While some companies try to cash in with virtual reality porn, others are thinking about saving your soul. Most churches haven't set up outposts in virtual worlds, but some future-focused Christian leaders are already imagining how tech like the Oculus Rift could change what it means to be part of a congregation.
Photo: Emilie Ng
Many communities have come together via the internet, but most Christian churches still rely on face-to-face meetings. That means many people get left out, including ones who live in remote areas, or are confined to their homes due to health issues. That's why Rev. Christopher Benek of the First Presbyterian Church of Ft. Lauderdale in Florida thinks that VR will make churches more accessible and popular.
Over at Hypergrid Business, Benek told Giulio Prisco:
Personally, I think that as technology like Oculus Rift becomes more developed, immersive, and available to the general public, we may soon be able to easily develop virtual worship and Christian education experiences. This would be a great asset to the church universal, as it will enable the infirm, homebound, and potentially even the poor to participate from afar regardless of their personal mobility or lack of affordable transportation ...
Congregants and pastors will be able to visit and pray with greater numbers of people more often. Small groups will be able to meet more frequently, even at great distances. The way that we currently do care and discipleship will radically change as will our expectations as to what it means to participate in those aspects of the church.
So basically this reverend is hoping that Christian churches can catch up to what everyone from furries to OpenBSD users have known for years: the internet can bring people together over great distances, to celebrate their unique belief systems. Strap on your goggles and pray.