Intro to Networked Collaboration

Organized Meetings in Second Life – Search for Spirituality w Kavya and Nancy

Once Kavya and I became accustomed to navigating the landscape of Second Life we decided to be more focused about what to look for since it is easy to spend hours of time aimlessly exploring the environment.  One of our interests was how spirituality can be presented in a virtual world.  Since Second Life is so vast we did some research beforehand.

Google is a helpful tool to find general information about areas in Second Life, but the application itself has a search box in the upper right of the GUI.  If you click the magnifying glass icon a tabbed search tool pops up that allows you to enter search terms such as “mosque”, “mystic” “Buddha” or “church.”   You can then choose from a number of places to explore by teleporting to them.

We visited Mystica, SL address: Mystica 27, 228, 3 – Land of Light, a Muslim area.  We were able to listen to the Koran and change our outfits to those of dervishes and tried a whirl or two.  There was also the capability to download audio readings of the Koran.

Whirling dervish

Whirling dervish

Later on I  was looking for more of a community experience and found Lifechurchtv.com. This is a Christian church that exists in the bricks and mortar world that also offers online meetings.  The website is clearly organized.  I was able to find a schedule of the meetings and teleported to a live service on a Sunday morning.  SL address: Experience Island 163, 132, 27 LifeChurch.tv

Lifechurch.tv on Second Life

Lifechurch.tv on Second Life

The sound and video quality were good.  There was conversation back and forth via instant messages during the message, people felt free to comment or ask questions.  In the crowd were Christians, the curious, atheists, and elfs.  Afterwards we were able to mingle in the virtual lobby, eat donuts and drink coffee and chat about the message of the speaker.  Lifechurch.tv also provided a separate conventional chat room to continue discussions.

Live stream of a spiritual message

Live stream of a spiritual message

The benefits that I see for online spiritual communities is the ability to reach out and serve those who might be unable to physically attend a religious service due to health or even social restrictions.  And it can serve as an educational tool for those who want to explore religion and spirituality.

A sample video

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November 6, 2008 - Posted by | Uncategorized | ,

2 Comments »

  1. On Mystica, we also found a Church that had a projected hologram of the Holy Grail. There is a picture on Flickr of this:
    http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3276/2964781640_01d63ba243.jpg?v=0

    Another cool thing about the Island, as we walked around, different areas had triggers and when we crosses certain points, the music would change. There was music piping through constantly and after a while it was overwhelming for us and we had to turn the music off!

    Comment by ayvak | November 6, 2008 | Reply

  2. I found that so interesting, I’m going to start looking for such places too. I think that virtual ways of expressing spirituality is very unique, and a concept I haven’t really thought about until your post. Although skeptical at first in thinking about this, aside from it being a great way to meet people of similar spiritual backgrounds and opinions (Such as the lifechurch events you mentioned)it is also a way for people to attach imagery, shapes, colors, and design to their spiritual attitudes.

    Comment by kelboa | November 9, 2008 | Reply


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