Second Life?

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mkmurray
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No idea!

Postby mkmurray » Wed Feb 28, 2007 4:05 pm

haledn wrote:Chat with missionaries (investigators can already chat online with missionaries at the MTC -- http://mormon.org/question/0,8534,795-1,00.html)

Wow, I had no idea there was online chat with missionaries at the MTC. Cool! :D

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russellberrett-p40
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Second Life Missionary Opportunities

Postby russellberrett-p40 » Tue May 01, 2007 1:23 pm

haledn wrote:I could see the Church doing something such as:
  • Chat with missionaries (investigators can already chat online with missionaries at the MTC -- http://mormon.org/question/0,8534,795-1,00.html) This doesn't seem like a significant stretch from this.
  • Virtual museum gallery of historical or art (similar to what is housed physically at the Museum of Church History and Art west of Temple Square)
  • See / hear a virtual concert -- it may be a live broadcast on radio or tv (or prerecorded) of the Mormon Tabernacle Choir, an organ recital, or some other cultural event
  • Attend a virtual fireside (LDS teens could socialize with others with their same values from around the world)
  • See a virtual presentation similar to ones at visitor centers near many temples
There are a whole host of challenges and concerns which would need to be addressed before this could happen... but it isn't something that should be discounted.


I envision a virtual "Temple Square" in Second Life ("SL") complete with all of the landscaping and buildings. The more detail the better (well, except the SL Salt Lake Temple itself, which could just be one big 100' tall room on the inside). The roaming missionary avatars that would populate the area could do exactly what they do now at Temple Square ("Hi, can I answer any questions you have?").

The missionary possibilities of SL are extremely attractive because there are no geopolitical boundaries inside of SL. Therefore, a citizen of China who may not be able to take the lessons from missionaries in his or her home could instead visit the virtual Temple Square inside of SL and learn about the Restoration from the on-line missionary avatars, get a virtual copy of the Book of Mormon, etc.

To drive people to the virtual site, there would have to be some giveaways or freebies. Since Temple Square is renowned for its gardens, then they could possibly make all of the bushes, tree, flowers, walkways, paths, water features, statues, furniture, decorative items, doors, windows, wall textures, etc that they will have to create in order to build the virtual Temple Square as the freebies that they give away, e.g. "click on this crate for 50 types of bulb flowers", or "click on this crate for 25 types of flowering trees", etc. In the wintertime, you can add some giveaways for the prims in a manger scene, and another for different kinds of Christmas lights. The possibilities are literally endless. Also, include in each "crate of goodies" a note that would include an official message from the LDS Church. The note may include some scripture, instructions on how to get more information, a link to teleport back to the SL Temple Square, or all of the above.

Furthermore, it is possible to write and attach scripts to make objects perform different tasks (like, for example, tulips to open when the sun is shining and close when it is not), so the more clever the objects that are given away the more appeal they will have... and thus the more people will want to own it - driving more traffic to the SL Temple Square. Make the objects non-copyable so that everyone must get it from the source... i.e. where all of the virtual missionaries are.

You can also set up guided tours of any virtual landscape in SL, for example... see what has been done on the island of Svarga, where a complete ecology runs autonomously (including clouds, rain, sunshine, bees, birds, trees and flowers). On Svarga, there are little "hover discs" that will take anyone who sits on one around the island and explain different aspects of the virtual site. It would be trivial to re-create the same functionality at a virtual Temple Square inside of Second Life.

Actually, if you make the SL Temple Square picturesque enough. People will just show up at the Virtual Temple Square to have their virtual picture taken at the site... just like people do in the RL Temple Square.

Anyway. It would be cool to get in now while there is still press spotlight to be had for companies and organizations that are joining in. It could be a huge.

cheers.

--rus.

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mkmurray
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Postby mkmurray » Tue May 01, 2007 5:50 pm

I can see some of the advantages that many of you are mentioning. But I still hold my personal opinion that the Church would never venture into something like this for show or press coverage. We have enough work to do in the Real World and our efforts should mainly be pointed at that. The only audience I see us gaining is an already existing subset of the audience we already have for the current lds.org website. It's cool, but I'm not sure it would time/money well-spent.

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Second Life Missionary Opportunities

Postby russellberrett-p40 » Thu May 03, 2007 10:55 am

mkmurray wrote:I can see some of the advantages that many of you are mentioning. But I still hold my personal opinion that the Church would never venture into something like this for show or press coverage. We have enough work to do in the Real World and our efforts should mainly be pointed at that. The only audience I see us gaining is an already existing subset of the audience we already have for the current lds.org website. It's cool, but I'm not sure it would time/money well-spent.


There is enough work to do in RL yes, but you may not be aware that there are real world individuals behind each of the SL avatars. Just fyi. ;)

As far as the audience goes, can you be sure that governments such as China (and any other government that restricts freedom of religion) allow free and unfettered HTTP access to lds.org? It would be trivial for such governments to enact network policies that completely prohibit access to lds.org by its one billion plus possible citizen converts... and network policies can be imposed (or removed) on a whim. Conversely, it would be pretty much impossible to apply such simple network restriction rules in SL. Once established, the virtual Temple Square could be visited by anyone anywhere in the real world that has access to a copmuter. It would be very unlikely that China would prohibit access to SL, since the cat has already been let out of the bag. Thousands of Chinese citizens participate in SL, including a Chinese national with the distinction of becoming the first SL citizen to make herself a millionaire (in US dollars) by only conducting business in the virtual world of Second Life.

The press coverage would be a side benefit of course. More bang for the buck to do it now imho. "The LDS Church opened its' visionary virtual Temple Square in Second Life today...." - I can see the headline now. Heh.

cheers.

--rus.

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Postby russellhltn » Thu May 03, 2007 12:05 pm

Based on some past experience, I suspect what's needed to get church involvement is some signs of actual results rather then just some vision. Are there no SL members acting as missionaries? Have they gotten any RL results?

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Mr. M-p40
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Pardon my perspective...I hope I don't offend.

Postby Mr. M-p40 » Sat May 05, 2007 12:11 am

I am actually surprised that there would be a discussion about SL as a tool for the church. In the end SL is a game. I sincerely hope that it would never be considered by the church. I think that it would be a huge waste in the Lord's resources. What would be to gain? Virtual baptisms? Virtual converts?

It is a tool to generate revenue for a Linden Labs. If you were to go to the home page of Second Life you would see some Zombie Samurai. I severely doubt the church would benefit in any way by associating itself with such a venture.

I hope I don't offend anyone, as there are probably several opinions and there are many SLers out there that take it very seriously.

Sorry for the rant but I personally discourage people from joining SL. It is addictive and that time could be spent interacting with RLers.

:)

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mkmurray
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Good discussion that's probably done now

Postby mkmurray » Sat May 05, 2007 10:42 am

I think I might have to step in and say let's informally close this discussion. I think some valid points have been made for and against this idea. However, I'm afraid if we continue, the comments will be more argumentative in nature rather than constructive.

There have been some great ideas put forth and I think it best we leave it where it's at. If someone at the Church gets taken by this idea, then the purpose of this thread has been acheived. If no one at the Church agrees with the idea, then it was worth putting forward as an idea. I don't think anyone has stepped over the line yet; but I would just like to keep from turning this thread into a bunch of refutations and getting feelings hurt or the mood becoming less than productive.

Again, I do appreciate everyone's comments and I feel this has been an informative and productive discussion. My personal opinion has changed a little bit because of the discussion. Thanks for your cooperation.

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WelchTC
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Postby WelchTC » Sun May 06, 2007 4:32 am

mkmurray wrote:I think I might have to step in and say let's informally close this discussion. I think some valid points have been made for and against this idea. However, I'm afraid if we continue, the comments will be more argumentative in nature rather than constructive.

There have been some great ideas put forth and I think it best we leave it where it's at. If someone at the Church gets taken by this idea, then the purpose of this thread has been acheived. If no one at the Church agrees with the idea, then it was worth putting forward as an idea. I don't think anyone has stepped over the line yet; but I would just like to keep from turning this thread into a bunch of refutations and getting feelings hurt or the mood becoming less than productive.

Again, I do appreciate everyone's comments and I feel this has been an informative and productive discussion. My personal opinion has changed a little bit because of the discussion. Thanks for your cooperation.

Very well put. I've closed the thread.

Tom

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WelchTC
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Larry Richman Blog

Postby WelchTC » Fri May 11, 2007 11:17 am

Larry Richman, the Director of the Internet Coordination Group for the Church posted a blog about Second Life. You can read it here.

Tom

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Postby russellhltn » Fri May 11, 2007 11:45 am

I think this validates what I indicated before - members move in on their own, the church watches, and when the concept is validated in the leader's minds, then the church will officially move in. That's what happened when the Internet became popular and I think it answers the concerns expressed.

Anyone who believes in the SL vision, now seems to be the time to join up and help move it to fruition. The fact there has been one RL baptism is very encouraging. For those who disagree, SL will succeed or fail on it's own merit. If it fails it will only "waste" some self-selected volunteers' time.


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