Global – Verizon has created a mobile phone network and smartphone for video game Minecraft.
Teaming up with Minecraft architectural firm BlockWorks, Verizon is the first to create a phone and communications network that links users within Minecraft – the 3D block-building immersive video game – to the outside world.
Initially, players have to build their own mobile phone mast and an oversized smartphone. But once these are in place they can stream blocky YouTube videos, take pixelated avatar selfies and even order a pizza to be delivered to their home. The campaign, made with creative agency Wieden + Kennedy, ensures that Minecraft users need never leave the comfort of their virtual world, while adhering to the game’s rule book.
All this was made possible by the creation of the Boxel app, which turns web pages and video into Minecraft blocks in real time. In the spirit of Minecraft, all the tools used to build Boxel are also open-source so obsessives can build their own customised smartphones and develop the software further.
Verizon has cleverly integrated its service into a virtual sphere in a way that is useful and plays by the rules of the game. Read our Virtual Browsing microtrend to learn how to enhance the digital shopping experience.