Should Avatars Be Able to Invoke Lega...

Should Avatars Be Able to Invoke Legal Rights?

Posted in the Virtual Reality Forum


Amsterdam, Netherlands

#1 Jun 12, 2012
The past couple of weeks I discovered brand new worlds. Virtual worlds so to speak. Virtual worlds that can be seen not only as modern versions of social games but also as virtual communities in which freedom is a given. A virtual world can contribute to one’s dream to realize fully one’s personal potential. It can be used as an instrument to perfect one’s identity or perhaps even to alter it and create an entire new one. Although this generates benefits for personal development, it also leads to a few problems and legal questions, for instance when it comes to avatars. Avatars can be considered as an extension of a ‘reallife’ person,(user). The users have economic, political an social rights. My question is should avatars have the possibility to invoke these rights as well?

A good example could be the right of privacy. In real life, privacy and personal freedom are a crucial contribution to personal development and to the creation or improvement of one’s identity. Isn’t it just as important to shape one’s identity in the virtual world without outside influence?

Of course such a question immediately leads to complex issues concerning methods of law enforcement and appeal. Which authority should be appointed to deal with conflicts of law and interests? Should the creator of a virtual world take on this responsibility or should the ‘real life’ government play the role of the judge. In my opinion, the solution may be found intern. After all, since such a dispute concerning legal rights might rise inside a virtual community, it is perhaps only appropriate to solve it within the walls of a virtual world.

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