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what the voices in my head tell me to write

Monday, February 26, 2007

I am not a lawyer but... 

Some of the legal aspects of Second Life scare me. I think if I were a lawyer I would be even more scared.

As far as I can see there is no way to enforce a legally binding contract in Second Life. So if I pay someone L$ to perform a service for or sell me an item and they just take my money and run I don't have any legal redress.

Similarly if a group of individuals wanted to form a business partnership entirely within the game there is no binding contract law so someone could run off with the groups assets.

I still enjoy SL immensely but I am playing it less and less recently. Time is one factor I guess but at times it seems a little samey. Its just shops and nightclubs as far as the eye can see. (with a sprinkling of sex clubs of course) There doesn't actually seem to be much intellectual discourse going on. For a place thats meant to have the real early adopters and big thinkers crawling all over the place its actually pretty low-brow. It mainly caters to the fairly base human instincts of shopping, sex and increasingly it seems violence.

Try searching the events for some serious discussion that isn't about BDSM rituals and the like and you will quite often draw a blank. The Library project seems to have reverted into a series of pet projects for the founders of the group. Yes there is interesting stuff there but a lot of it is probably there because the creators couldn't get funding for their pet project in the real world. Its basically a museum or exhibition rather than a library.

I can see the argument for keeping things like real world politics out of Second Life. Any one who reads slashdot or digg when a political story makes the front page knows it just triggers a flame war. Text based flame wars are controllable but someone letting off the equivalent of a nuclear device in game because someone disagrees with their point of view is not. There is no moderation system basically.

That doesn't mean there can't be reasoned debate, in fact SL could be a wonderful place for the exchange of ideas and concepts as you cant create a 3D representation of what you are talking about in moments.

I have taken part in some wonderful spontaneous conversations in SL which made me really think and I enjoyed immensely. I don't see the SL debating society starting up though. Perhaps its because there is no easy way of making money from it?


Permanent link and Comments posted by Rob Cornelius @ Monday, February 26, 2007

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