About Me

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Hello! I am teaching law at St. Petersburg State University. Major part of my research is connected to virtual worlds and massive multiplayer online games (a broad field which includes Internet law, video game law, virtual law and game studies). This interest derives from my passion for computer games which I consider as one of the most important cultural artifacts ever created. 

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Introduction

This year I gave seminars in theory of law to a group of first year students. Often, when we were just starting the class, the students and me exchanged some short replicas not related to the subject.        
'Is it true that you have a profile in social network?' one of the students asked me.
'Yes,' I said. In fact, I indicated in my profile that I have interest in computer games and, in particular, in World of Warcraft.
'Is it true then that you play World of Warcraft?'
'Yes, very true.'
'Wow! I have three level 85 characters there!'
'I have five.' After I had said this without showing any emotion, the audience was rolling on the floor laughing. 

Welcome to my blog!

By way of introduction I am a lawyer and a university teacher (theory of law and political science) with a passion for computer games. I am used to think that if only my math grades at school were better, I would certainly go to math faculty and learn programming. However, my friends are sure  that I am kidding. Personally, I am far less sure.

The age of 30 is not far off, and recently I realized one important thing: if you want to live in joy and harmony, do not separate work and hobby in a substantial way. It is obvious as the only way to be happy is to do what you like. Surprisingly, there is no need to reject this idea even if the only (or one of the few) things you really like is just to play computer games. 

So, fortunately enough, I did not need to give up lawyering to do what I like. The computer games business grows requiring more legal advice, which now has to cover not only traditional IP/patent topics, but also virtual currency matters, real-money transactions, protection of players' rights as consumers' rights and much more.

The computer games/law research also develops rapidly (this should be a part of what is usually called as game studies). Think virtual law not as the real law in application to such products like MMOs etc., but as the law emerging between the players in a separate virtual reality or, more precisely, "virtual jurisdiction". Feel free to check my paper on this point presented last year at the 25th Congress of the International Association for Philosophy of Law and Social Philosophy in Frankfurt am Main.

What I wrote above looks very good and, probably, inspiring, but, to be honest, I am a very lazy person. And as such I am not sure how this blog will work out. But assuming that I manage to find time will to post from time to time, I see it as a point to share my thoughts on "serious" matters described above, along with my own playing experience.

Finally, if you are a native speaker and see anything in wording not corresponding to the expected level of a university teacher, this is easily explained - English is not my first language, and I do not live in an English-speaking country.

Oh, and by the way, the story from my academic life given in italics in the beginning is a real one. Have you ever been in a similar situation?