pacergh writes: A number of legal commentaries on virtual worlds argue that property laws should extend to the accounts, characters, and virtual stuff in these worlds. The rational is that these virtual resources are valuable and should be protected.
Yet none of these legal commentaries step out of the virtual world metaphor. Each pre-supposes that a property-centric view is the only way to look at these resources.
In a follow-up to The Virtual Property Problem, the article A Virtual Property Solution steps out of the property-metaphor for virtual worlds and examines them for what they are – playgrounds of the mind where harms are not visited upon a gamer’s waller, but rather on a gamer’s mind.
From the abstract, “Privacy laws can protect virtual worlds and their users where property law cannot.” The article goes on to argue that “[t]he very foundation of the virtual is the imagination of each individual player” and that “[v]iewing these harms through the lens of privacy will help lay a framework for the creation of future laws that will work alongside the imagination of the virtual rather than forcing themselves into a virtual world and destroying that world’s very value—the ability to pretend, to imagine, and to escape the real.”