The Magic Circle
Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment and Technology Law, 2009
19 Pages Posted: 21 Nov 2008 Last revised: 25 May 2009
Date Written: November 19, 2008
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.
Keywords: Technology Law, External Law
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