AGDC08: On avatar rights and virtual property

Massively: If you're anything like the average MMO gamer, you click through that 'shrinkwrap license' without even batting an eyelash. The End User License Agreement, or EULA, is just a speedbump in the logon process for game players. For game companies, though, they're extraordinarily important documents. They require legal consultation, careful thought, and even more careful wording. They do exactly what the name says, spelling out the rights a player has in an online world.

Noting that he really enjoys it when panel participants argue and disagree, Erik Bethke brought together a group of people to debate and discuss the issue of user rights. Along with Bethke, author Erin Hoffman, legal representative Greg Boyd, startup VP Scott Hartsman, and noted industry designer and analyst Raph Koster filled out the panel. Read on for notes from their fascinating discussion, which covered everything from government intervention in online worlds to the 'ownership' of virtual property.

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