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Protecting Children in Virtual Worlds Without Undermining Their Economic, Educational and Social Benefits

39 Pages Posted: 15 Oct 2009 Last revised: 26 Mar 2010

Benjamin Duranske

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP

Robert J. Bloomfield

Cornell University - Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management

Date Written: October 13, 2009

Abstract

Advances in virtual world technology pose risks for the safety and welfare of children. Those advances also alter the interpretations of key terms in applicable laws. For example, in the Miller test for obscenity, virtual worlds constitute places, rather than "works," and may even constitute local communities from which standards are drawn. Additionally, technological advances promise to make virtual worlds places of such significant social benefit that regulators must take care to protect them, even as they protect children who engage with them.

Keywords: virtual worlds, obscenity, free speech, privacy, child welfare, serious games

JEL Classification: K1, K2, K3, K4

Suggested Citation

Duranske, Benjamin and Bloomfield, Robert J., Protecting Children in Virtual Worlds Without Undermining Their Economic, Educational and Social Benefits (October 13, 2009). Washington and Lee Law Review, Vol. 66, 2009; Johnson School Research Paper Series No. 05-2010. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1488165 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.1488165

Benjamin Duranske

Pillsbury Winthrop Shaw Pittman LLP ( email )

2475 Hanover Street
Palo Alto, CA 94304-1114
United States
650-233-4500 (Phone)
650-233-4545 (Fax)

HOME PAGE: http://www.pillsburylaw.com/benjamin.duranske

Robert J. Bloomfield (Contact Author)

Cornell University - Samuel Curtis Johnson Graduate School of Management ( email )

450 Sage Hall
Ithaca, NY 14853
United States
607-255-9407 (Phone)
607-254-4590 (Fax)

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