Religion/spirituality and VR may seem like an odd pairing, but the idea of churches in virtual worlds is not a new thing. There have been churches operating in Second Life for many years now.
In the virtual world of AltspaceVR (which was recently bought by Microsoft), D. J. Soto is launching what might be the first church service in virtual reality:
Welcome to the Virtual Reality Church! VR Church exists to encourage you on your spiritual journey.
What’s Virtual Reality Church like? The first 30 minutes are somewhat formal with worship music and a mini-sermon. The rest of the time is very informal with discussion and hanging out.
At the beginning, a VR pastor will welcome everyone. Then we will spend the first 5 to 10 minutes listening to worship music. During this time, you can sing, mediate, pray, or simply take it all in by enjoying the worship music.
After the worship music, a VR pastor will give us a short interactive sermon. Sermons are designed to encourage your spiritual journey.
At the end of the sermon, we encourage attendees to meet each other and to discuss the sermon. This is a great opportunity to ask questions, make new friends, or simply hang out.
Who can attend? Everyone is invited! It doesn’t matter if you believe in God or not.
Who is Pastor DJ? DJ Soto is a pastor, apostle, and film-maker from the United States. He has a passion for movies, gaming, technology, and virtual worlds. He also has a passion to think of new ways to spread the message of God’s love for the world. Feel free to email your prayer needs to Pastor DJ at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Also of note is SacredVR, which bills itself “The World’s First VR Spiritual Community”, and which hosts weekly meetings in AltspaceVR and Sansar. Here’s a link to their Sansar experience, which is just one of the Sansar standard scene templates for now. Meetings are every Tuesday at 1:00 p.m. Pacific Time/Sansar Time.