Future reflections

After our last class today I thought I’d reflect a little on what has really struck me during this class and where it might go in the next iteration.

  1. I had no idea video games had so many legal issues.

I didn’t realise how much money is in the business and how many creating/controlling aspects it throws up. When I picked the course I just thought it would be fun because I like games – I had no idea how much of a serious industry it is. The expansion of the industry from arcades to mobile (to telepathic if Jon’s to be believed!) shows that games and reality are becoming more intertwined than ever before. No wonder privacy law is where we’re all going to get jobs!

  1. Poststructualist classrooms

I was struck during the class about how much the physical location of UBC matters. I’m convinced this course could not exist back home in the UK. Allard Hall’s proximity to Vancouver’s vibrant indie and corporate gaming scene has led to a wealth of fantastic speakers who have enriched the course immensely. But does Video Game Law need to be based in a classroom? More and more I hope this class will lean towards an open internet-based community. The book as a wiki, uploading videos of the classes, guest speakers via Skype, commenting online for participation marks (and virtual Oculus classrooms!) all leads to an open source course. This online information sharing means the class should not be bound by its Vancouver location, which as an exchange student I normally couldn’t access. I know Jon said he was skeptical about distance learning but I believe it could really have merit for this fascinating and unique course.

  1. In one ear and out the other?

This is how studying the law can feel sometimes. You read a case, memorise it, think of a controversial opinion and scribble it all down for your finals and forget it the next day. This class encouraged “teaching and learning” rather than “lecturing and listening” by facilitating active student participation. I really like the badges – they’re great ways to mark your progress and I feel like I’ve done good learning (unlike doing 10 pages of highlighting). Through the website, the class encourages reading, extra research, discussion with fellow students, engaging with the materials and forming your own opinion. This is what law school is meant to do! I was very skeptical of pedagogy before this class (it sounds far too much like a buzz word) but it actually seems to have worked: I actually feel like I’m going to remember what I’ve learnt in this class rather than more traditional methods of study.

5 responses to “Future reflections”

  1. kdq123

    The one thing that has really stood out for me this course was how much money is spent in the development of videogames and how advanced they have become. Videogame budgets now rival those of Hollywood films, and the final product reflects this. For example, after watching a promo video for Tom Clancy’s The Division, games now have unprecedented realism. Since starting law school, other than the occasional game of candy crush, I have stopped playing videogames. After taking this course, my interest in gaming has been revived. Thanks videogame law!!!

  2. Jon Festinger

    Bring people back to gaming – not a predicted outcome of the course, but still an important one “kdq123”.

    “joss”, thank you for taking the time to write your thoughtful post. It has certainly triggered some of my own reflections on what the future of the course might look like which I hope to post soon.


  3. eduj

    Very insightful post, Joss. I, too, was very skeptical about distance learning, but having seen what the Oculus can do, I am more convinced that virtual classrooms can fill a void that currently exists and do a good job at that. I see virtual classrooms as an alternative to real-life classes rather than a replacement. I’m sure that many of you can appreciate the proliferation of social media and some of the effects that it has had to the frequency and necessity of human interaction. The only thing I fear is that the classroom may be reduced to a virtual experience. Not to say that there’s anything wrong with virtual, just that I feel there is intrinsic value in human to human (real) interactions. However, as technology continues to evolve, there may be a day where the virtual experience may no longer be an act of deminishment.

  4. Jon Festinger

    What keeps coming up for me is the form factor of the Oculus. Is it too big? Too heavy? Too blind of the real world? Could someone imagine wearing it as their for an entire day?

    In short what would it take for some version of the Oculus to become practical as a “1st screen” rather than a purpose dependent option. Corollary questions might be answered by trying to replicate what we did in our class with Google Glass and exploring relative success and failure through that medium.


  5. tony


    I don’t think Oculus’ current size is ready to be worn for the entire day. I think one of the primary selling points of everyday devices like iPhones is how stylish they appear. I just can’t imagine the Oculus looking hip enough to be worn all the time.

    In fact I think one reason why the PSP/Vita may have fallen out of favour is it might not be very cool to be carrying it around. This is a problem when it’s marketed as hardcore gaming device which probably has a smaller teenage audience than the DS, for example.