The Magic Circle
Washington and Lee University - School of Law
November 19, 2008
Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law, 2009
Washington & Lee Legal Studies Paper No. 2008-45
This essay examines the concept of the "magic circle," the argument that real-world law ought to be excluded from virtual worlds. The article explores the reasons for the magic circle metaphor, and criticizes the metaphor's logical and legal basis. The article concludes that although real-world law cannot reasonably be excluded from virtual worlds, game gods and players can control the interface between law and virtual worlds through their agreements, customs, and practices. This leads to a new conception of the magic circle: the magic circle is the point of interface between community-generated norms and external law, which often adopts local norms as legal rules.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 19
Keywords: Technology Law, External LawAccepted Paper Series
Date posted: November 21, 2008 ; Last revised: May 25, 2009
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