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Block-based sandbox game Minecraft is the last place prying government censors expect to find subversive content. Should a government block Minecraft, the most popular game in the world, the whole world would know in an instant. That’s why Reporters without Borders, the NGO that champions press freedom, created The Uncensored Library— an ornate archive of works from prominent censored journalists, hosted in Minecraft.Climb the stairs of the high-domed library, which sprawls inward from an island whose shores are open to anyone with an internet connection, and you’ll reach rooms packed with works from censored journalists. Jamal Khashoggi—a Saudi Arabian dissident who was assassinated in Turkey in 2018—and Yulia Berezovskaia, an exiled journalist who runs a banned website in Russia, fill some of the 200 books on offer.
The Uncensored Library was designed by Reporters Without Borders in collaboration with BlockWorks, a London-based company that builds elaborate Minecraft worlds, alongside two media agencies. Comprising two million blocks, the library can be downloaded from BlockWorks’ website—and already it’s taken on a life of its own. “We already have cases of many other people hosting the library on their own server,” James Delaney, founder of BlockWorks, told Decrypt. “ …
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