Nyligen publicerade jag och Tim Hutchings en artikel i Nordic Journal of Religion and Society (2014:1) om hur kyrkor och andra kristna platser representeras i den virtuell världen Second Life. Tyvärr är ännu inte hela artikeln tillgänglig online, men här är den engelska sammanfattningen:
Bild från Serenata – en av de mer fantasifulla kreationerna.
This study aims to construct a typology of the visual style of Christian spaces in the online virtual world of Second Life (SL). Virtual worlds offer diverse new possibilities for architectural style, unrestricted by gravity, weather or scarcity of materials. These new regions also operate largely beyond the control and indeed awareness of established religious authorities, so they can also offer users new opportunities to reconsider the social structure of their communities. This research project aims to survey religious responses to these new potential freedoms. Research to date on religion in SL has focused on small samples of spaces or activity, but we found 114 Christian spaces. An overwhelming number of the locations we visited featured a Christian church building. 81 of 114 included a church building that reproduced a recognizable offline architectural style, and only 9 included a church with an entirely different style. Only 15 Christian locations had buildings that cannot be characterised as churches.