June 12th, 2007 by Benjamin Duranske
Virtually Blind periodically runs “quicklinks” — items that are not long enough for a full story, but are worth a click. Here’s today’s batch:
- In a good example of how virtual worlds are pushing the legal envelope worldwide, the BBC is reporting that a “Japanese politician has become the first of the nation’s lawmakers to open a cyber office on the internet-based virtual world Second Life.” The politician is Kan Suzuki, who is seeking re-election in the upper house in July. The BBC reports that there is concern that the office violates a 50 year-old Japanese election law that “limits the distribution of text and images for use in election campaigns to postcards and pamphlets.” Here’s a SLURL to the office.
- VB will likely be covering this one in greater depth at some point, but for now, it’s at least worth putting on your radar screen that there’s been a lawsuit filed in Florida regarding World of Warcraft gold farming that doesn’t involve publisher Blizzard. The lawsuit has been styled as a class action, and the plaintiffs are suing IGE, a gold farming company, for the usual dozen or so counts that get tossed in complaints like these: unfair trade practices, conspiracy, breach of third party beneficiary contract, tortuous interference with a business relationship, and a handful of others. It basically boils down to the fact that gold farming messes up the in world economy, making it less fun to play WoW.
- Back to the international desk, CNN reports that Sweden has followed through on its earlier pledge to open a Second Life embassy. CNN quotes the Swedish Institute: “The embassy is now open to the public and offers a smorgasbord of impressions to anyone interested in Sweden.” Legally, the “embassy” isn’t really an embassy in any traditional sense, it’s more like a tourist information center, but I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to quote a press release that uses the word “smorgasbord.” Here’s a SLURL.
- Finally, over at Clickable Culture, Tony Walsh posts that he recently spent a little quality time with the Terms of Service for virtual world/anime forums/whatever-it-is Gaia Online. He declares them among “the fairest [he's] seen” and better than Second Life’s from the standpoint of their “grabbiness.” I haven’t visited Gaia Online yet, but it’s now on my list.
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