Virtual reality hasn’t yet figured out a way for us to taste computerized falafel or feel the dirt on the Western Wall. But on one website, you can still pay a visit to Jerusalem any time you like.
The pixilated Jerusalem on SecondLife.com is a virtual city stocked with video game-type recreations of real-world Jerusalem locations, from the Old City to the Shuk. Players on SecondLife can “walk” around the city, interact with other characters, and do nearly everything you’d do in real-life Jerusalem, like buying souvenirs and flirting with other tourists.
Most unexpected of all is the virtual Yad Vashem, the Holocaust Museum, located on the Mount of Remembrance. The entire building is recreated online. Your avatar can “literally” walk through it, even the haunting Children’s Memorial–all reproduced with an uncanny completeness and a dark, somber feeling that’s shockingly true to the original.
One player posted a video of a character walking through SecondLife’s Jerusalem on YouTube, so that even those of us who aren’t on SecondLife can see what this other Jerusalem is like.