[MUD-Dev] Reality check ...(long) [was Re: Black Snow Revisited]

Matt Mihaly the_logos at achaea.com
Thu Apr 11 03:24:57 New Zealand Standard Time 2002


On Tue, 9 Apr 2002, Sean Kelly wrote:
> From: "Matt Mihaly" <the_logos at achaea.com>
 
> And a real sword is only a sword in the context of someone being
> stabbed with it.  To the police, and military strategists, it's
> just data (okay that's a bit of a stretch, but you see what I'm
> driving at).  That law doesn't have any precedents that apply to
> online games doesn't mean that they someday won't, or that they
> might not rule a virtual sword as a commodity.  The issue is one
> of context.  These virtual swords have value in two separate
> contexts (though the latter is dependent on the first).  In the
> first, it is a sword capable of doing blah blah stuff.  In the
> second, it amounts to hours spent attaining the sword, prestige
> associated with having that sword, etc.

I don't believe any court is going to consider the fictional context
of games. And the virtual 'sword' is just a collection of data.
 
> Ultimately, everything is a symbol that only has value or meaning
> within one or more contexts.  How would you attribute the value of
> stock options?  They're far more ephemeral than a virtual sword,
> and yet they have very real value.  The only difference is that
> there are established laws regarding them.

I never said collections of binary data don't have value. It's
obvious that these collections of data in games have value, as
people are willing to pay for them.

--matt

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