Reporters Without Borders, the international non-profit organisation established to promote free access to information, has partnered with studio BlockWorks to create a virtual library in Minecraft that contains works censored by oppressive regimes around the globe – the goal being to bypass local restrictions on accessing banned material.
BlockWorks was previously responsible for Minecraft’s official tenth anniversary virtual museum, and its efforts on the new Uncensored Library are equally breathtaking. Created as a collaboration between 24 builders from 16 countries, it’s a sprawling palatial affair, designed in the neoclassical architectural style, that looms large among elaborately landscaped gardens atop steep cliffs in the midst of an endless ocean.
Despite its grandiose appearance, though, the true focus is on the works it holds. Dedicated to the “freedom of the press, and exposing press censorship”, the virtual library, which is hosted on an open server, contains journals and articles that were censored in their country of origin – Egypt, Mexico, Russia, Saudi Arabia, and Vietnam – and written by journalists who’ve been banned, jailed, exiled, even killed.