Research: What are virtual funerals?

Virtual Funeral, Real Healing, Part 1

Virtual Funeral, Real Healing, Part 2

How to Deal with Death Online: Death on the Internet

Christopher doesn’t leave his home much (long story), and most of his friends are online. If a funeral is how one gains closure, how can he do so when those who might support him are all miles away? Religious ceremonies are symbols of transition from an old way of life to a new one. If that’s the case, this funeral becomes no less legitimate by being held in a virtual world.
Facebook is one of the social networking sites that has included a statement on death in their Terms of Use: 'When we are notified that a user has died, we will generally, but are not obligated to, keep the user's account active under a special memorialized status for a period of time determined by us to allow other users to post and view comments.'
If the deceased was not in touch with any of his or her online friends in the real world, this means these friends often have no way of finding out what happened to this person. An Online Death Notification Service offers one solution. Such a Notification Service involves the storage of a list of online contacts that are notified when family informs the Service that the user has died.

Live streaming funerals

Death on the Internet: The Rise of Livestreaming Funerals

Funeral live-streaming might encourage 'lazy mourners'

A growing number of crematoriums are fitting webcams so that mourners can watch funeral proceedings live online.

Around a fifth of Britain’s 281 crematoriums already offered a live streaming service, according to a recent survey, while 61 per cent of funeral directors had received requests for services to be live-streamed. 

Supporters of the new trend point out that live-streaming allows grieving friends and relatives who are unable to travel to feel part of a funeral from a distance. 

“To have death and mourning transferred online takes away that tangible proof. What is there to show us that death is real?”
“Death is becoming less hidden, more public, in our society because of the Internet and contemporary online responses to grief and loss.”

Virtual funeral in World War II Online


This is a unique aspect of the online game Battleground Europe/WWIIOnline- when beloved players die in Real Life, players remember them with an online funeral service.

Virtual funeral Second Life


The v-funeral of "Stanley W.", filmed with permission in Second Life. Forgive the handheld-camera feel here, this is the first time I've ever recorded machinima myself.
Phase 1Jens ObelResearch