The State of Play, Dead Tree Version

Just in time for the seminar I will be co-teaching next semester on the law of virtual worlds, NYU Press has published a great book on the subject called The State of Play, edited by Jack Balkin and Beth Noveck. I’m going to take the liberty to reprint Jack’s description of it:

Michael Froomkin, James Grimmelmann, David Johnson, Dan Hunter, Raph Koster, Greg Lastowka, Cory Ondrejka, Tracy Spaight and Tal Zarsky.

Here’s a short description of the book:

Millions of people around the world inhabit virtual words: multiplayer online games where characters live, love, buy, trade, cheat, steal, and have every possible kind of adventure. Far more complicated and sophisticated than early video games, people now spend countless hours in virtual universes like Second Life and Star Wars Galaxies not to shoot space invaders but to create new identities, fall in love, build cities, make rules, and break them.

As digital worlds become increasingly powerful and lifelike, people will employ them for countless real-world purposes, including commerce, education, medicine, law enforcement, and military training. Inevitably, real-world law will regulate them. But should virtual worlds be fully integrated into our real-world legal system or should they be treated as separate jurisdictions with their own forms of dispute resolution? What rules should govern virtual communities? Should the law step in to protect property rights when virtual items are destroyed or stolen?

These questions, and many more, are considered in The State of Play, where legal experts, game designers, and policymakers explore the boundaries of free speech, intellectual property, and creativity in virtual worlds. The essays explore both the emergence of law in multiplayer online games and how we can use virtual worlds to study real-world social interactions and test real-world laws.

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One Response to The State of Play, Dead Tree Version

  1. Gus says:

    From time-to-time, can we make jokes here?

    Your law of virtual worlds seminar sounds very interesting, but after reading your post, I was tempted to ask…

    what’s on the curriculum :

    • How to choose your avatar
    • The do’s and don’ts of asking for a picture
    • Social networking sites, which community is best for you
    • Second Life – How to Win Friends and Influence People

    Jokes like that.

    I’m very interested to hear more about your seminar.

    But I don’t want to annoy you.

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