A broad range of interactive and distributed systems are essentially virtual worlds; these include examples such as multiplayer games, and even operating systems. They enable the formation and maintenance of virtual societies, which must be healthy in order to be prosperous and useful. We describe properties, inspired by writings on law and psychology, that we use to define the notion of fairness, which is an essential characteristic of a healthy society. By using multiplayer gaming as a running example, we discuss how a fair virtual society will interact with its real-world counterparts, and outline how one might choose to detect and deal with transgressors who violate rules designed to enable fair interaction and prohibit cheating. This is a conceptual paper, and raises a number of issues and problems that must be considered when designing virtual worlds. Our aim is to develop guidelines for the design of fair virtual societies.
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DOI 10.1145/1052791.1052794
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