At the State of Play conference at New York Law school. Fascinating panel on reporting about—and in some cases, reporting from—virtual worlds. Second Life is mentioned heavily, and the World of Warcraft plague got some play too. Talking now about the interface between these virtual worlds and the real world, which I think is a really fascinating topic. Rebecca MacKinnon and Cam Stracher are modering the panel, consisting of James Au, Daniel Terdiman, Clive Thompson, Julian Dibbell, and a guy who’s name escapes me mostly because he doesn’t seem to have a name plate in front of him.
One thing that strikes me is that many of these virtual worlds aren’t reallly games in the traditional sense at all (much like the Sim series). There’s no real beginning, and there’s clearly no endpoint (which sort of makes most kinds of traditional game theory inapplicable).
Notes—apparently a few law students have set themselves up as judges/mediation services in Second Life. One wonders if they’re setting up a common law system or are they headed more towards a civil law/equity-type system…
Links to be added later (if at all).