Sunday, November 05, 2006

Virtual Church

I’m going to reveal a secret, one that those who know me can probably figure out even though I try to deny it. Simply reading this blog should give you some discernment.

I am a geek.

There I said it. (Isn’t that step one?) Now I feel better. Yes, I am an artist too. I firmly believe that great production people are artists, with some geek built-in and I try so hard to surround myself with artists that I can teach to be technical, but I digress. Being I geek I can admit to other things I enjoy. I have been an avid online gamer for many years. I won’t bore you with the details; just understand that I have played many different kinds of games for many years. The genre that has attracted my attention the most are the online role playing games. There are many to mention that I have enjoyed over the years, but the aspect that holds true for all of them is the relationships I’ve built with people all over the world. I’ve had the opportunity to share life with these people, not just some silly game. I’m certainly no where near as active in that virtual world as I once was, but I do continue a number of the relationships.

It has often surprised me, and I’m not alone in this, that people will share difficult situations of their life with people they have never meet, but in a sense known to them very well. I’ve done marriage counseling between couples that played together. I’ve helped people with job decisions. I’ve seen people grow up because they figured out in a virtual world that life is about people and it translated to them for real! This is an aspect of the gaming community that I suspect was never imagined by developers. When I see my experiences within this community I really do see how it can impact people’s lives in a positive way. I do know the negatives as well. I’ve been around the upper end, hard core player side of some of these games and have seen that some people become so wrapped up in the virtual world the forgo much of the real one.

You can call me crazy, but I believe there is a need to get people connected with Jesus in this virtual community. There would be a great deal of care that would need to be taken in this endeavor but I can see the need and I can see the possibility of significant impact. I recently read a post at Drew Goodmanson’s site where he talks about the creation of a virtual church within the game community of Second Life. Think I’ve lost it have you? Well consider this story from the Senior Web Services Evangelist, (yes that really is his title) for Amazon.com Jeff Barr. He talks about his experience is doing a presentation about the Amazon Web Services within Second Life. Mr. Barr thinks that Second Life holds genuine and effective marketing for their product.

I’m not a church planter but it certainly makes me think about all my virtual experiences a little different. I would like to see how a church plant in Second Life might work.

2 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

Jason,

Let me know when you launch!

D. Goodmanson

11/06/2006 12:30:00 AM  
Anonymous April said...

You call that a secret? Come on, dig a little deeper! Actually, just wanted to let you know that I was on here. B taught me about Google reader, so now I can keep up with your blog!

11/16/2006 10:41:00 PM  

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