France’s presidential elections start in a few days, and as part of his re-election campaign, President Emmanuel Macron has launched his own Minecraft server. revealed on twitter (opens in new tab)the server features a mix of rural and urban environments around a recreation of the Palais de l’Élysée, the official residence of the French president.
You can see an overview of the server in the video above. Other notable locations include a recreation of Macron’s campaign office and, uh, a room full of cardboard boxes. Naturally, the world is filled with Macron’s campaign slogan “avec vous”, whether on posters adorning the walls or a giant flag being dragged across the sky by a propeller plane.
The server is not purely an electoral gimmick, it is linked to one of Macron’s stated policies, namely his desire to create “a European metaverse” (opens in new tab) as a way of increasing France’s “cultural and informational independence” from large technology companies such as Apple and Google, alongside what the French president calls “Anglo-Saxon or Chinese aggregators”.
Obviously, there’s a huge gap between a Minecraft server and a Metaverse, but it’s a new use for Minecraft. It’s also less embarrassing than I expected, although that might have more to do with Minecraft’s ubiquity than anything else. To what extent a Minecraft server adorned with campaign slogans will help Macron’s chances in the elections is, of course, difficult to determine. According to Reuters, the incumbent president is currently ahead in the polls, but his lead in polls over Marine Le Pen has waned in recent weeks.
Ultimately, deploying Minecraft as part of a political campaign isn’t all that surprising. Mojang’s creative megahit is used for all sorts of things these days, from construction of graphing calculators (opens in new tab) for teaching children (opens in new tab) on the effects of climate change.