The Rapture Of The Avatar

The Church of Fools, the Internet's first virtual-reality place of worship, got off to an unusual start when the avatar of Reverend Jem Clines turned to face the sanctuary wall and disappeared, leaving virtual parishioners thinking about The Rapture. The problem was caused by a glitch in his computer, involuntarily logging him out of the service. The phrase "rapture" refers to the belief that true believers in Christianity will be translated bodily into heaven, not to be seen again on earth, just prior to the Second Coming.


(From Church of Fools)

The first changes have been made to the church software:

  • The shout function has been removed; this feature allowed any parishioner to speak to the entire church pe any time. However, disruptive people can be heard in your pew, just like regular church.
  • The pulpit/altar/lecturn area has been closed to the public.
  • Church wardens now have the power to smite the wicked; that is, disruptive parishioners can be logged out of the virtual church environment.

The Church of Fools is open 24 hours per day for exploration, chat and prayer; enter the church here. If you haven't tried an interactive virtual environment before, take a look at it. You can whisper quietly with others in the church (not during services, of course!) or stroll down to a fellowship room.

Read more at Church of Fools. You might also want to read our earlier SF in the News story Church of Fools: The Coming of the Avatar; see the references defining the word "avatar" and its use in science fiction and the Internet.

Scroll down for more stories in the same category. (Story submitted 5/13/2004)

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