Thursday, 25 October 2007

Nikko am sl

I'd be among the first to admit that asset management is not exactly a huge turn-on, but despite this I thought I should introduce you to Nikko am, whose English-language webpage includes the rather jarring strapline "global expertise, Japanese execution." While out on my regular rambles tonight - all spruced up with my fancy, new OnRez viewer - I happened upon their month-old sim in Second Life. Before I go any further, though, I should point you at their Japanese website, which is rather more relevant in that it actually shares motifs with their Second Life presence.

A bit of digging turned up this press release, in which they talk about using new media - including Second Life - as a way of talking with customers about opportunities for investment. The build itself falls into 3 zones: the game; the office block and the stage. It is my assumption that the notion of "the nest egg" seems to transcend cultural boundaries, as the game zone seems to be a matter of collecting as many chicks (feathered, that is) as possible before your time runs out. I think, though I'm not entirely sure, that if you hit the target you get a prize. I certainly seemed to hit the target and did receive something - I've just not yet checked out what it might be! If you don't fancy that, then there is a range of freebie T-shirts to peruse.

The office zone is nicely rendered and, as is the norm for Japanese companies, is full of cutesy-pie anime. Inside, the office is sub-divided to give you information on specific aspects of the company's portfolio of offerings. Here you will find the only piece of English in the place, which to my British eyes clearly states that nothing available on the site is available in the UK. On the uppermost floor is a boardroom (see picture below). I noticed that each office area had what seemed to be a rather conspicuous rubbish receptacle outside it. I first assumed this was an ashtray, but now I'm not so sure. Anyway, whatever its purpose this receptacle (oddly enough) detracted from the experience for me, even though I think it was put there purely to add "texture."

The third zone is an outdoor stage, complete with grand piano, presumably for social events. Not much more to say about that, so on with the photos!

The Office Block

Specialist Areas Inside the Office:

The Stage:

Verdict? A nice build, with a good attempt at engagement through the game and the outdoor stage, but... somehow it does not seem to me that it is going to generate much traffic. Although sharing motifs with the website, the 2 channels seem to be separate entitites, and that (to me) breaks some kind of unstated, yet cardinal, rule. I don't get much sense of engagement here either - and that is a definite requirement in Second Life.

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