Tuesday, December 05, 2006

A hardthought :: The Salvation Army in Second Life

Here's a hardthought for you :: there are 1,814,136 residents in second life of which 690,800 logged in within the last 60 days and 15,693 are logged on right now (well at least as I type) :: should the Salvation Army be a salt and light presence in this new world?

For everyone new to Second Life (which includes me) here's a bit of background ::
Second Life is a 3-D virtual world entirely built and owned by its residents. Since opening to the public in 2003, it has grown explosively and today is inhabited by a total of 1,814,136 people from around the globe.

* From the moment you enter the World you'll discover a vast digital continent, teeming with people, entertainment, experiences and opportunity. Once you've explored a bit, perhaps you'll find a perfect parcel of land to build your house or business.

* You'll also be surrounded by the Creations of your fellow residents. Because residents retain the rights to their digital creations, they can buy, sell and trade with other residents.

* The Marketplace currently supports millions of US dollars in monthly transactions. This commerce is handled with the in-world currency, the Linden dollar, which can be converted to US dollars at several thriving online currency exchanges.
This interests me... and fires up the planting passion that I have. Imagine a Salvation Army corps or a Freeway style expression in Second Life. More importantly, think of the harvest that is ripe (if handled compassionately).

We have to think out of the box here... community is not necessarily physical! There is an opportunity to reach out to people who maybe are searching - Imagine running an Alpha course in Second Life, for example!?!

Church happens in Second Life... There is an authentic Catholic Mass (link) going on and here's someone asking a similar question (re church... not Army) back in October. In addition, living sounds is an actual online evangelical church . Wow!

There is an opportunity here... one we need to seriously consider.


Anonymous said...

hmmm....interesting. We were talking about Second Life in the Office yesterday...

Anonymous said...

fascinating. A couple of us had similar thoughts last summer with regard to Project Entropia.

Perhaps the church needs to launch a working group on "missions to cyberspace"...

raises great questions about the nature of community, personhood, social contract theory etc.


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