Reporters Without Borders, also known as Reporters Sans Frontières (RSF), is a leading non-governmental organization that defends press freedom. So, to help overcome censorship across the world, they’ve built The Uncensored Library within one of the world’s most successful video games—Minecraft. The digital library recently opened its doors on March 12th, in observance of the World Day Against Cyber Censorship.
Press freedom remains to be a privilege, as opposed to being a right, in some parts of the world. Sadly, free information is still inaccessible for these countries. News outlets, journalists, and bloggers are actively being censored for speaking the truth. Disinformation campaigns straight from the government continue to manipulate the views and opinions of its people. And the ones who are at stake the most are the younger generations.
So, the RSF deemed it necessary to find common ground among these young people. And that is playing video games. With over 145 million active players each month, Minecraft proves to be one of the favorites. In countries with limited access to free press, Minecraft remains to be fully accessible. As such, it makes a promising platform where young people can gather together and access free information. Dubbed as the “digital LEGO,” it’s a medium that they can playfully interact with.
The virtual library contains articles that have been censored in their origin countries
These include the works of journalists from five different countries—Egypt, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Vietnam. They now come in the form of Minecraft books in English, as well as in their source languages. And the best part? They’re available even in countries that have banned them in the first place.
The Uncensored Library serves as a safe haven where journalists and other media entities can freely speak of the truth
Everyone on the server can enjoy full access to their works. However, they won’t be able to change the content in any way. Furthermore, the library is continuously growing, with more and more books geared towards fighting censorship.
RSF built the library in collaboration with creative agency DDB Germany, design studio BlockWorks, and production company MediaMonks. 24 builders from 16 different countries gathered together to make the project possible.
At nearly 300 meters wide, it is the second-largest library in the world
“The Uncensored Library raises awareness for the importance of press freedom. However, the end goal is to empower the next generation to stand up for their rights to information and to give them a powerful tool to fight oppressive leaders: knowledge.”
The library, which took three months to complete, consists of over 12.5 million blocks. You can learn more about the library and RSF’s #TruthFindsAWay campaign here.
You can learn more about the library through the videos below
Sources: Reporters Without Borders | BlockWorks