Friday, February 13, 2009

Dreaming Cyborg Dreams: Virtual Identity and Religious Experience

Religion Dispatches has an interesting story that touches on my research interests in synthetic worlds or cybersociality. The story is by Rachel Wagner and it is titled "Dreaming Cyborg Dreams: Virtual Identity and Religious Experience." Wagner introduces her story with the following:

"In this essay, I look at four types of immersive new media that address the issue of religious identity: Waco Resurrection, a religiously-inspired first-person shooter, Noah’s Ark, a religious online reality show; Roma Victor, a massively-multiplayer online role-playing game, and religious experiences in the online world of Second Life.

"In each of these examples, the level of immersion in online identity plays a very powerful role in shaping the authenticity of religious experience, as channeled through those digital representations of self that virtual natives call their avatars.
Wagner's article provides an interesting glimpse into the concept of virtual identity and how this connects to a sense of religious identity as experienced in synthetic worlds.

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