Disputes Growing In Virtual Worlds
by Colin Rule
From Colin Rule's blog.
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...
Colin Rule is CEO of Resourceful Internet Solutions, Inc. ("RIS"), home of Mediate.com, MediateUniversity.com, Arbitrate.com, CaseloadManager.com and a number of additional leading online dispute resolution initiatives. From 2017 to 2020, Colin was Vice President for Online Dispute Resolution at Tyler Technologies. Tyler acquired Modria.com, an ODR provider that Colin co-founded, in 2017. Previously, from 2003 to 2011, Colin was Director of Online Dispute Resolution for eBay and PayPal. Further, Colin co-founded Online Resolution in 1999, one of the first online dispute resolution (ODR) providers, and served as its CEO and President. Colin also worked for several years with the National Institute for Dispute Resolution in Washington, D.C. and the Consensus Building Institute in Cambridge, MA.
Colin is the author of Online Dispute Resolution for Business, published by Jossey-Bass in September 2002, and co-author of The New Handshake: Online Dispute Resolution and the Future of Consumer Protection, published by the ABA in 2017. Colin received the first Frank Sander Award for Innovation in ADR from the American Bar Association in 2020, and the Mary Parker Follett Award from the Association for Conflict Resolution (ACR) in 2013. Colin holds a Master’s degree from Harvard University’s Kennedy School of Government in conflict resolution and technology, a graduate certificate in dispute resolution from UMass-Boston, a B.A. from Haverford College, and Colin served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Eritrea from 1995-1997. You can read many of Colin's articles and see some of his talks at colinrule.com/writing.
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