An avatar worships

I’ve now had the opportunity to sample how Christian worship is conducted in Second Life. I find that my head goes through some mental calisthenics that threaten to stand in the way of truly enjoying the worship experience.

A lot of premeditated thought goes into making my avatar behave the way I would were I actually on that round rug deep under the water. Barring the fact that I would drown to death, that is.

Take for instance a Bible study led by Zang Itano. When Zang leads us in a prayer, I would have to press Escape twice to get my follow cam back to its home position two meters behind my avatar and then hold down Alt and click a space immediately in front of me to make the avatar bow his head. When Zang asks, “Amen?”, looking for agreement, I would type “/yes”, triggering a programmed gesture that makes the avatar nod his head.

Or, take for instance a Praise & Worship service led by AcousticEnergy Nitely. I would have to fish a special animation out of my Inventory called Worship 1.1 and play it to make the avatar raise his paws to heaven and sway side to side.

To make a long story short, my head is still too much involved in the nuts and bolts of digital puppetry to really lose itself in the worship experience. It’s a lot of work—brainwork—to make Skye Vanistok do what comes so naturally to my real body.

So the question that comes to me is this: Is it really worship, this pulling the strings thing that doesn’t really let you feel it?

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One thought on “An avatar worships

  1. Worship needs to be real. Compare this to working with Jim Henson and your production team wants to worship. Do you worship with your puppets, or do you put them aside and get serious about the worship? With puppets, it’s a no brainer. Or what if you’re in a giant robot, and your buddies in battlemechs decide to have a prayer session? It’s not necessary to make the robot bow. Just pray normally. What’s important is being honest with God, not putting on a puppet show. Who cares what your puppet form is doing? When you pray, pray, don’t puppet pray.

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