ROME (Reuters) - Catholic missionaries have always trekked to dangerous parts of the Earth to spread the word of God -- now they are being encouraged to go into the virtual realm of Second Life to save virtual souls.
In an article in Rome-based Jesuit journal La Civilta Cattolica, academic Antonio Spadaro urged fellow Catholics not to be scared of entering the virtual world which may be fertile ground for new converts wishing to better themselves.
"It's not possible to close our eyes to this phenomenon or rush to judge it," Spadaro said. "Instead it needs to be understood ... the best way to understand it is to enter it."
Second Life is a simulation game where players can create a virtual version of themselves -- an avatar -- and interact with other people in the three-dimensional world.
According to its Web site, it has a population of more than 8 million residents and millions of dollars change hands there every month.
"Is there (cyber) space for God?" Spadaro aaka in his article which says there are already virtual churches and temples serving countless religions. He quotes a Swedish Muslim who says his avatar prays regularly as he prays in real life.
Read the rest here.
Um. OK, apparently Second Life is pretty much a haven for those who want to have virtual sex (I wouldn't know for sure...haven't been there, and not going to go). So, I suppose the Word has a place there. But ... evangelizing through a virtual reality game?
I don't know what to think. Comments?
(HT to Locusts and Honey.)