Five years from now, or sometime in between, AR and VR will have become mainstream, and ordering a VR world would be nothing that a Fiverr gig can’t do.
Evangelical preachers will turn into this unchartered territory, as they turned to explore the Wild West and tried to save the souls they thought were strayed.
As 2012 passed, and like always, no catastrophe happened, other than the slow idiotization of our culture, future apocalyptic events seem to have run out of dates, until some archeologist reinterprets some ancient ruin in Iraq, and finds a new catchy number. Or until a creative troll on the Internet devises a new conspiracy altogether with a closer date, as to make it such an immediate urgency that droves of credulous will run into his Amazon Affiliate blog to purchase prepper equipment.
As century after century religious scatology never comes into fruition, they’ll have to make it happen, or re-create the experiences, if they want to keep selling their holy oils and fund their luxury jets.
So, imagine the concept and the business model:
Faith is weakening against the overreaching discoveries of science, with every day bringing a new discovery that closes the door to the mystical explanation.
What to do? They must show that sin leads to destruction and the coming of very bad prophecies. Thus, they’ll create Augmented Reality experiences, where the participant actions will be tracked, and the future punishment in hell will be shown to happen in this world, with the appropriate level of sadism that these preachers enjoy.
Hell, you could have a version made for Oculus Rift, where all your social media interactions and WhatsApp messages have been tracked in search of the forbidden (you can adjust parameters per each religion standards). Before going to sleep, you get to experience your “future” purgatory experience, so your not so good night’s sleep will reinforce your fear of God.
For God sake, even better! Using EEG tech to track your thoughts and emotions, and a camera that knows when you’re looking at thy neighbor’s wife, you could be properly judged for the sin of mental adultery. What a heaven for the keepers of the faith!
Now, you could build a score tracking system, to see who’s been the bad boy of the month between your friends, or who’s the little angel.
Then add a payment system for the forgiveness of your sins, where you can ask fellow Christians to pray for you (they get paid for the gig, and the platform takes a commission). Holy s$%! We are talking billions here, billions.
In version 2.0, add personalized advertisement a la AdSense, adjusted to the types of sins committed by the user, their frequency, hour of the day…This way they could get a direct connection to preachers or “Faith Facilitators” specialized in their most beloved pitfalls.
After the release of version 2.0, you’ll have a sufficiently large data set to implement a Machine Learning algorithm. Now you can even get a preacher to call you right before you’re most likely to commit a sin! Or in the case of North Korea, get detained before perpetrating the sin of alternative thinking.
Wait a moment, the last update might be problematic. Think about it, with sin prevention comes no sins, no guilt, no business. Some preachers could create a network of “temptation agents” to purify by test the faith of the flock, and these agents could get commission by referrals from those preachers. You got to keep the money rolling.
Just imagine the potential, the Catholic Church and the TV preachers of the US know nothing about money compared to this disruptive model. It could be called the Virtual Kingdom: “Come enjoy the benevolent dictatorship of Christ, here on Earth, for once.”
As for myself, I prefer to play the devil’s advocate in this case, and I’ll say that this goddamn business is meant to fail.