State of Play


Life in the Metaverse

State of Play III: Social Revolutions is the third annual conference on the future of cyberspace, from a legal perspective. Convened by the Institute for Information Law & Policy at New York Law School, the Information Society Project at Yale Law School, and the Berkman Center for Internet and Society at Harvard Law School. This year, the conference focused on social relationships in the metaverse and how to build vibrant, flourishing, creative places.

The 2003 conference "State of Play I: Law, Games and Virtual Worlds," introduced the emerging legal, economic, cultural and sociological issues in three-dimensional computer environments. Participants from a variety of different disciplines discussed the impact of virtual worlds on real world law and the rise of law in virtual worlds. Papers explored avatar rights and virtual world identity, among other topics centered on the legal aspects.

"State of Play II: Reloaded" highlighted two themes: the role of intellectual property and governance in virtual worlds. Should we import copyright and trademark into virtual spaces? Can we exclude them? What should be the relationship between real and virtual world economies? Should legislatures protect virtual world property? What are the possibilities for using virtual spaces to practice the activities of real world democracy? Should virtual worlds be treated as separate jurisdictions with their own evolving norms and forms of dispute resolution? What is the potential for using virtual worlds to promote democracy and self-governance?

Archives include video documentation from all three conferences.