Saturday, September 1, 2007

MMO social issues

Just got back from a very interesting panel on social issues in Massively Multiplayer Online Games- like "World of Warcraft."

There are currently few or no rules governing what happens when in-game issues become social issues. If a player in a game buys an account from another player, for example, there is no recourse if the player who sold the account goes to the game maker and fraudulently claims the game was hacked, reclaiming the character.

There are also questions of jurisdiction- who is responsible when an agreement between two characters goes bad? The game maker's country of origin? The origin of the server for the game? The country (or, countries) players live in?

Who is the final arbiter in these cases? Adding to the worries of gamers is a court system where the people in control are likely to have never played an MMO.

Like I said, very fascinating stuff. I expect a column to come out of it sometime in the future.

Now, more Con pics.

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