Monday, July 30, 2007

Second Life

Catholics called to Second Life
Catholics called to Second Life
VATICAN CITY, July 30 (UPI) -- Roman Catholics are being encouraged by a Vatican-approved journal to preach the word of Jesus in the virtual world of Second Life.

The Rev. Antonio Spadaro wrote in La Civilta Cattolica that Christian teaching is the answer to the rampant sinning, including gambling and prostitution, The Telegraph reported Monday.

Second Life, an Internet-based game that features lifelike avatars representing virtual versions of players, allows users to buy and sell virtual goods and services with real money while interacting with other players.

"It is not possible to turn a blind eye to this phenomenon, or offhandedly pass judgment glorifying or condemning it," Spadaro said. "Instead it must be understood ... the best way to understand it is to enter it and live inside it to recognize its potential and dangers."

John Lester, of Second Life producer Linden Lab, applauded the religious interest in the virtual world.

"I think it's a cool idea for folks to want to make sure that their side of spirituality is being represented," he said.
Not sure that this is what the Lord intended by "unless ye are born again ... " ... :) But sure, evangelize everywhere, eh.


Heather said...

Second life is awesome and scary simultaneously. As cool as I think it is that the church is using modern communication devices, this is a scary medium.

Gashwin said...

I have no direct experience of Second Life. I've read about it (mainly about the way in which its para-economy works) and it sounds fascinating, but I've never been tempted to find yet another time-sink! Heck, I avoided Halo because I knew I'd get sucked in!

What are the things that concern you? Have you "played" this "game"?

Heather said...

It isn't a game - it's an alternative universe. People create an avatar and then buy things, have jobs, go to meetings, meet people, go on vacation, etc.

What bothers me:
1. People creating completely different lives for themselves. Average site stickiness is 2 hours I think, the internet average is about 3 minutes - that's a lot of time spent.
2. The ways the monetary system can be misused.

That being said, the communication potential is outstanding.