Law’s Virtual Empires: Game Analogies and the Concept of Law

J.G. Allen, "Law’s Virtual Empires: Game Analogies and the Concept of Law" in Jorge Luis Fabra-Zamora and Gonzalo Villa Rosas (eds.) Conceptual Jurisprudence - Methodological Issues, Conceptual Tools and New Approaches, Springer, Law and Philosophy Library, Forthcoming

25 Pages Posted: 31 Dec 2020

See all articles by Jason G Allen

Jason G Allen

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin Großbritannien-Zentrum; CCAF; University of Tasmania School of Law

Date Written: February 01, 2019

Abstract

Legal theorists are increasingly called upon to engage with the legal implications of technologically-mediated social practices, from the interpretation of self-executing ‘smart contracts’ to the ownership of ‘crypto-assets’ to determining the situs of cyber-crime for the purpose of jurisdiction. How well equipped is contemporary legal theory to do this? What avenues suggest themselves for exploring the concept of law in the ‘Information Age’? And what might an exploration of law in new technical contexts to do increase our understanding of the concept of law generally? In this Chapter, I explore the future development of a well-worn tool in the elucidation of the concept of law: the analogy between law and games. In particular, I explore how the analogy might be extended in the context of complex, modern games that take place in a virtual environment: Massive Multiplayer Online Role-Playing Games (‘MMORPGs’). Are these games jurisprudentially interesting, in the sense of shedding light on the concept of law? Or is nothing to be gained from them that cannot be taken from analogies with games like chess and baseball? I first trace out the traditional uses of the games analogy, and then I suggest some ways in which analogies between law and MMORPGs might be helpful. These include providing fresh insight answers into long-standing jurisprudential questions and posing new questions for jurisprudential enquiry.

Suggested Citation

Allen, Jason G, Law’s Virtual Empires: Game Analogies and the Concept of Law (February 01, 2019). J.G. Allen, "Law’s Virtual Empires: Game Analogies and the Concept of Law" in Jorge Luis Fabra-Zamora and Gonzalo Villa Rosas (eds.) Conceptual Jurisprudence - Methodological Issues, Conceptual Tools and New Approaches, Springer, Law and Philosophy Library, Forthcoming, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3720498 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.3720498

Jason G Allen (Contact Author)

Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin Großbritannien-Zentrum ( email )

Mohrenstr. 60
Berlin, Berlin 10117
Germany

CCAF ( email )

10 Trumpington Street
Cambridge, CB21QA
United Kingdom

University of Tasmania School of Law ( email )

Private Bag 89
Hobart
Tasmania, 7001
Australia

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