April 24th, 2007 by Benjamin Duranske
Elizabeth Townsend Gard, a Visiting Professor at the Seattle University School of Law, has her 1L Property students exploring Second Life using the avatar ‘Fizzy Soderberg’ and posting weekly screencasts on property law as applied to virtual worlds.
The class has covered several topics of potential interest to VB readers, including in-world marriage and divorce, virtual landlord/tenant disputes, and (though the screencast is not currently available online) the legality of sex workers in virtual worlds.
- Weekly Screencasts from Seattle University 1L Property Class
The screencasts are available in two forms — the original versions (which run 18-30 minutes), and shorter clips that focus only on the property question at hand, omitting such material as how each group customized the avatar. One caveat from Professor Gard: “These were created by the students, and they are responsible for the content and comments.”
The screencasts are entertaining and informative, albeit fairly simplistic in terms of the property concepts addressed, and that’s the point. On the course’s blog, Professor Gard explains, “The goal of this experiment is to get 1L students to apply their very basic knowledge in a different setting. Do they see elements of modern ‘real life’ property being replicated in ‘virtual property?’”
The project is also the subject of an interesting discussion over at Terra Nova, where several of the students have posted about the project.
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