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Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Virtual Worlds, Virtual Property  
On Monday, December 2, at 12:15 p.m., I'm giving a talk at Stanford on the real-world economic issues generated by online fantasy worlds. There will possibly be more comedy than enlightenment on offer, given how bizarre a lot of these issues have become, but it may be worth your while to drop by if you're in the neighborhood. For more information, check out the relevant Center for Internet and Society web page, where you will find this nicely informative blurb:

Julian Dibbell will discuss real-world legal issues rooted in virtual-world economies. In the last five years, virtual worlds like the massively multiplayer role-playing games EverQuest and Ultima Online have become sources of genuine wealth for their inhabitants. Scarce in-game items and well-developed player accounts sell on eBay for hundreds of dollars, with assets accruing to players at a rate that dwarfs the GNP per capita of major economies like India's and China's. But who actually owns this wealth? The companies that create the virtual worlds, or the players who generate the virtual economies? At least one lawsuit has sought to resolve this question, and others are sure to follow. Dibbell will lay out the facts, the issues, and the case for rethinking the status of virtual property within existing intellectual property regimes.

11:47 PM

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