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Digital Religion: Research in Virtual 3D Environments

Summer School. Bremen, Germany. July 30 - August 09 2010. Instructed by more than 10 international teachers, the participants of will engage for ten days into the interdisciplinary study of practical methods and theoretical approaches for the scientific handling of ritual and media.

Religions on the Internet - Aesthetics and the Dimensions of the Senses

Online Heidelberg Internet Journal
Nadja Miczek
study of religion, blogs, virtual worlds, cultural studies, websites, information and communication technology
Mar 31, 2010

Race, Ethnicity, Diaspora in the Digital Age

Two HASTAC Scholars: Anne Cong-Huyen and Edward Gonzalez-Tennant have hosted a discussion forum on Race, Ethnicity, Diaspora in the Digital Age. The forum should explore the reproduction and (re)configurations of race, ethnicity, and diaspora in digital spaces, including social networks, video games and virtual spaces.

Virtual Journalism at the American University in Cairo

The Virtual Newsroom at the American University in Cairo is a collaborative project to explore virtual news venues as a viable space for the evolution of journalism. As part of this project, Dancing Ink Productions created a newsroom in the virtual world of Second Life for the Kamal Adham Center for Journalism Training and Research at the American University in Cairo. The project is directed by veteran American journalist Lawrence Pintak who directs the Kamal Center and who covered the Middle East for 30 years. It is funded by a grant from USAID. The first tenants of the virtual newsroom are a group of eight Egyptian bloggers.

Video Games, Video Clips, and Islam: New Media and the Communication of Values

This chapter analyzes video games and video clips with an Islamic emphasis and the various levels at which they convey ethical and moral values. Both video games and video clips have been neglected and marginalized by the academy, albeit to varying degrees. Given their pervasiveness, especially among Middle Eastern youth, we are in crucial need today of critical understanding of the different ways these media articulate Islam and communicate it to consumers. This chapter in particular discusses the appropriation of games by various private Islamic companies, operating in the broader religious and cultural context of the Islamic revival and piety movement, for educational purposes. Finally, this chapter discusses how Islamic game production and, more generally, the public discourse of the Islamic piety movement are shaping mainstream video game production targeted at Muslim audiences and the marketing strategies of game production companies.

Breaking New Ground: Innovation in Games, Play, Practice and Theory

Sep 1, 2009 – Sep 4, 2009
United Kingdom
Digital Games Research Association
video games, social aspects, virtual worlds, game studies
Apr 17, 2009
Helland, Christopher, On-line Religion/Religion on-line and Virtual Communitas. In: Hadden J. K.; Cowan D. E. (eds.). Religion on the Internet: Research, Prospects and Promises, Amsterdam-London-New York: JAI, 2000 abstract

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.’
Derrickson, Krystina, Second Life and The Sacred: Islamic Space in a Virtual World. V. Sisler (Ed.) Digital Islam: Research Project on Middle East, Islam and Digital Media, 2008 abstract full text

Summer School: Moving Images and Media Rituals

Summer School organised between 28 July and 8 August 2008 in Heidelberg by the Ritual and Media Working Group of the Collaborative Research Centre SFB 619 "Ritual Dynamics" University of Heidelberg.
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