At Good News Ministries, we see the use of Virtual Reality (VR) as a powerful evangelization tool. The 3-dimensional, immersive nature of the experience, although it uses an artificial environment, feels real enough to the user to make a significant difference. And it offers online human interaction much more real than anything we’ve done before, bringing together people from around the world to engage and interact with the instructor and with each other during our courses — regardless of social, economic or geographic disparities. (Want more information about this? See: techcrunch.com/2016/01/23/when-virtual-reality-meets-education/)
In the late 1990s, when the Internet was new and very few parishes understood the value of websites, I designed Virtual Tours of churches. When an “early adopter” priest (or technology committee) asked me to build a website for his parish, my Virtual Tours evangelized by adding scriptures and explanations to photos that began with the front door and took the viewers to the baptismal font, altar, stained glass windows, etc. They even got the attention of the Pew Research Center, which recommended my parish’s site as an example of evangelization.
Today, we can put GNM on the leading edge of using VR technology for faith-based education and online retreats. By researching this now and seeking out early steps that are possible now, we are poised to pioneer it for the Church.
Technology experts who study social trends are giving evidence that the next social network site to become THE online social gathering place will be a virtual reality site.
Imagine what Good News Ministries can accomplish as one of the first (perhaps THE first) developers of VR faith-education apps and videos for the Catholic Church.
If you have a VR headset, download into your smart phone GNM’s VR worlds!
You can also view them right here! Move all around and zoom in: After starting the player below, click the three dots that appear in the upper right corner, and then the question mark, to find out how.
We are actively using my back yard as a Virtual Reality Retreat Center (as of June 17, 2016).
You are invited now to join the discussion and help Good News Ministries pioneer the use of Virtual Reality for Retreats and Courses!
- If you have any skills that might help, contact me — we are building a team that includes script-writers, videographers, video editors, 3-D graphic artists, narrators, testers and reviewers, etc.
- If you believe in the evangelizing power of Virtual Reality and would like to support it financially, contact me.
- If you know how to search and apply for grants that will underwrite GNM’s VR development, contact me.
- If you design apps, if you’d like to be one of our developers, see developers.google.com/cardboard. And then contact me.
- If you simply want to see what progress is being made in this exciting pioneer work, subscribe to our Virtual Reality Community. Join the newest way to build your faith! Find out when new Virtual Reality experiences are added to the Good News Ministries website. We will also send you occasional news and celebrations about our Virtual Reality ministry.
Contact me now to get involved!
© 2016 by Terry Modica of Good News Ministries