Business in Virtual Worlds, Collaboration, Second Life

Nokia: Understanding Narrative in Second Life

Nokia is an innovator with a robust philosophy of design and interaction, and their involvement with role-playing sims in Second life may seem a prelude to selling sexy phones for avatars, but hints at something deeper – a recognition of the unparalleled power of Second Life as a creative community, and the deep innovation that can emerge from it.

Hamlet of New World Notes picked up on the focus group/sharing session hosted by the company, reporting on Eladrienne Laval’s blog of the session. Clearly, Nokia managed to pull in a wide cross-section of Second Life role-playing communities, five of which were invited: the Wastelands, Steelhead City and Europa, The Ordo Imperialis, New Caledon and Harry Potter.

Eladrienne left it a little vague as to what was discussed, calling it “some corporate pick-our-brains marketing event blahblahblah”. Her photos give a sense of the diversity of those who attended:

The Nokia invitation was a bit vague on their motivations for hosting the event, although mention of “mobile” hints at the direction:

“This event will bring together five of the top themed virtual communities in Second Life, for an exploration of how their unique cultures interact with the diverse overall community of Second Life, and their ability to function in a mobile society.”

But when put in the context of Nokia’s wider brand and design priorities it starts making a little more sense. Consider these two slides from the full presentation that you can view below:

Clearly, Nokia sees something in Second Life. And it’s a sign that some brands are returning because of its power as a deeply engaging platform that has attracted perhaps the largest concentration of creative talent in the world today.

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