The 1.19.1 chat update has (unsurprisingly) sparked massive backlash against Microsoft and the developers at Mojang.. The feature, for those unaware, allows players on multiplayer servers to report chat messages that they either deem hurtful, offensive, or against Minecraft’s now family-friendly guidelines. This concept, which Microsoft claims to have installed to help servers moderate chat fails to recognize one of the biggest genres in multiplayer Minecraft— Anarchy. Anarchy Servers like 2b2t thrive on the lack of rules and limitations, and this new, unprecedented moderation to servers like 2b2t will hinder not just the gameplay of anarchy, but it’s very foundation as well.
Impact on Anarchy
With the new update, anarchy players would be forced to censor themselves in game chat and focus on being more family-friendly. While this doesn’t seem too bad, it threatens the fabric of anarchy which thrives off the concept of no rules. While it doesn’t necessarily encourage toxicity or hate speech, it is extremely common to see such text in servers as it is the only place players can freely express themselves without fear of administrative action.Chat on anarchy server avas.cc. This kind of behavior (typically tolerated) can now be reported.
As per the new update, messages like this would not just result in a ban from the host server (except anarchy servers, due to the lack of rules) but all other third-party servers, even independently run or private ones. For a single organization to have control over player-hosted servers (which the players pay for) is ridiculous, and has started to threaten the sustainability of the game, and more importantly, the Anarchy genre.
Players and server administrators alike have been petitioning against this change since its announcement, but with no plan to cancel the update, servers have taken it into their own hands. Plugins that disable this new moderation have already been written, with no end in sight for novel bypasses. While some server developers have been sharing code that would stop this system from being usable on most servers, other servers have opted to stop updates altogether if it means the system will not be implemented. This year’s top pick, avas.cc, has already implemented a system to curb this change. Undoubtedly, preventing updates is not a sustainable way of dealing with the issue and holds back the world of anarchy and all other genres. Could this be the downfall of Minecraft? It remains to be seen. However, it is unlikely that servers will continue to allow Microsoft to suppress the freedom of expression that binds everyone together in the first place.