Naverse, the first meeting of the Narcotics Anonymous support group in the metaverse, took place on 17 February, thanks to the support of Socialyse Paris and its technical partner VR Academy. Eight members of Narcotics Anonymous came to the virtual space to discuss their addictions and their progress towards a new liberation from addiction, in a new immersive mode.
Naverse, the meeting for drug addicts
Narcotics anonymous is an association founded more than 50 years ago on the basis of the experience of alcoholics anonymous, It is the first case of a meeting between problematic people in the metaverse. In this way, the anonymity and privacy of the people concerned would be even more preserved.
Socialyse Paris, an agency of Havas Group, which organized what can be considered as a first encouraging test, followed step by step and accompanied the association Narcotics Anonymous in the creation of a virtual experience in the metaverse to recreate in the most engaging and realistic way possible the feeling of presence, support and guidance that physical meetings can provide.
“While it’s understandable that some people may feel concerned by it, we chose to use it in a virtuous way and integrate it into an issue of public interest. We said to ourselves, what if immersive technology allowed for a better treatment of mental illnesses, and specifically of addictions? It is our role, as professionals in the fields of communications and advertising, to use these technologies in a meaningful way and offer practical solutions to some key challenges of our time. We hope that this first experience will inspire similar initiatives elsewhere”,
said Émilie Cabanié, Head of Influence, and Emmanuel Quéré, Senior Strategic Planner at Socialyse Paris.
The initiative seems to have been a great success through participants seeing some feedback from some of them who wanted to comment on this particular experience.
“It was an emotionally rich experience and I am happy to have been part of it. I felt like I was in a ‘real’ meeting, like it was physical, whereas the Zoom-based meetings we had during the lockdown periods seemed less personal, more cold”,
The platform is part of “Metaverse by Havas”, a consultancy, creative, media and commerce solution launched for brands looking to explore the new metaverse experiences to enhance their branding experiences through virtual marketing.
About The Sandbox metaverse
Since February 1, the group has owned a virtual plot of land in the video game The Sandbox where it plans to open its first virtual village (the 69th Havas Village) which is expected to see the light of day next April.
“The metaverse provides a wealth of new media and new opportunities for the communications sector and for brands. Whether the aim is to create original and meaningful experiences, reach out to new target audiences, or simply reinforce an existing bond, the possibilities are practically endless. Havas Group can count on a cutting-edge team of metaverse experts to lead this new venture and expertly guide brands into and around these virtual worlds”,
said Yannick Bolloré, chairman and CEO of Havas Group.