Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Indiana University's Synthetic World's Initiative

Indiana University has a research center devoted to the study and development of virtual worlds; The Synthetic World’s Initiative. Their purpose is to “promote innovative thinking on synthetic worlds ". They hold bi-annual conferences (the “Ludium”) and are developing Arden, a virtual world based on the life and works of William Shakespeare. At the Ludium II Conference “Attendees were charged with hammering out a well-considered platform to guide virtual world policy.” The result is:

A Declaration of Virtual World Policy

made by representatives of law, industry, and academia, assembled in full and free convention as the first Synthetic Worlds Congress.

Among the ten clauses in the declaration are calls for a player’s bill of rights, universal age verification, net neutrality and the statement that “fair use may apply in virtual worlds”. The declaration can be read here at TerraNova SWI's Declaration of Virtual World Policy:

Today’s Chronicle of Education’s Wired Campus makes note of the conference in the article Public Policies for Virtual Worlds.

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