Who owns my avatar? -Rights in virtual property

Proceedings of DiGRA 2005 Conference: Changing Views – Worlds in Play (2005)
This paper presents a framework for discussing issues of ownership in connection to virtual worlds. We explore how divergent interests in virtual property can be mediated by applying a constructivist perspective to the concept ownership. The simple solutions offered today entail that a contract between the game producer and the gamer gives the game developer exclusive rights to all virtual property. This appears to be unsatisfactory. A number of legitimate interests on part of both producers and gamers may be readily distinguished. More complex distributions of rights would allow many of these interests to be consistently respected.
Keywords virtual worlds  conflicting interests  ownership  property rights  online games
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