The Planes of Power

28 Pages Posted: 31 Oct 2005

Date Written: October 12, 2005


This essay examines various ways of describing the online game of Everquest, responding to and summarizing game studies scholarship that views Everquest as a fictive text, a computer game, and an online community. Each of these three distinct frameworks would seem to lead to different legal regulatory modalities, as the legal system approaches fiction, games, and communities in markedly different ways. In combining elements of fiction, game, and community in an integrated framework, Everquest challenges a prospective legal regulator to weigh policy considerations in determining how best to respond to an object and social practice that entails the interplay of various authorial, strategic, and community elements. Ultimately, the question of formulating an optimal regime of legal regulation for virtual worlds like Norrath must be seen as a potentially new question to be addressed by the political process, not a question that can be simply dealt with by the application of existing legal doctrines.

Keywords: law, virtual worlds, Everquest, MMORPG, game studies

JEL Classification: K40, 033, 034

Suggested Citation

Lastowka, Greg, The Planes of Power (October 12, 2005). Available at SSRN: or

Greg Lastowka (Contact Author)

Rutgers School of Law ( email )

Newark, NJ
United States


Do you have a job opening that you would like to promote on SSRN?

Paper statistics

Abstract Views
PlumX Metrics