On June 19–20, 2009, New York Law School’s State of Play VI Conference will convene in New York to examine the past, present, and future of virtual worlds. In conjunction with the University of Southern California’s Network Culture Project at the Annenberg School for Communication, and with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, the conference will focus on the startling rise of virtual worlds and multiplayer online games, and ask whether these worlds have reached a plateau in their development. At the same time, we will question whether we have reached a limit in our understanding of virtual worlds, and ask whether there are useful research questions still left to pursue.
The State of Play conferences examine the significance of virtual worlds and massively multiplayer online spaces. It continues to be the only conference series that studies these environments from multiple perspectives: commercial, academic, governmental, and technological. Six years after the founding of State of Play, this year’s conference will take stock of how we got to where we are, question whether there is anything new to say about online worlds, and ask what should be the direction of the these worlds and their study as we move forward. Multiple panel sessions are planned, along with specialist workshops, and a graduate student symposium. We invite your participation.