The Uncensored Library
Media.Monks, Reporters without Borders, DDB Germany (Minecraft)
A meticulous, artistically-rendered Minecraft build, The Uncensored Library is a monument to press freedom and an innovative back door for access to censored content. Leveraging Minecraft’s availability in countries while other media is blocked, over 20 million gamers in 165 countries have been able to access censored articles, available in English and the original language, from acclaimed independent journalists under threat by the authoritative regimes of places such as Saudi Arabia, Russia, Mexico, Egypt, and Vietnam. The site provides instructions for accessing the library through a centralized Minecraft server, which allows participants to meet each other, and also provides a Minecraft map which can be republished to other servers, thus ensuring that the content and experience can never be fully blocked by any country for long. Among the library’s most striking features are digital shrines to murdered journalists, including Washington Post columnist Jamal Khashoggi, and Mexican journalists Miroslava Breach and Javier Valdez. But perhaps the most impressive aspect of the library is the gorgeous artistry and architecture of the spaces such as the section on Russia housing a giant octopus to point to the country’s role in spreading misinformation around the world. It’s this attention to detail that speaks most to Minecraft’s younger audience, and the library has become a teaching tool in K-12 schools and universities around the world. For turning one of the largest digital platforms for youth into a global movement to fight censorship, The Uncensored Library wins a Peabody Award.