Tag Archives: law approach

Fantasy Life, Real Law

You know this is getting serious when the ABA has taken notice of second life in it’s writings. Below is an excerpt from an article I found on the ABA Journals website. I may just have to publish my own Second Life paper that I’m working on.

Travel into Second Life––the virtual world where lawyers are having fun, exploring legal theory and even generating new business

By Stephanie Francis Ward

Beathan Vale was concerned about his local court system, which had only one judge.

As a member of the Confederation of Democratic Simulators, he took an active role in the development of his local government in the community of Neufreistadt. Ideally, Vale believed the community’s judicial branch should be modeled to resemble the U.S. Supreme Court. But its lone judge, an English barrister and fellow confederation member named Ashcroft Burnham, favored an English common-law approach. Burnham also got to personally select the court’s new appointees, and the lack of oversight didn’t sit well with Vale.

Ultimately Vale prevailed. Neufreistadt rejected Burnham’s court scheme—and the idea that partici­pation be limited to lawyers.

Both men meet on a regular basis to discuss—and often debate—the direction of Neufreistadt’s legal system. Yet they have never actually seen each other in person.

That’s because Neufreistadt isn’t an actual town, and Vale and Burnham aren’t real people. While they do exist, they do so within the realm of virtual reality, in an expansive cyberworld called Second Life.

Launched in 1999, Second Life is an animated, three-dimensional virtual world run by a privately owned com­pany called Linden Lab, based in San Francisco. Its investors include Amazon.com founder Jeff Bezos. Anyone at least 18 with a computer and a high-speed Internet connection can join, and millions have—about 3.3 million at press time, with more joining every day.

Among this growing group of participants are people who live as lawyers in both real life and in Second Life. They are drawn into Second Life for reasons including rainmaking and nation-building. Others say they are attracted by the myriad legal issues arising from—and existing within—this expanding alternative universe.