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Raph Koster (Metaplace) and Lane Hartwell
Image by kathyjohnson via Flickr

On Friday, June 19 and Saturday, June 20, New York Law School will host its State of Play VI Conference, where participants will discuss the past, present, and future of virtual worlds.

State of Play will bring together scholars, games developers, industry leaders, government leaders, entrepreneurs, artists, social scientists, and policy makers to set the agenda for the development and study of virtual worlds. Participants will focus on the rise of virtual worlds and multiplayer online games, and discuss whether these worlds have reached a plateau in their development. A related event, the Graduate Student Symposium, will feature 30 students from around the world who will present and discuss their research on virtual worlds, and receive commentary and criticism from the experts and industry leaders whose work has shaped virtual world studies.

“State of Play has been a critical event in exploring the intersection of virtual worlds, games, law, and the ever-changing dynamics between them,” keynote speaker Raph Koster, President and founder of the Web-based, social virtual worlds platform, Metaplace, said. “I look forward to introducing Metaplace’s unique approach of democratizing the creation of all sorts of worlds and exploring legal, policy, and business challenges Metaplace and other platforms face as we move forward.”

Panels will focus on an array of topics, including the challenges faced by public and private institutions in online environments; opportunities and efforts in learning and education facilitated by virtual spaces; the differences between youth-related virtual worlds and adult spaces; developments in the ongoing conversation regarding ownership of virtual property, tax, and regulation; and the special concerns of government in relation to terrorism, security, and money laundering.

For full conference schedule, panel descriptions, and speaker biographies, check out: www.nyls.edu/stateofplay.

“State of Play digs deeper into challenging questions of virtual and real worlds than any other conference,” said New York Law School Professor James Grimmelmann, one of the seminal thinkers on virtual world governance. “The insights of the panelists at State of Play VI on how virtual worlds are and should be governed are carrying on a long and proud tradition established at the very first State of Play.”

The State of Play Conference has previously been held in New York and Singapore. This year’s conference is being produced in conjunction with the University of Southern California Network Culture Project at the Annenberg School for Communication and with support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation.