A new blog/wiki/project called “A Constitution for the Metaverse” just hit my radar screen, and I’m going to be watching to see where it goes.
The Metaverse Constitution appears, at this point, to be essentially a one person effort, but an eventual wiki is planned. The project is part of Harvard Master of Laws (LL.M.) student Doug McMahon’s “long paper.” There are just a few posts now, but they’re intriguing, particularly McMahon’s “mindmap” of the project.
One odd wrinkle, McMahon says he’s not an active Second Life user (and presumably he doesn’t use any of the other virtual world platforms regularly either). He says he’ll explain why he’s not involved later, and invites readers to convince him that he should be.
From McMahon’s “Why?” post:
The question of why I would seek to draft a constitution for the metaverse, and why I think it might need one, is an obvious one. I genuinely believe that any online world in which users seek some kind of autonomy from the real world cannot function satisfactorily without one. To this you might reply that Second Life, the leading metaverse, seems to be doing just fine. But I would question whether the benevolent dictator model for metaverses is really sustainable. All the power in Second Life is concentrated in the hands of Linden Labs, they are the archetypal judge, jury and executioner with the added twist that they are also the law makers and the executive in the world.
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