Second Life?

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russellberrett-p40
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Mormons in Second Life

Postby russellberrett-p40 » Mon May 14, 2007 2:52 pm

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

Tom


Tom,

Ha! Thanks for the link... I'll have to look around and find the places he mentions. My avatar - dressed up in a suit, white shirt, tie, and bicycle helmet - should fit right in! :D

cheers.

--rus.

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Catholic missionaries and Second Life

Postby danpass » Fri Jul 27, 2007 2:57 pm


emckirdy
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It's better than one might think...

Postby emckirdy » Sun Aug 05, 2007 11:08 pm

Much has been speculated in this thread about the usefulness of the current LDS presence in Second Life, so I thought I might volunteer some facts, as one who is intimately involved with the LDS project in Second Life (SL).

SL may seem like nothing more than a game to some, but as a veteran of online community architecture and development, it is apparent that SL is almost as much a community as the town I live in. There's a strong sense of ownership among the regulars, and it's not just another internet chat site. Believe me; I've seen virtual communities spring up fast and die fast due to a lack of sustainability, usually because members become disinterested fast by the lack of things to do, and eventual lack of things to talk about. SL is constantly evolving.

There is opposition in all things, and SL is no different. Yes, there are plenty of places in SL in which you wouldn't want your bishop to find you, but that doesn't make the entire place bad. As I recall, there's a bar on Main Street in Salt Lake City, too, but that doesn't mean we shouldn't ever set foot in that city.

Now, with that out of the way:

The main purpose of the LDS island in SL is a missionary approach. Three months ago, we received non-member visitors to the island at a rate of about one every 20 minutes. Currently (and especially on Sundays), we are receiving non-member visitors at a rate of one every three minutes on average, and on Sundays it's more like one every minute. These stats do not include the LDS members of the island, or other regular visitors.

All of these non-members had to do some kind of search to get to the island, whether it was on keywords like "LDS," "Mormon," "organ," "genealogy," or whatever. Nobody lands there by accident. When they get there, we have signage and interactive links all over the place that point to various resources at lds.org and mormon.org.

We have a replica of the tabernacle, a standard meetinghouse, the RS building and a few other elements, but they are for demonstration purposes only (although we do stream general conference into the virtual tabernacle. Last spring, 30 of us gathered online to watch Conference together in that space). We hold no kind of services in the buildings, though, and are quite clear about that.

Those of us involved with the LDS in Second Life project are in full agreement that the offline world is of primary importance. But numbers don't lie -- people online are curious about us, and our beliefs, so we are answering that curiosity with a responsible place for them to find answers, and hopefully lead to the desire for more information from missionaries. Sure, we could instead wander around other savory parts of Second Life and enjoy it, or not do it at all, but many of us have chosen to keep this project alive to satisfy a growing missionary demand. It's a fun hobby.

Finally, to say that SL is a game is to say that none of the avatars wandering around have real people behind them, and this is simply not true. Every person walking around SL is a real human being, and when they are looking for answers to their questions about our faith -- questions which they may be too intimidated/insecure to ask people offline -- we are more than happy to open some doors. There are places in SL where entertainment is the focus, but not on the LDS island. It's a good work we've undertaken, and we're happy to do it.

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Postby russellhltn » Mon Aug 06, 2007 1:59 am

emckirdy wrote:Currently (and especially on Sundays), we are receiving non-member visitors at a rate of one every three minutes on average, and on Sundays it's more like one every minute. These stats do not include the LDS members of the island, or other regular visitors.

All of these non-members had to do some kind of search to get to the island, whether it was on keywords like "LDS," "Mormon," "organ," "genealogy," or whatever. Nobody lands there by accident.


Quite impressive. Thanks for the information.

Out of curiosity, any idea where the SL numbers are headed for? Is SL itself still growing or it is plateauing? Any known real life baptisms?

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mkmurray
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Postby mkmurray » Mon Aug 06, 2007 6:19 am

RussellHltn wrote:Any known real life baptisms?

LDSWebGuy's article about it mentioned by tomw just a few posts ago states that there is one "committed" to baptism directly from SL.

And agreed, thank you very much for the information. I never doubted that what some of you are doing in SL is productive and good. I say keep it up!

I personally don't think the Church is ready to officially represent itself in a realm like SL yet. As for the decision to dedicate resources and funding to such a project, I leave that in their hands. But that doesn't mean community volunteers can't keep doing a great thing!

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WelchTC
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Postby WelchTC » Mon Aug 06, 2007 6:40 am

mkmurray wrote:LDSWebGuy's article about it mentioned by tomw just a few posts ago states that there is one "committed" to baptism directly from SL.

And agreed, thank you very much for the information. I never doubted that what some of you are doing in SL is productive and good. I say keep it up!

I personally don't think the Church is ready to officially represent itself in a realm like SL yet. As for the decision to dedicate resources and funding to such a project, I leave that in their hands. But that doesn't mean community volunteers can't keep doing a great thing!

I agree. Keep up the great work!

Tom

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Postby emckirdy » Mon Aug 06, 2007 5:08 pm

If the "committed baptism" is the same one I'm thinking of, then it did take place, somewhere in Texas. I saw photographs, but wasn't in attendance. At the moment, there are three island residents who are at various stages of the missionary discussions, and all three are intending to be baptized.

One of the realities of any online community is the great ease with which people can either represent or misrepresent themselves. We are not oblivious to that, and while we certainly hope for the best out of each person, one never knows if there's a different story than what's being presented. The encouraging part of Second Life (to me) is that a vast majority of islanders and residents end up being very invested and committed to the community -- either emotionally, financially, or both -- and therefore are not going to mess around and play games. I never thought I'd see an online community where the greater population was sincere and committed to the common cause.

I agree that the time is probably not right for an official church presence. At the moment, the amount of non-member traffic is no doubt comparatively low compared to other avenues of missionary work. But what raised my hackles reading through this thread were the comments such as "waste of resources" and "more important things to do in the real world," seemingly from people who haven't actually checked things out before forming an opinion.

The last thing I needed was to participate in (nevermind manage) another online community. My wife rues the day when a friend of ours who works at Linden Lab finally coerced me into signing up for an account. And I was prepared to throw in the towel on the entire thing until I stumbled onto the LDS sub-community, and learned of its vision and success. Though it is hard to imagine, as far as the LDS island goes, it's an extension of reality insomuch that these are very real people coming to ask questions about the church and the gospel, and who are seeking more information. I wouldn't describe that as 'imaginary' or 'game-like' at all.

I would invite everyone here to come and take a gander at what's going on, if anyone is so inclined. It has to be seen to be believed.

I really enjoy this whole forum -- these discussion boards are a great addition to the site.

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carljokl
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Postby carljokl » Mon Nov 24, 2008 11:15 am

This is an old thread now but I was curious as to your Second Life name as I am in the community too as "Maximilian Kohl" and wondered if we have met.

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mkmurray
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Postby mkmurray » Mon Nov 24, 2008 12:25 pm

Carl Jokl wrote:This is an old thread now but I was curious as to your Second Life name as I am in the community too as "Maximilian Kohl" and wondered if we have met.

This conversation would better fit in a PM or email. Thanks.

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marianomarini
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the third state

Postby marianomarini » Fri Nov 28, 2008 6:11 am

When I met the Church (1974) I used to explain the pre-existence and mortal life with something like SL.
The only difference is in when you go into SL you still remember your real life.
But going back to the topic, I think, as FUZZY logic fan, that everything has its own top and bottom border and a variety of degree in the midle. So SL could be a good ways to advertise Church but ordinances must be performed into real life. And this real life is the rigth place for Church to stay.
It seem strange, to me, that Church will try to have an official presence in that "immaterial world" where ordinances can't be done.
La vita è una lezione interminabile di umiltà (Anonimo).
Life is a endless lesson of humility (Anonimous).


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