Category Archives: Virtual Worlds

Extending real-world laws to virtual worlds is a terrible idea

Governments shouldn’t interfere with the internal regulations of virtual worlds. The value of a virtual world is the fact that it exists, in an imaginary sense, outside the bounds of the real world. We visit virtual worlds to escape the real world.1 Dr. Richard Bartle wrote about this intrusion of the real world into the […]

Rivalrous and Non-Rivalrous ‘things’: Explained through song and illustration

I written multiple times about the difference between rivalrous and non-rivalrous things.  The basic difference is that only one person can ‘possess’ somethiing that is rivalrous; whereas more than one person can possess something non-rivalrous. has a post by Jacqui Lipton that links to an illustrated music video that helps explain this concept.  It […]

Using privacy law to protect virtual resources rather than property law

Author’s Note: This an excerpt from an early draft of a paper I am currently writing. I.    Introduction Applying property rights  to virtual resources is often justified by arguing that property rights will allow consumers and users to better protect their interests online and in online games.  Garrett Ledgerwood, in Virtually Liable, argues “[a] court’s […]

If not Terms of Service, then what?

The Electronic Frontier Foundation has an article discussing the recent banning of thousands of user-modified XBoxes. 1  The EFF’s article is intended to illustrate the dangers of Terms of Service (ToS) or Terms of Use (ToU) entered into by consumers when they use a service.  The danger is the wholesale signing away of your right to […]

Briefly why the rule of law does exist in virtual worlds already, and why it is doctrinally dangerous to think otherwise

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Carving virtual worlds out of the general jurisdiction of law is a mistake. Laws govern what occurs in virtual worlds to the extent that those actions fall under a law’s regulation. Just as a contract may be formed over the phone, so to can it be formed in a virtual worlds.

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Similarly, actions constituting Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress can occur in a virtual world just as they might in the real world.