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The State of Play: Law, Games, and Virtual Worlds (Ex Machina: Law, Technology, and Society) Paperback – November 1, 2006

ISBN-13: 978-0814799727 ISBN-10: 0814799728
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Editorial Reviews


“With diverse essays from game designers, social scientists and legal scholars, The State of Play is a provocative consideration of virtual jurisprudence.”
-Paste Magazine

“Is useful and interesting for students of surveillance.”
-Surveillance & Society

The State of Play is an extremely comprehensive look into digital worlds and how those worlds are evolving cultures, changing lives, reshaping the way we think and communicate. If you want to understand where modern culture is headed and learn more about incredibly fascinating experiences taking place in virtual worlds, pick up and read this book now.”
-Richard Garriott,a.k.a. Lord British, Creator of Ultima Online and Executive Producer, NCsoft

“These essays, by the best thinkers in their fields, will be read, debated, taught, and cited in court cases as we struggle to figure out how to live in a world which is part digital and part social, part real and part imaginary.”
-Henry Jenkins,author of Convergence Culture: Where Old and New Media Collide

“This is a spectacular collection of essays on the present and future of virtual worlds. It's a perfect introduction for those who have yet to experience them, and more important, a thoughtful companion for those who do.”
-Jonathan Zittrain,Oxford University

About the Author

Jack M. Balkin is Knight Professor of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment at Yale Law School, and the Founder and Director of Yale’s Information Society Project. He is the author of numerous books and the editor of What Brown v. Board of Education Should Have Said (NYU Press, 2002). He lives in New Haven, CT.


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Product Details

  • Series: Ex Machina: Law, Technology, and Society
  • Paperback: 304 pages
  • Publisher: NYU Press (November 1, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0814799728
  • ISBN-13: 978-0814799727
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5.8 x 8.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 14.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,721,383 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Review Guy on June 14, 2008
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
When Judge Richard Posner first called himself and other legal academics "intellectual entrepreneurs," he was at least half-kidding (in a Chicago kind of way). But in recent years the "market" for legal scholarship has become among the most cutthroat in the world. Professors seem desperate to be the first to homestead new territory in any emerging market.

The work of economists like Edward Castronova has demonstrated that virtual worlds constitute a new frontier, ripe for cutting edge scholarship. The authors in this book are staking their claim to its legal issues. But just being the first to a topic does not mean you have anything interesting to say about it. Castronova's work is interesting, but you don't need this book to understand it. The remaining essays in this book reminded me of cyber-squatted domain names. "What will happen?" they all seem to ask, but they don't offer many answers or even interesting speculations.

The real problem here is that law exists to deal with real-world consequences, while virtual worlds exist to eliminate them. Law may eventually get some traction in virtual reality, but it hasn't happened yet. If you want to be there when it does, don't read a law book - get yourself into a MMPORG. Just don't plan on keeping your job or your marriage.
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1 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Colin Miller on January 11, 2007
Format: Paperback
Great book, interesting essays about where our digital lives are going.
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