BY EDITOR SHAUNA SKYE
This week assistant editor Paypabak Writer and staff writer Feral Mossrider have been writing about spirituality in Second Life. Thought I’d give it a mention as well while we’re on the subject.
I regularly meet with friends at the local pub in Moonletters town. Though we get together in a pixel world, the time I spend with these friends is just as meaningful to me as if we were somewhere in first life. Likewise, if I go to church in SL, if the people are sincerely meeting in the name of God, I feel the same way.
Feral said something interesting:
If we have no intention of carrying Second Life spirituality into our real lives and wish to keep it permanently within the virtual world, then we are essentially only roleplaying –
I agree with Feral. Fortunately though, while SL does have a roleplaying community, the players usually do not bring the game into areas not designated for it. This is not to say it doesn’t happen. I once saw roleplay in what was meant to be a legitimate church meeting, and let’s just say most people felt it was not appropriate. Though this is not exactly what Feral was talking about, it still brings up an interesting issue. One may face situations in an SL church that you might not encounter in first life, but all churches, be they ones meeting in SL or first life, have issues to deal with.
To me, SL is a blessing. I won’t go into details, but to say my first life was nearly at rock bottom when I joined in 2007 is an understatement. Believe it or not, I was actually told about SL by a Pastor (a Pastor is like a vicar or priest in case you’re not familiar with the term). She is a wonderful lady, and her grandchildren often used SL. She thought it was something I’d like, and she was right.
SL has been good for me. It brought me a type of stability when all else was falling apart. It allowed me to make friends and keep them, regardless of moving around several times, and it gave me a breather from my sorrow. Essentially, Second Life was a tool that helped keep me sane.
Ok, so Second Life is not a perfect place. Depending on your beliefs it can present temptations and situations same as first life, even more in some ways. I have not always lived up to the standard of behavior I aspire to. I’ve messed up in many ways, but I still view SL as a wonderful thing. I view many of the friends I have as gifts from God, and I don’t believe that any experience or meeting is a coincidence.
Is God in SL? Well, I believe God is everywhere, so of course that includes SL as well. Church in a virtual world, the freedom to meet together . . . that gets a big thumbs up from me.