Reporters Without Borders has turned to Minecraft in its fight against cyber censorship, in a campaign for World Day Against Cyber Censorship (Mar. 12).
A campaign for the German arm of the press freedom NGO, conceived by DDB Berlin with digital creative via MediaMonks, features an "uncensored library" within the building block game, as as repository for articles censored in the country of their origin. For example, content comes from reporters and bloggers in the likes of Mexico, Egypt, Saudi Arabia, Vietnam and Russia. In addition to banned articles, visitors can find a report on the current press freedom situation of 180 countries in the world. The idea is that because Minecraft can be accessed anywhere in the world, users everywhere can find the content within the library.
The Uncensored Library was built in cooperation with BlockWorks, a design studio experienced in working with Minecraft. The library was built over three months and is made from over 12.5 million blocks. It took 24 builders from 16 different countries over 250 hours to design and create the library, which spans a one-kilometer-squared garden and has a dome nearly 300 meters wide.
“In many countries around the world, there is no open access to information. Websites are blocked, independent newspapers are banned and the press is controlled by the state," said Christian Mihr, managing director at Reporters Without Borders Germany. "Young people grow up without being able to form their own opinions. By using Minecraft, the world’s most popular computer game, as a medium, we give them access to independent information."
The campaign is just the latest effort from Reporters Without Borders, DDB Berlin and MediaMonks to bring censored works to the masses. Previously, they created the "Uncensored Playlist" effort that used streaming music to deliver the stories of censored journalists to their communities.