Discussion Outline October 3rd

Discussion Topic

How does our regulation of rights in the real world compare to our regulation of rights in video games? What can game creators do to fill the in-game legal void – and what are the consequences if they fail?

Issues Covered

Below are the sub-topics our presentation will consider, as well as some focusing questions.

  1. The regulation of electronic property as compared to physical property
  • What are the tangible (or intangible) differences between electronic and physical property?
  • What is the legal difference between purchasing a digital copy of a game, compared to buying it as a disc?
  1. In-game trading and virtual theft
  • What are the rights of a game owner when it comes to real-world trading? Can you sell products obtained in-game for real-world money?
  • What property rights do virtual goods attract, and how can the law account for virtual theft?
  1. How the law can address virtual sexual assault
  • What role should (or could) the law play in addressing sexual assault perpetrated virtually? What obstacles to regulation might arise?
  • What other approaches can game designers take to protect their players?
  1. The law’s role in regulating real-world crimes (against a person) in a virtual world
  • Can defamation exist in video games and virtual realities?
  • How can the law address issues of defamation in video games?


Please watch the video attached to this interview with the CEO of EA games, and consider what legal implications will result from the increased integration of video games into our daily lives that he’s predicting: https://www.theverge.com/a/verge-2021/ea-ceo-andrew-wilson-interview-virtual-video-games