, experience the freedom of an open world. Its creative mode is often described as ‘digital Lego’. In these countries, where websites, blogs and free press in general are strictly limited, Minecraft is still accessible by everyone.
“Reporters Without Borders (RSF) used this backdoor to build ‘The Uncensored Library’: A library that is now accessible on an open server for Minecraft players around the globe. The library is filled with books, containing articles that were censored in their country of origin. These articles are now available again within Minecraft hidden from government surveillance technology inside a computer game. 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.”
RSF’s ingenious use of Minecraft is a perfect example of the innovative ways technology—including video games—can be used to address serious issues. According to the RSF, “the Uncensored Library is accessible through Minecraft with the server address: visit.uncensoredlibrary.com.”