Tuesday, April 17, 2007

Does it count if you get baptized in Second Life?

A truly odd article in the Los Angeles Times about LifeChurch.tv -- a brand-new congregation that hosts 3,900 worshippers . . . and at least one talking emu.

It's a church for avatars -- the on-line embodiments of the five million people who subscribe to the virtual world of Second Life. Most spend their time doing the kinds of thing you'd expect people to do if there were no police, no STDs, and no calories. Then again, an amazing number do nothing more risque than potter around in the garden, gossip with the neighbors, and go to church.

Hence LifeChurch.tv -- the on-line campus of a "real" church that meets in Oklahoma (with satellite branches in Arizona, Texas, Tennessee, and Florida). For $10,000, it was able to add a worship site on Second Life; this month it offered a "live" (more or less) Easter service. And while there's been some trouble with "griefers" (i.e. avatars who try to disrupt the service), the pastor seems happy with his new congregation.

Emus and all.

(Click on the title of this post for the article.)

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