Understanding Islam through Virtual Worlds (2008-2009)

This project documents people sharing information in a virtual world where physical harm is not a factor and where issues such as gender, race, age and physical ability are hidden from view, thus creating a level field in which conversations can take place.
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When Fouts joined Dancing Ink Productions as Chief Global Strategist in December 2007, he and Rita King decided to turn the project into a quest to see what they could learn about Islam—not by inviting particular people with particular perspectives into Second Life, but rather to follow the trail of what was already happening culturally in the space that might yield new insight about Islam. We (Fouts and King) are conducting this project as Carnegie Council Senior Fellows.

With a belief that peace is not the absence of conflict but one's attitude toward it, this project seeks to document the existence of a stunning new narrative that begins when people share information about their real lives and beliefs in a virtual world where physical harm is not a factor and where issues such as gender, race, age and physical ability are hidden from view on first sight, thus creating a level field in which conversations can take place.

We are in the process of creating five machinima videos, a report on the project, and policy recommendations for how virtual worlds can best be used for Understanding Islam.

If you'd like to contribute videos, machinima, reports, thoughts, snapshots, live footage or commentary within the group, please join now to take part in the community's mission to fearlessly and transparently explore Understanding Islam. We are reporting on each and every discovery related to Islam that we uncover in Second Life.

We welcome suggestions, calendar items and discussion. We especially benefit from the input of the many ordinary people who are learning in virtual worlds to become cultural revolutionaries—not those who buck convention for the sake of being incendiary, but those who refuse to be knocked off course by the criticism that can be attracted as a result of participating in a difficult process of transformation.

Understanding Islam, The Imagination Age


To learn more about Dancing Ink Productions, go to http://www.youtube.com/dancinginkTV
Program Resources

Read More: Islam

Understanding Islam through Virtual Worlds (2008-2009)

Program Staff

Joshua S. Fouts
(Carnegie Council Senior Fellow 2008-2009)

Rita J. King
(Carnegie Council Senior Fellow 2008-2009)

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