Isn't it real? Experiencing the virtual church in second life®

Emil R. Kaburuan, Chien Hsu Chen, Tay Sheng Jeng

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapter

1 Citation (Scopus)


The growing numbers of online religion practice has increased significantly. This growing number is not only based on the website pattern, but also in the 3D online virtual environment. Over the last three years the practice of online churchgoing in the 3D virtual environment has grown rapidly through the arrival of a number of large, well-financed projects supported by well-known real-world Christian groups. This phenomenon has been allowing users not only just participate but also experiencing the online virtual environment. What are the users' experiences in the virtual church? How does this experience relate to users' spiritual life? These issues will be discussed in this chapter, starting with origin of online church. This is followed by the description of the one year study result based on participant observation and interview with the participants. The ability of Second Life as user generated virtual environment to act as medium of ritual practice and kinds of experience fostered will be interesting in the future development of the online church. The empirical based study may contribute greatly to a more nuanced and balanced understanding.

Original languageEnglish
Title of host publicationHandbook of Research on Practices and Outcomes in Virtual Worlds and Environments
PublisherIGI Global
Number of pages18
ISBN (Print)9781609607623
Publication statusPublished - 2011

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Computer Science(all)
  • Social Sciences(all)


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