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A Religious Exploration In a Batman Costume

 by Bennett Gordon


Tags: Spirituality, virtual, religion, hajj, Islam, Religion Dispatches,

When the organization Islamicity.com organized a hajj in the video game Second Life, pilgrims were faced with a question: Is a religious experience possible with a virtual avatar dressed in a Batman costume? In an article for Religion Dispatches, Rachel Wagner explores some of the strange issues involved in virtual spirituality. Wagner taught a class called “Religion, Ritual and Virtual Reality,” where she led her students on the virtual hajj in the game Second Life. Unfortunately, the avatar she used was dressed in a Batman costume. Considering her class, and religiously themed video games both banal and disturbing, Wagner eventually concludes that spiritually enriching experiences are possible online, but it “must in some way change how we live our lives offline.”

Source: Religion Dispatches