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5:49pm on Friday, 6th April, 2018:



I was in London yesterday for lunch with Sean Kane, who's one of the premier lawyers working in the area of computer games. "Premier" is both figurative (he's one of the very best) and literal (he was one of the very first lawyers to get into the area). He's also a really nice person.

We had a very good (from my perspective — I can't speak for Sean!) conversation about how games in general and virtual worlds in particular are interacting and interfacing with the law. A lot of this area of law touches not just on the business side of game development, but on the game design side. Now although some of this is obvious ("no ripping off someone else's intellectual property"), not all of it is. In particular, some of the rationale behind law-making gels with some of the rationale behind game design. We game designers may think we're leading the charge when it comes to, say, dealing with issues of online behaviour that social media giants are only just discovering. However, we need to remember that lawyers have been in the business of making and interpreting rules for far longer than we have, and there's a philosophy behind it that we have yet to learn.

Oh, the restaurant we met at was London's oldest: Rules.

This was a happy coincidence, given the above topic of conversation.

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Copyright © 2018 Richard Bartle (richard@mud.co.uk).