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I agree, Father. "Second Life" is an illusion, role playing and tantamount to a confession of what we wish we were and a projection of how we wish people to perceive us, in other words our "plastic faces" once removed and even more deviously altered for the sake of others who are similarly altered. It is digital SCA/Ren fest stuff. We cannot have a "Second Life" Orthodox Church simply for the reasons you stated: it is Eucharistic thus by definition, incarnational, not digital. One may see it as evangelism and introductory to the reality, in a sense an "icon" of the true Church, but the very nature of the medium caters to the fallen tendency to illusion and false pretenses. There was an old New Yorker cartoon of two dogs, one at a computer speaking to another sitting on the floor by his chair saying, "No one is a dog on the internet." Let us attend.

Joseph, thank you kindly for your scouting report. I hope your journey back went okay (i.e., no layovers in the servers).

I wonder if the time signatures on Joseph's posts indicate two hours of "virtual life." Is this what St. Paul meant when he spoke of "redeeming the time" in Eph. 5:16? I once had a friend who lost himself in the pseudo-community of cyberspace. He's 40 years old and lives with his mother in her mobile home, and works just enough to pay for his ultraslick cybergear. Is this where we're going with MySpace and Second Life -- a culture of disassociated drones? I once thought of hell as an endless casino filled by old ladies mindlessly pulling the lever on the slot machine. Looks like I'm going to have to update it. That is the future I dread.

There are real life priests, friars, deacons, etc. in there... Orthodox and Catholic. I just watched a rosary gathering with a real voice leading it. Quite interesting.

Out of curiosity, Joseph, what poor saint has patronage of the virtual cathedral? Does he know?

What's it "like"? Remember, you are only "in" Second Life. The virtual world is a world of inverse commas, an universe of irony. Enjoy "yourself," for that's all there is.

In Second Life now. Standing in a virtual Orthodox cathedral. Someone is in fact making Hagia Sophia as I type.

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