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Disputes Growing In Virtual Worlds

by Colin Rule

From Colin Rule's blog.

Colin Rule

The Business Shrink, October 10th, 2007: "With virtual world’s forming into the next big thing on the horizon, the real world is starting to play catch up. Traffic stats are increasing and the money pouring into virtual worlds is starting to translate into real world money that cannot be ignored. Just recently a report was released by Screencast.com, a business research and intelligence gathering company, that listed subscription sales for online virtual worlds rising to $526,000,000 in the US market in 2006 alone.
 
With all this money pouring into the virtual worlds and attention being given to these markets, entrepreneurs and business minds come alive. Just as if it were in the 1800’s and dreamers were running into the California gold rush, people are now running to virtual worlds for entertainment and business.
 
With business savvy and genius creations comes the bad side of the virtual world progression of litigation, scams and regulations. Lawsuits and discussions are rising in the area of virtual worlds and if real world laws and government regulations apply to these new worlds."
 
This is definitely a growing meme: the ugliness of the real world intruding on the utopia of virtual worlds. It builds on some of the press a few years ago about Second Life land deals going sour. I think people secretly like these stories, because they confirm their skepticism about these new environments. Interesting to see how this discussion evolves. I'd love to see Second Life grabbing the bull by the horns and introducing a wide-ranging dispute resolution approach! We'll see...

Biography


Colin Rule has worked at the intersection of technology and conflict resolution for the last two decades. He is CEO of Modria.com, an online dispute resolution service provider in Silicon Valley, and a non-resident Fellow at the Center for Internet and Society at Stanford Law School. From 2003 to 2011, he served as eBay and PayPal's first director of Online Dispute Resolution, designing and implementing systems that now resolve more than 60 million disputes each year. Mr. Rule is the author of Online Dispute Resolution for Business, published by Jossey-Bass in September 2002. He has presented and trained around the world for organizations including the U.S. Department of State, UNCITRAL, the International Chamber of Commerce, and the CPR Institute for Dispute Resolution, as well as teaching at UMass-Amherst, Stanford, Southern Methodist University, and Hastings College of the Law. He has written and been interviewed extensively about the Internet since 1999, with columns and articles appearing in ACResolution, Consensus, Dispute Resolution Magazine, and Peace Review. He holds a master's degree from Harvard University's Kennedy School of Government in conflict resolution and technology, a B.A. in peace studies from Haverford College, and he served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Eritrea from 1995-1997.



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Website: www.modria.com

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