Should real life legal frameworks affect virtual worlds?

Should real life legal frameworks affect virtual worlds? Why or why not? What are the implications of such law enforcement in virtual worlds for user creativity and education in general? What is the best way to encourage people to create in virtual worlds?

Real life legal frameworks should affect virtual worlds but only to a certain extent. I explore Buri’s paper as it relates to the guidelines set forth by UCC (Uniform Commercial Code), which governs the law of sales and other commercial transactions in the US. Before we attempt to evaluate the positive and negative effects of this relationship, we need to add to the discussion another variable that has an impact on virtual worlds, their functioning and appeal, on UCC. “UCC is undoubtedly an essential element of this matrix because it may increase the value of the virtual world and may also strengthen its sustainability as a persistent creative environment” (pg.9).

Virtual economies reflect behavior and motivation of real life so the argument follows for law enforcement in virtual law enforcement to follow suit. Although this not always so great for user creativity and education. Buri’s paper states “UCC is not always the better. The freedom of participants to create content as they wish can be difficult to harmonize with the business of building compelling virtual environments” (pg. 8). The implications show that there are many ways in which theoretical legal framework can hinder the creation of virtual worlds. Perhaps as the years progress and online identity becomes more important. We will see less restrictions.

However on the legal front, the rules of games, such as chess, can be programmed.  this is not the case for legal rules contained in a code of conduct in a virtual world. Moreover, in a code of conduct for a virtual world, we supplement the normal concept of “persons” who are subject to law, with the concept of “avatars” — that is, the virtual persons used to navigate a virtual world. This variety of rules, which applies to avatars can perhaps be included to real persons.

I am not sure what the best way is to encourage people to create in virtual but will offer some fundamental points that may help in this cause. Interest is key. Regardless of what the subject matter is people who are passionate and curious will utilize whatever virtual platform there is to enhance their learning.  


Burri, M. (2011). Misunderstanding creativity: User created content in virtual worlds and its constraints by code and law. Int’l J. Comm. L. & Pol’y, 14, 1.

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