France's presidential elections begin in a few days, and as part of his re-election campaign, sitting president Emmanuel Macron has launched his own Minecraft server. Revealed on Twitter, the server features a mixture of rural and urban environments surrounding 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 filled with cardboard boxes. Naturally, the world is plastered with Macron's campaign slogan "avec vous", whether that's on posters adorning the walls, or on a giant banner being dragged across the sky by a prop-plane.
The server isn't purely an election gimmick, it's tied to one of Macron's stated policies, namely his desire to create "a European metaverse" as a way to increase France's "cultural and informational independence" away from big tech companies like Apple and Google, alongside what the French president refers to as "Anglo-Saxon or Chinese aggregators".
Obviously there's a huge gap between a Minecraft server and a Metaverse, but it's a novel use of Minecraft. It's also less cringeworthy than I expected, although that could be down more to the sheer ubiquity of Minecraft than anything else. The extent to which a Minecraft server adorned with campaign slogans will help Macron's election chances is, of course, hard to ascertain. According to Reuters, The sitting President is currently ahead in the polls, but his lead in said polls over Marine Le Pen has decreased in recent weeks.
Ultimately, deploying Minecraft as part of a political campaign isn't all that surprising. Mojang's creative megahit gets used for all manner of things these days, from building graphing calculators to teaching kids about the effects of climate change.