"Union miners stand together
Do not heed the bosses tales
Keep your eyes upon your wages
and your hand upon the scale"
– A Miner's Life (trad arr.)

The cyberpunks see the internet as a way to transgress physical borders, destroy social hierarchies and allow information to flow freely. Can we use the internet to create new queer spaces as the forces of capital convalesce around a permanent state of crisis, sweeping away our community venues and clubs in the chaos of the class war?

Leo Francisco of the Queerzone3000 collective has created a virtual world using the open-source Minetest game. Drop out and connect from anywhere on the internet and build a resilient virtual community with your friends. Share the plentiful resources with cooperation and care. Build a new world that provides for all.There will be a hackspace at Birmgham Open Media where you can relax and play or you can join us online and remotely.

The hackspace also features work by Caleb Steer and Taylor Wells. Caleb has created a digital graphic of a textile flag, featuring William Gibson’s quote: “There are no maps for these territories” (a comment on cyberpunk culture). This work, combined with footage of Caleb’s time-travelling avatar “Gary Davidson”, highlights Caleb’s interests in DIY fashion as a manifest medium of resistance, where fantasy can come to life and the digital/animated world might “hack” physical, real-life spaces.

Taylor has created an anarchic visual space, using techniques such as collage, LEDs and fluorescence. Taylor’s work contributes a dystopic edge to the U/QTOPIA.

This new commission is presented by SHOUT festival in partnership with BOM (Birmingham Open Media).


    W/A/S/D: move
    Space: jump
    Left mouse button: Punch, mine blocks, move an item stack in an inventory
    Right mouse button: use (e.g. open chest or furnace), place blocks, move one item or split items in an inventory
    Shift+Right mouse button: place blocks
    Middle mouse button: move 10 items in an inventory
    Mouse wheel: select item in the hotbar
    0-9: select item in the hotbar
    Q: drop block, item or tool in hand
    I: open or close the inventory menu
    T: open the chat window
    Shift: descend on ladders or sneak (walk slower, prevents falling off ledges)

A Miner's Life

  • Building

    Blocks are the building blocks in Minetest. They have 16x16 textures and are seen by the player as one cubic meter. Using refers to a specific activity with a block. The kind of activity depends on the block. Not all blocks can be used. Using is done by clicking with the right mouse button on the block that shall be used.

  • Mining

    Mining is done by pointing on the desired node and holding the attack button (Left mouse button by default). Not everything can be mined with all mining tools. Some tools are better for certain materials. Also, mining often takes some time to finish. The mining speed depends on your tool and the node you want to mine

  • Crafting

    Crafting is the way in which blocks and items are made in Minetest. To craft something, the player must move items into a crafting grid and then arrange the items into a defined pattern. Many additional player created recipes and other crafting grids are available through mods.

Get Started

Minetest is available to install on GNU/Linux, OSX, Windows, FreeBSD and Android.

To join the QTOPIA server enter the following information in the Play Online tab in Minetest:
Port: 30000
Name: Whatever name you want for your player
Password: Keep your player accessible only to yourself by adding a password

Both the client, server and third party mods are free and open source software and the source code is available on Github.