Greg Lastowka has published a very welcome Virtual Law Bibliography — a first try at “a comprehensive list of published law review articles and student notes that focus on the intersection of law and virtual worlds.” This will be very useful the next time Caroline Bradley and I teach our seminar on massively multiplayer games and the law.
(Wish he hadn't left my name off the article I co-authored, but you can't have everything.)
After a very engaging start to his/her blogging career, Lucky Jim, J.D. wrote on Dec. 15, 2007 that s/he'd started to explore Second Life,
I’ve recently begun to explore Second Life. My cover story is that I’m engaged in fieldwork for socio-legal research on law and informal regulation in virtual communities. There’s more than a grain of truth in that. I am in fact interested in that topic, am in fact working on research in that vein, and do in fact believe there’s plenty of interest along those lines in Second Life. There’s even a Second Life Bar Association and a Second Life Law School.
But, the pathetic truth is that I’ve also found my initial forays to be surprisingly enjoyable.
And the blog hasn't been updated since.
Interesting pre-review of the long-awaited Spore, due out in stores in September. bit-tech.net | Spore: Hands-on Preview – Pollinated Content.
Most interesting comment:
one of the coolest and most interesting things about the game on both a technical and casual level [is] the [Pollination] system by which Spore is creating a whole new genre — Massively Online Singleplayer.
Yeah, that seems like a contradiction. Bear with us and let us explain.
Every time a player starts a game in Spore they're given a new planet. The planet is the same every time and serves as little more than a blank slate for the creatures to play on.
Except, it isn't always the same and, although the landscape is always basically the same, the types of other animals and vegetation are actually sourced from other Spore players. Their content spills over into your game to keep things fun and perpetually new but, in order to accommodate to casual gamers and those who don't actually want to play multiplayer, those players aren't actually in control of their content.
For the convenience of readers who do not have the energy to read the latest pleading from Coral-Gables-based anti-video-game-zealot Jack Thompson, AKA John Thompson, in the ongoing proceedings as to whether he should be disbarred, I present the following graphical summary:
(For those who came in late, Wikipedia has a decent background article on Jack Thompson.)
Looking for some ethical questions? Look no further than Kaimipono Wenger, Reparations and Net Benefit which tries to deconstruct defenses based on claims (not always plausible) of accident benefit to the victim.
Or, for something superficially less grim, see James Grimmelmann, Is Gold Farming Mandatory? A Question in Applied Virtual World Ethics
OK, so there are More US Warcraft players than farmers. But are there more gold farmers or soybean farmers?