Most countries have embassies in far-flung corners of the world but Sweden is to go one better by setting up an official presence in the virtual online world Second Life.
The idea is to reach the millions of people who create avatars – cartoon images – of themselves on the website and spread the word about the Scandinavian nation.
The embassy will not give out passports or offer diplomatic support but it will be able to tell visitors about Sweden in the real world.
It will be a replica of the House of Sweden embassy that opened in Washington last year and will provide a wealth of information about the country’s culture and history.
Olle Wastberg, from the Swedish Institute, which promotes the country around the world, said his organisation was constantly trying to find ways to reach new groups of people.
He added: ‘This is a simple and cheap way to reach a large group of younger, educated people who are flooded with information.
‘Second Life has more than 3million users who create avatars of themselves and move about the virtual world, chatting with others, buying land and building homes and businesses.’
Real-Life companies have already set up shop in Second Life but Sweden will be the first country to have an official presence there.
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