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Posts Tagged ‘Church of Fools’

Visiting St.Pixels. Church of the Internet

by Stacey Pitsillides

Within the post I will try to give a brief overview of our excursion to St Pixels, some history on the formation of the ‘virtual church’ and some insights into the type of feeling and questioning this experience instigated in me, and the group at large.

There was an air of excitement on the day of our excursion to St Pixels. We had all made our simple cartoon-style avatars earlier that day and were keen to test them out. After having spend a great deal of time the previous week within Second Life, which is very closely modeled on the physical world, it was kind of a breath of fresh air to see the very simple mainly text-based web environment and the lack of emphasis on creating a ‘beautiful’ avatar form.

On the home page of St Pixels it is stated:

one of the most important functions of this site is to provide opportunities and resources for worship (http://www.stpixels.com/headline-news)

But what is worship when it happens from behind a screen? That was one of the questions we hoped to uncover, as we all filed into the dimly lit computer lab and took our relevant places behind the rows of screens, ready to enter St Pixels! As we entered the conversation started almost immediately – or as soon as everyone had made their way to the porch – and there was a flurry of tapping keys as we all tried to figure out which avatar contained which person… Then Mark, who was leading ‘The Sermon’ arrived and we were led into ‘The Sanctuary’ for conversation and worship.

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Religion in Virtual Worlds. A Historical Overview on a New Research Topic

by Nadine Gremmers

Our second “Summer School” day started with the lecture “Religion in Virtual Worlds. A Historical Overview on a New Research Topic.” by Kerstin Radde-Antweiler and Simone Heidbrink. The referents discussed the following points:

1. “Reality” versus “Virtuality”? How would the participants of the “Summer School” define these two terms and their relation to each other?

2. Virtual World: Conceptions and Definitions.

3. The history of various Virtual Worlds: An Overview of so called “Life Sims” and “MMORPGs”.

4. Case Studies and methods.

At the beginning of the lecture, participants should define “Reality” and “Virtuality”, which led to the following assumptions:

– “Reality” and “Virtuality” are interdependent, but exhibit different characteristics.

– “Reality” = “real life” – “Virtuality” pretends to be “real life” (was designated as main discourse).

– In “Reality” you have a limited mass of possibilities. In “Virtuality” you have an unlimited mass of possibilities.

– “Reality”: Perception with all senses possible – “Virtuality”: Perception only with some senses possible.

– “Reality” = experience of what is out here − “Virtuality” = representation of what is out here

– “Reality”: “Ownership” of a physical body − “Virtuality”: “Ownership” of an Avatar

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