BEHIND THE SCENES
Building a LEGO Life community
Exploring the safe space for builders of all ages.
Safe Social Media for Kids!
“This is really great. Finally I can go backwards in the instructions!” Henrik Daae, Director of Cross Audience at The LEGO Group, laughs as he recalls one of the comments from a child testing an early version of the building instructions in LEGO Life, the company’s safe social network app for kids. It simply never occurred to this kid, and presumably many others, that going backwards through paper instructions was possible – but in the digital space, it suddenly makes a lot of sense.
While this makes for a fun anecdote, it’s also one of the huge challenges when dealing with a generation that hasn’t known a world without mobile phones, the internet and electronics. The LEGO Group continues its mission to transfer the positive aspects of LEGO play into that digital space. And since LEGO Life launched, the company has added many new features.
The aforementioned building instructions were one of the biggest inclusions. So far, almost 100 digital instructions have been added to the app. Instructions have been an integral part of the myriad LEGO sets released since 1963 and moving them into the digital space is a mega undertaking. It’s not about merely making a digital copy of the paper version, but rather taking advantage of the digital – and interactive – medium to create new ways to build with your iPhone and iPad. Aside from offering clear building instructions in 3D, the app also suggests alternative builds with Instructions Plus. As a builder you can choose where to begin and, thanks to a touch of gamification, you’ll be cheered at when you complete certain stages of your build
A great part of social media is that you can be inspired by other people.
Robert Lowe, Head of Kids Engagement, The LEGO Group.
While LEGO Life lets you manage your new digital collection of instructions, the app is also very much centred around being social and sharing the LEGO play experience in a safe space.
Anna Rafferty, VP of Digital Consumer Engagement, adds, “The LEGO brick has managed to stay relevant for children for decades, due to its versatility and endless creative potential – with just a few bricks, you can build and rebuild endlessly. We have an interesting and diverse team, who are working hard to unleash the universal appeal of the LEGO brick, and we want to bring that into our products.” In the case of LEGO Life, it also means that it doesn’t look at your gender or age as indicators, but at what you prefer to do in the app. Whether you love LEGO City or prefer LEGO Friends, the app will highlight more of that content.
“A great part of social media is that you can be inspired by other people. We want LEGO Life to provide that experience to all children in a safe environment,” says Robert Lowe, Head of Kids Engagement. Therefore all builds in LEGO Life go through an approval process to keep the content and interactions safe for all ages. As LEGO fans ourselves, it’s easy to while away hours browsing the countless creative builds from fans all over the world. In fact, LEGO Life makes us want to dig out that box of LEGO bricks right now and relive those days spent building for hours on end. Mission accomplished.