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Virtually SacredMyth and Meaning in World of Warcraft and Second Life$
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Robert M. Geraci

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780199344697

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: April 2014

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199344697.001.0001

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Sacred Second Lives

Sacred Second Lives

Chapter:
(p.170) 6 Sacred Second Lives
Source:
Virtually Sacred
Author(s):

Robert M. Geraci

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780199344697.003.0006

This chapter describes how Second Life was built, in part, as a quasi-religious project, and many of its residents continue to use it for religious purposes. Specifically, Second Life now serves as both inspiration and base of operations for many of those who wish to transcend mortal lifetimes by uploading their minds into virtual worlds. Thanks to the efforts of Linden Lab designers and Second Life residents, who are deeply influenced by science fiction and popular science (including mind uploading theories in contemporary pop artificial intelligence), the virtual world contributes to a century-long experiment in transhumanism. Just as World of Warcraft can be an “authentic fake,” so can Second Life: it can provide authentically religious products in a secular package. Philip Rosedale, the man behind Second Life, aligned it with the hope that we can overcome human limitations and mortality through technology; subsequent transhumanists have cheerfully worked toward that vision, making Second Life their home and helping to spread the religion in world.

Keywords:   Authentic fake, Linden Lab, Mind uploading, Science fiction, Second Life, Transhumanism

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