Gamer Law

Mishihari Lord

First Post
moritheil said:
It is a truism of the Rules board (and indeed of any discussion of rules interpretation) that proper interpretation of DnD rules often requires legal-style textual analysis. Our society already has offshoots of civil law: military law, canon law, rabbinic law, etc. Several of these are lifestyle-related.

Could gamer law be next? If so, what would the implications be? When and why would gamer law become its own specialization? What events might need to first happen for this to become reality?

When people start playing RPGs competitively for money, we will certainly have game lawyers.
 

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moritheil

First Post
Mishihari Lord said:
When people start playing RPGs competitively for money, we will certainly have game lawyers.

So you see this as primarily a fiscal concern, and not as a cultural one. Do you think one predates the other? (That is, does the culture need to change first, or will some rich patron sponsoring professional gaming be enough to change things?)
 

DarkKestral

First Post
Well, with Second Life's Lindens and other RPG currencies being traded for real-life dollars, we're actually seeing that I think. Several lawsuits have come up, trying to clarify what exactly constitutes legal use or copying of user-made in-world products and currency trade in artificial worlds. But the key thing is, these suits all involve people's real-life livelihoods, in that the games ARE their livelihood. Do gold farmers have the right to sell in-game currency for real world currency? It's hard to say, and existing law is currently fuzzy on it. In the cases of things like Lindens, which have real-world value, should they be taxed as if they were real income? There's a major congressional debate about it. The current approach of the US Congress is " let's wait and see, because at the moment, it's hard to figure out if making in-game income taxable would kill the emerging market." So it's a moratorium, rather than any real final decision.

So I suspect that "gaming law" will only gain a sense of real force once money on the line. If it becomes more common, then it may shift from being a purely fiscal concern to a more cultural one. But yeah, it's an interesting thought.
 

Folly

First Post
I believe a suitable answer has been provided to the original question by Henry. To further plays devils advocate is asinine as it undermines future discussions by creating an atmosphere of frustration around the discussion of gaming rules.

On a related note, I have often been called a rules lawyer and have learned how to use a subtle hand while still creating a fairly consistent rules set in the games I play in. My reasons for pursue a consistent rule set is that without a structure the game starts to lose its meaning. Let me use a scenario that most individuals are probably familiar with to explain my point. You are in a discussion about games played with other individual (whether it be at a convention or some other means). One of the people in the conversation starts talking about one of his interesting stories, but as you listen you begin to realize that its not all that interesting or amazing because the campaign (between softy DM or way too much wealth) made the task trivial. It makes the players endeavor lose its meaning when the rules are disregarded. This is not to say that the other extreme is the way to go. Strictly following the rules has its own problems, but the rules should be followed as best as the people at the table can. This will help provide a greater sense of accomplishment.
 

moritheil

First Post
Folly said:
I believe a suitable answer has been provided to the original question by Henry. To further plays devils advocate is asinine as it undermines future discussions by creating an atmosphere of frustration around the discussion of gaming rules.

As there is not even a framework established for how this might be accomplished, I fail to see how anyone can consider the discussion closed. It has just begun.

For example, Henry stated (and others also believe) that "valuables" must be at stake if there is to be any field of gamer law. Yet it is not clear whether this situation will arise naturally, or if a cultural mandate for the importance of gamer law should first arise. It is not clear if the "valuables" at stake should be money, or if something else that is tangible but not as easily convertible will do. Even assuming some agreement can be made on these issues, what degree of valuables and what degree of cultural mandate are needed?

It may be true that value is needed for something to be important enough to become a field of law that is studied, but conversely, valuables alone do not warrant something becoming an accepted field of law - there is no "mafia law" field of legal study that I am aware of, despite the fact that the mafia handles a lot of money and at least purports to follow a code of conduct. (Note that this is a distinct concern from racketeering law - the former would deal with the internal rules of the mob; the latter deals with the external, government-imposed law.)
 

Pbartender

First Post
The Valuable at stake in Gamer Law is as simple as it is obvious... The Pursuit of Happiness.

Or to put it more prosaically, Fun. Fun is what is at stake when two Gamer Geeks argue Gamer Law.
 

hong

WotC's bitch
Pbartender said:
The Valuable at stake in Gamer Law is as simple as it is obvious... The Pursuit of Happiness.

Or to put it more prosaically, Fun. Fun is what is at stake when two Gamer Geeks argue Gamer Law.
Arguing about Gamer Law is serious business.
 

the Lorax

First Post
Even though there is no profesional future for gamer legal representation to rule on gamer ettiquette and conduct, Gamer Law already exisits in much the same way as Man Law exisits, like the rule that you always leave an empty space in between you and another man at the urinals in a public bathroom, electing to use a stall before the urinal between two other men.

There is of course the prime Gamer Law Rule -

  • You do NOT touch another gamer's dice.
 


moritheil

First Post
Pbartender said:
The Valuable at stake in Gamer Law is as simple as it is obvious... The Pursuit of Happiness.

Or to put it more prosaically, Fun. Fun is what is at stake when two Gamer Geeks argue Gamer Law.

Presently, yes. Do you believe that's enough to turn it into an actual profession, the way that canon law is?
 

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