Matthew Murdoch ran a study, under the supervision of Jim Davies, which found that people get the same spiritual feelings from an virtual church on a computer screen versus the same church in real life. This suggests that we can investigate the emotional effects of real-world locations using simulations.
The link to the paper below is a for a free download of the paper until about December 27, 2017.
Murdoch, M. & Davies, J. (2017). Spiritual and affective responses to a physical church and corresponding virtual model. Cyberpsychology, Behavior, and Social Networking. 20(11); 702—708.