Imagine There’s No Countries . . .

Considering the Possibility and Practice of Global Citizenship

Virtual Global Citizenship Revisited or Is It Wrong to Wear Virtual Shoes in a Virtual Mosque?

Posted by bklunk on February 3, 2009

Second Life and The Sacred: Islamic Space in a Virtual World | Digital Islam

Krystina Derrickson’s article describes the presentation and experience of Islam in the virtual world Second Life.

Islamic religious spaces are present in the multi-user virtual environment Second Life. Because they are designed after emotionally-charged real life sacred sites, such as Mecca, and because their designers instruct users to follow behavioral regulations typical of real life Islamic sacred spaces, the virtual spaces are interpreted as ambiguously sacred. This paper examines this phenomenon, utilizing the theories of Ken Hillis to explain how characteristics of virtuality, combined with the factors listed above, have led to this ambiguity. As ‘the virtual’ contains such ambiguously sacred sites as Mecca (though not as sacred as the geographical location in the Hijaz), theorists of religion should consider virtually-mediated experiences as one form of contact with ‘the sacred.’

Are there possibilities for educating for global citizenship in this experiment?  One of interesting aspects is the possibility of interacting with others from around the world without any fears based on personal security.More information about the Understanding Islam through Virtual Worlds Project can be found at Dancing Ink Productions.

There is a really interesting research project here for somebody.


2 Responses to “Virtual Global Citizenship Revisited or Is It Wrong to Wear Virtual Shoes in a Virtual Mosque?”

  1. mayacu said

    I think this is a great way to meet people around the world and educate people about global issues and concepts from the safety of their own home. Not everyone wants to travel or even be considered a “global citizen,” but this is a great way to tentatively explore new things and become more aware about the people and world around us. While I do not think that this is a good substitute for hands-on and physically interactive education, I realize that for some people this is a much better and more viable option. And it is a great resource for all of us to have. It seems to be the closest way to interact with other people and societies personally without actually physically going there. What a great opportunity!

  2. byersk said

    Can you now make a pilgrimage to Mecca without leaving your home?

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