We'd like to welcome two guests to Terra Nova for this month of February: Andrew Jinman and Arno Lodder. We're looking forward to their posts and some interesting discussions. Biographical information & intros from both Andrew and Arno follow below the fold...
In 2005, my
master student Menno Briet told me about the well-known case of the Chinese
gamer who killed his friend for selling his virtual Sabre sword he borrowed him.
This case was of interest to me for the opportunities it entailed regarding Online
Dispute Resolution, a field much of my research is devoted to (e.g., CEDIRE - Centre for Electronic Dispute
Resolution). He was right, but soon I got fascinated by the legal aspects of
virtual worlds, and read many papers of in particular American scholars.
Many of the legal issues (fundamental rights, penal law, civil law, intellectual property law, international law, financial law) were explored by a group of Dutch scholars and practitioners in the first months of 2006 and included in the book Law and virtual worlds (in Dutch, http://pubs.cli.vu/pub273.php) in 2006 that was presented during the Spring meeting of the Dutch IT & Law association. With Martine Boonk I wrote some papers on law and MMORPGs, in particular on Intellectual property http://ssrn.com/abstract=1079970
I am not only interested in studying virtual worlds but also in using them, e.g. in teaching. Last year I (that is: Jimi Broome) did two law classes in Second Life, one with my Canadian colleague Michael Deturbide. I hope soon to start exploring virtual worlds as an environment to resolve disputes. For its combination of the electronic environment with physical characteristics I believe there are interesting opportunities, see Short Note on Virtual Law Classes: Second Life and Other Three Dimensional Visual Worlds Next Phase for Online Dispute Resolution? http://ssrn.com/abstract=1014845.
Currently I conduct with Jacob van Kokswijk http://www.kokswijk.nl research into the social and legal aspects of virtual worlds, that will be used in April 2008 form the parliament on virtual worlds.
In 2002 Andrew continued his interests in this genre and enrolled at Plymouth University to study digital art and technology, to expand and open his mind to conceptualism. Then, in 2004, he experienced the sensational game of World of Warcraft, giving himself a greater insight into the community and behaviour of on-line personas. Andrew didn't know it at the time, but these experiences were vital and would shape the rest of his studies from here on!
In 2006, his interest for immersive environments grew and as he began to further shape and broaden his areas of study. The pivotal experience of WoW allowed him to comprehend and question gaming dynamics and player motivations, as defined in his dissertation, which can be found at: http://www.contemporary-media.co.uk/
Following his research Andrew began the Extension Project - www.contemporary-media.co.uk/Extension - in collaboration with James Braman based at Towson University. The project was situated within Second Life, where students from both Towson and Plymouth Universities could run virtual lectures and seminars. The project consisted of a cross-virtual worlds advertising campaign, where WoW guilds and CSS clans were encouraged to lay down their arms and use other virtual worlds for discussion of tactics and raid planning.
He now works for where he has been leading the Media Zoo in Second Life collaborative project with the University of Leicester. He has written on the theme of the ‘virtual classroom’ for a number of journals and aims to continue to justify the importance of virtual worlds within the classroom.
Andrew now works for Twofour Learning. He has undertaken the technical and creative developments in the TwoFour/University of Leicester collaborative project, which has produced the Second Life Media Zoo. He has written on the theme of the ‘virtual classroom’ for a number of journals and aims to continue to justify the importance of virtual worlds within the classroom.