I really am still researching Second Life. But only every other day, to prevent addiction.
It's very addictive. It's one of those things, for me, where I come home from work, sit down to play in SL for a little while, and the next thing I know it's midnight. It is good, I think, to have such a powerful pastime on one's life, as long as it doesn't take over.
The UU Church of Second Life is getting a lot of publicity, too. Apparently there will soon be an article in USA Today, and in a week or so in the on-line UU world. I was interviewed for the latter, and will make a link here when the story appears.
I volunteered to lead an in-world (second life world, that is) covenant group on Monday evening, instantly had 6 participants, and we had a discussion that left me with some insights. Hopefully the same for others. At the end, there were several attempts to get the Avitars to hug or hold hands, and it really felt good when we managed it. It was a very real connection we made in that hour, and they wanted to symbolize it with real movement. (they also wanted to go on talking, which presumably they did. I had to go.)
I was asked today what the spirituality of Second Life was, and what occurred to me is that there is a spirituality of good conversation and real connection with people, and that spirituality is not in the least dependent on whether the connection happens in person, by letter, or by playing with avitars in virtual reality. That real connection means that things like group moments of silence have all the extra power they do at church. Secondly there's a kind of analogy between Sl and Rl and Sl and spiritual reality that gives SL religious activities special power.
The entry into Second Life has a steep learning curve; moving, talking, creating, seeing...you have to learn to do it all. You are forever getting completely lost, your camera focused into nothingness, you can't tell the black sky from your black shoe, and on it goes. You're not often quite sure where you are or what you are supposed to be doing.
Learning to pray was a lot like that for me, actually. The Spiritual life is about as "virtual" as a world can come, and I'm mostly lost there, wondering what I am supposed to be doing, as well. Camera always out of focus. Steep learning curve. But in the end, a sense that, despite all appearances, it is really real.