Virtual Law Bibliography

As part of the preparation for the book on law and virtual worlds that I'm writing, I've been trying to make a comprehensive list of published law review articles and student notes that focus on the intersection of law and virtual worlds. 

Just in case readers are interested, the current version is attached below.  If I'm missing something, please let me know in the comments or by email.

As you'll see, the rate of publications has been increasing, with the majority of the publications coming out in the past couple of years.





2004/2005 (State of Play Symposium Essays)




2008 & forthcoming

p.s. Note that this list seeks to be comprehensive only with regard to published articles in law journals. (I have thrown in one or two published pieces from other places that seem to have a legal focus, but I'm not trying to be comprehensive there.)  Books, Web self-publishing, and works from science/game studies/business/humanities/etc. are not included (despite the importance of those works to legal scholarship).

Comments on Virtual Law Bibliography:

Kenan Farrell says:

Greg, great list. Very helpful resource. You should definitely consider a second list that also includes books. If you need help compiling a list of books, I could provide that, although I'm sure you've probably got them written down somewhere.

Posted Mar 17, 2008 1:43:17 PM | link

Hendrik Wieduwilt says:

Awesome. This is gonna be useful for my doctorate.
For those who are interested, I just made something similar on my Blog for sources in german language.

Posted Mar 17, 2008 1:51:42 PM | link

greglas says:

Hi Kenan --


I do have a pretty long list of books about virtual worlds, and a I also have a pretty long list of books about cyberlaw issues, but I'm not sure what I'd put on a list of published books specifically about law and virtual worlds.

So there's the State of Play book. Jon Festinger's book video game law has an MMOG chapter, as does Greg Boyd's book on video game law. Of course, there is Ben D's forthcoming book and my forthcoming book -- would you put anything else in that group?

Posted Mar 17, 2008 1:56:21 PM | link

greglas says:

Thanks Hendrik!

Another reason to work on my German! :-)

Posted Mar 17, 2008 1:59:07 PM | link

Kate Fitz says:

I have a fairly long (and mostly unannotated) list of both law review articles and books at my website,, as well as at my in-world library, Second Life Lawspot. Would you mind if I link this? Thanks :)

Posted Mar 17, 2008 10:59:52 PM | link

greglas says:

Hi Kate -- That's a neat resource -- you sure have a lot there. Thanks for the comment.

Posted Mar 17, 2008 11:07:05 PM | link

greglas says:

A new one from 1995, "Virtual Reality Law":

It's from a treatise on computer law, so not technically a law review article. But it does have some interesting meditations on virtual worlds...

Posted Mar 18, 2008 9:54:11 AM | link

Benjamin Duranske says:

Paul Joseph's 1998 exploration of vigilante justice in UO. He was a law professor who would probably be writing for this site had he not passed on in '01. It's not a terribly academic article (it ran on the now-shuttered "Picturing Justice" which usually followed images of justice in cinema) but it is one of the very earliest, and I view Joseph as a true pioneer in this field.

Posted Mar 21, 2008 4:05:51 PM | link

Benjamin Duranske says:

Typo - he died in '03. And I forgot TN doesn't parse links, so here it is again:

Posted Mar 21, 2008 4:07:10 PM | link

Kevin! says:

I put my paper -- Leave Those Orcs Alone: Property Rights in Virtual Worlds -- up at SSRN

I'm increasingly surprised by how few contrarian anti-property rights papers there are.

Posted Mar 26, 2008 12:04:25 PM | link

Steven Horowitz says:

Professor Lastowka,

This is a great resource! I've admired your work in this area for some time, so I look forward to reading the book. I realize the list is about law and virtual worlds, but I can't see leaving out Professor Castronova's important work on economics. It's really central to any arguments about property, I'd think.


Posted Mar 28, 2008 1:21:46 PM | link

greglas says:

Hi Steven -- thanks and yes, certainly, Ted's work was a large part of what got me (and many others) interested in this area.

I'll say again what I said in the italics after the list -- I'm only trying to be comprehensive with this list with regard to published law review articles. Non-legal work (like Ted's), Web publications (like Ben mentioned), and SSRN drafts (like Kevin's), are great stuff. But if I tried to list all of those that I'm aware of, the list would be several times longer and not comprehensive. Personally, I've collected over 200 important non-legal articles on virtual worlds over the past few years (including many by authors on the right hand column) Many of them have helped shape my thinking on legal issues, but they're not on this list.

Posted Mar 29, 2008 9:18:10 PM | link

Hendrik Wieduwilt says:


I just walked over a text treating avatar and identity problems from a german point of view. (Mostly "personal rights" and IP-Law)

Müller/Souliotis: "Avatars, Personality, and Identity"

Posted Aug 6, 2008 4:41:42 AM | link

Jamie Kayser says:

It is very likely that most of the above mentioned authors used Terra Nova as a starting point, mid-point, or even end point for their work. I know I did.

My (Loyola Law School) hat is off to you.

Posted Aug 11, 2008 1:48:40 AM | link

mahta says:

pl help me
realation between virtual reality(VR)& in law

Posted Sep 1, 2008 5:01:07 AM | link