Anonymous, 24 May 2019
Research on Middle East, Islam and digital media
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A B C D E F G H I J K L M N O P Q R S T U V W X Y Z

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

Second Life and The Sacred: Islamic Space in a Virtual World
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.’
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ISSN 1803-523X
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