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.
Last night we descended upon Bar888 in the Intercontinental Hotel to greet movers, shakers and opinion makers in the gaming, virtual world and technology scenes. Monday was the first day of the Game Developers Conference which took place in the Moscone Convention Center, and as far as I could tell, it appeared that gamers were recession proof as throngs of games developers, producers, publishers and reporters filled the rooms to hear speakers talk about every aspect of gaming you could imagine.
One of the speakers was our very own Raph Koster, President of Metaplace. Raph is a superstar amongst gamers – so much so that he can’t even walk down the streets of San Francisco without people snapping his photo. I quipped it was like walking with Sean Penn (not that I’d know what that really felt like… but I can imagine).
At 5:30pm, we joined together with Riccardo Zacconi, Robert Norton and Matthias Schmidt-Pfitzner of King.com to greet the guests that ranged from start-up entrepreneurs, to games bloggers, mainstream reporters to execs from the biggest games companies in the world. We noshed on crab cakes and goat cheese puffs, sipped wines, and talked about the past, present and future of games. A good night of casual conversation indeed.
If you want to see the full details behind the event and who was on the list, check out the link here: Keeping it Casual – Monday Night Mixer.
P.S. If you want to see who’s in the photos, just hover your mouse over the pic and the details should appear – but here’s a quick synopsis: Top photo: Summer Richards, official bouncer and name checker; 2nd photo: Robert Norton, King.com and me; 3rd photo; good friend Tomio Geron, Dow Jones VentureWire, BFF Shireen Piramoon, TumbleCloud, Riccardo Zacconi, CEO of King.com, and me; 4th photo: journalist turned Consort, Mark de la Viña, casual games queen and founder of the Casual Games Association, Jessica Tams, and me; 5th photo: Mark de la Viña, Sunil Vemuri, co-founder of reQall, Chris Bauman, US Head of Swoopo, and me.
And yeah, I guess you can tell I had my photo arm stretched and ready…
Have you ever thought about creating a place on the internet that’s not just filled with text and static photos but with artists and poets, musicians and muses, techies and non-techies all meeting and interacting in an environment designed with their sheer creativity? I’ve been playing around in Metaplace as they have recently entered their invitation-only alpha stage and it’s a place where I can really lose myself. I started out at Metaplace Central and bumped into visionary and creative genius, Raph Koster. We strolled around together and he gave me a giant bouquet of balloons. I then transported myself to another world where little blue aliens bounced around. I saw sign post to go ice skating, so I tried that experience too. I found myself in a winter wonderland next to an icy lake, where I could try my slalom skills (they were pretty bad). Finally, I hopped back to Metaplace Central and played a little game of Connect 4 with Raph. He kicked my butt. Drats – I need some practice.
If you’d like early access to see and experience what the world is coming to, please use this special code MPCONSORT to get in to Metaplace . Just don’t challenge me to a game of Connect 4 – it’s too embarrassing.