Virtual Reality Church

by A  Alistair de

Ended on February 25th 2017

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A virtual world where you can share devotionals and read the bible in beautiful natural settings

A Virtual Reality Experience of Psalm 1

$20US
0 pledges

An virtual reality experience of Psalm 1 designed to encourage and strengthen. By default the experience will be provided on Android (Google Cardboard Goggles Not Included); however for non android or non VR users we will have desktop versions of the app available.

Holy Mountain Virtual Reality Experience of Psalm 15

$50US
0 pledges

Receive a virtual reality experience of Psalm 15 with wisdom on achieving stability in life. By default the experience will be provided on Android (Google Cardboard Goggles Not Included); however for non android or non VR users we will have desktop versions of the app available.

Blessed Are Those That See God - Limited Availability

$100US
0 of 50 taken

A 12 minute sermon on purity delivered in virtual reality. By default the experience will be provided on Android (Google Cardboard Goggles Not Included); however for non android or non VR users we will have desktop versions of the app available.

Unique Virtual Reality Beatitude Journey

$1,000US
| 0 of 8 taken

An experience of a unique virtual reality beatitude journey based on your choice of beatitude, no other purchaser will experience the same journey. By default the experience will be provided on Android and a pair of google cardboard goggles will be included on request; however for non android or non VR users we will have desktop versions of the app available.

Personalised VR Bible Experience

$10,000US
| 0 of 100 taken

Provide us with your favourite 10 bible verses and your preferred natural environment and we will use the VR Church software to create a virtual experience just for you. By default the experience will be provided on Android with a pair of custom VR Church google cardboard goggles included; however for non android or non VR users we will have desktop versions of the app available.

Immersive Gaming

Flexible Funding
www.vrchurch.online
Technology New South Wales, Australia

Why do this?

Some time back I found that in the Book of Psalms ‘King David’ had written down the key to turning around negative emotions: and let’s face it, he had to deal with a lot of them. In his lifespan he had to face some extreme challenges:

  • Unusual courage in the face of Goliath,
  • Repentance after Bathsheba
  • His own son tried to kill him
  • He gave honor in the face of persecution
  • He kept hope in God’s promises: even after 40 years of waiting to be king.

I found this key to turning around negative emotions. In fact it was absolutely vital: it helped me deal with envy, bitterness, worry, anger and all the sorts of emotions that I was apparently not supposed to have as a good Christian. Alongside countering negative emotion, there is also a journey into the pure blessings of the Beatitudes. The Beatitudes are a set of 8 blessings from Christ that turn conventional wisdom on it’s head and replace it with something completely virtuous: pure and free from blemish. I wanted to get this ability to turn around negative emotions and replace it with virtue out to people in a way that would help as many people as possible.

The VR Church Solution

In order to make this experience as effective as possible I needed to ensure people have a calm environment that distracts them from their worries and allowed them to absorb the wisdom of the Psalms in a peaceful and tranquil setting. For this I created an experimental virtual reality application called VR Church on Samsung Gear VR.  It started off as an experiment that was just me publishing something useful to me; but then people started to download it, lots of people!!! VR Church is now highly rated and would benefit people tremendously by being taken to the next level by updating it with these new features:

  • First publishing of the entire bible in a virtual reality application
  • Ability to create your own journeys / devotionals
  • Stereoscopic and Highere quality backgrounds and art assets
  • Daily devotionals and updates
  • iPhone / Android App – create, share and enjoy journeys on your phone
  • Desktop Versions – High quality desktop verisons

imageVirtual Reality Church provides you that space where you can get away, reflect and come back with a whole new perspective from the bible. These periods of devotion or reflection have provide a great way for people to connect with God during their busy lives and also learn the lessons that the bible teaches us of people. I hope to be able to share this with as wide an audience as possible so that they can enjoy this as well. Currently Virtual Reality Church offers a small section of the bible and is a completely solo experience; however if I  had the funds then I would be able to focus on this further and make this into a community of people sharing devotional journeys through beautiful virtual worlds.

What do people think of VR Church?

The existing app is highly rated on the Samsung Gear VR / Oculus App Store and includes a number of beautiful natural scenes where you can experience the beatitudes and the psalms with calm worship sounds in the background: https://www.oculus.com/experiences/gear-vr/1135979366469525/

It only came out recently and already has nearly 10,000 downloads. We have an average review of 4.1/5.0 and some really encouraging comments which it would be great to respond to:

  • ***** Awesome start Perfect for devotionals, good start. Looking forward for more. I can see the potential for this to become a good platform for devotional. Some suggestions: 1) include the whole bible 2) add daily devotionals (like Daily Bread). Blessings – Supacalypse
  • ***** Always great to hear true words of our Lord and savior – blopez313
  • **** I found the experience very tranquil. I really liked how easy it is to navigate. The scenery and music plus the layout of the psalms on the scrolls all added to the tranquil feel. Great features. Very inovative. Will be recommending to friends. – leemainia

Those are the positive reviews; but we have had one or two areas of negative feedback which we also need your help to address

  • * Feels like a cheap attempt to appeal to appeal to Christians. Floating bannets of a single psalm. The environment doesn’t even fit the actual Psalm.

Although the user missed the rest of the content, there is truth to their comments. The experimental app was done with no budget, just lots of late nights, and so it actually was cheap and it did appeal to Christians. This app though isn’t just to appeal to Christians, it is to appeal to non Christians and non church goers as well, and to do that then we do need to take the graphics and audio to the next level for them.

image   Compared to what is possible, this app is just a simple demonstration and can be taken further: vitual reality need not be a solo experience. By sharing devotionals and experiences from devotionals we can bring people together and curate a collection of journeys through the bible that can help people with the issues and needs of their everyday lives: from depression to envy to releasing joy: there is much we can get from devotional time and we are hoping that you will help fund this project as a pioneering new way to engage people with life altering biblical content.

The Team

The team currently consists of:

  • Alistair de B Clarkson: Architect, Audio, Coder & Writer – 10 years commercial coding experience and a Diploma in Ministry
  • Devin Stickells: Coder, Audio & Writer – 1 year coding experience and a Cert IV in Ministry
  • David J Soto: Advisor – Former Pastor at GT Church, now called to run the Virtual Church Experience where people who can’t go to church can now join eachother vritually using Altspace VR: http://360rumors.blogspot.com.au/2016/08/first-church-in-vr.html
  • Brian Leupold: Advisor – Produced the first VR Church application on google cardboard inspired by his friend Henry who is a quadriplegic. Through the generosity of others he was able to get Henry VR Gear and in Henry’s own words ‘it changed my life’ https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.Archvision3D.Cardboard

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The project so far has been self funded and involved selling cars to pay living expenses while it was being developed, we need your generosity. With your help we can reach a wider audience with this application and hopefully really impact peoples lives. Thank you for reading and please consider sponsoring us if you can!

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