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The Vatican is spinning up a Minecraft server

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Rome has over 900 churches, but soon Minecraft may have thousands.

For a little over a decade, Minecraft, the 64-bit sandbox video game where players are given free rein to mine, hunt, construct buildings, and change the environment in any way they see fit, has been the pride of gamers. During the last 10 years, while the big companies were touting the latest in high-end graphics, Mojang has proven that all gamers really need to have fun is complete control. “Power to the players,” as the saying goes.

Soon, the 91 million players of Minecraft will have a new server in which they can explore, create, and build a community. And it will be moderated by a Catholic priest.

The project is the brain-child of Father Robert R. Ballecer, a Jesuit priest who runs a tech-focused blog where he is known as the Digital Jesuit. He told Vatican reporter that he wanted to make a server where people could game together in a non-toxic atmosphere. He said:

“You can invite people who want to be creative, who don’t want to be toxic and you create an environment in which people can express themselves and build up a relationship. The relationship thing is the most important part. That’s ultimately what I want to do with the server. It’s not about the technology. It’s not even really about the game. It’s about getting people together who can then maybe move those relationships to the real world.”

Father Ballecer did not mention whether the server would run in Survival Mode (in which the players would have to fight monsters and mine their own resources) or Creative Mode (where players have unlimited resources and can even fly), but we’re pretty sure that the players will create interesting and religious-themed buildings and artwork, regardless. It is estimated that there are more than 900 churches in Rome, but soon the Vatican’s Minecraft server may have thousands.

The new server may even draw the incredibly creative minds that built a scale replica of St. Peter’s Basilica in Minecraft.

The server is still in the testing phase, but if all goes well then it should be open in 2020. It can be reached by joining the minecraft.digitaljesuit.com client in-game. In his tweets, Father Ballecer noted that the Minecraft server will have a Discord channel to work in tandem for communication and community building. Join the Discord channel now to stay up to date with their progress and become part of this unique and exciting community of Catholic gamers.

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