Vis a vis my April 28 post on Gay Marriage in MMOGs,I had a thought last night that began as a silly pun, but the more I thought about it the more interesting it became. What if we reversed the formula and instead of asking for recognition of gay marriage in virtual worlds, what if we asked for recognition of game marriage in the real world?
This goes back to some of the questions about legal recognition, whether or not things that happen in virtual worlds are "real," and if they are, what jurisdiction to they fall under. But in actuality, people have been married in virtual worlds by persons with actual licenses to do so; so these marriages are legally recognized. But how should we then recognize "game marriage," real partnerships that exist in imaginary worlds? I don't know it's just an interesting question and it opens up a wide range of other questions about what sorts of "rights" do virtual worlds entail. And if we treated a virtual world as a sovereign nation, then wouldn't any legal transaction that took place in it be valid inthe "real world?" Should virtual worlds be treated as sovereign nations? Or more like states that have their own autonomous laws within the larger context of a federal system? Could Azeroth or Second Life be the 51st State? Or more like a "U.S. territory and outlying area" such as Puerto Rico or Guam? Yet interestingly, the recent crackdown on representation of children in sex acts in Second Life was initiated NOT by the US government, which "technically" has jurisdiction over the virtual world, but by the German government. It is also interesting that Linden Lab fully accepted this intervention by foreign law enforcement and has begun its own internal crackdown as a result.