Virtual Borders Goes Beta

My latest paper, Virtual Borders, is out in draft form. Because I believe in such things, I’ve put it out for free downloading on SSRN and made the whole thing available for reuse under the minimally-restrictive Creative Commons Attribution license.

Yes, it’s another virtual worlds paper. I compare and contrast the idea that virtual worlds should be separate jurisdictions with the idea that real-life law should forbid trading virtual items for real money. These ideas sit uneasily together; their theoretical justifications don’t really mesh. This misfit provides an interesting perspective on the evolution of virtual worlds and the relationship between virtuality and reality. We’re moving from an age of independence to one of interdependence.

I’m very happy with how the paper is turning out. While it presumes at least superficial familiarity with virtual worlds, it assumes little background in virtual world theory. Comments and suggestions are welcome. Look for the final version in an online publication near you, well, not too soon but not too long from now, either.