About Me

My photo

Welcome! I am teaching law at St. Petersburg State University and engaged in legal practice with the international law firm Dentons. 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). My legal practice is focused on providing support to computer game companies. This interest derives from my passion for computer games which I consider as one of the most important cultural artifacts ever created. Please note that this blog conveys my private opinion which is not necessarily shared by any organisations I am associated with. For more formal and detailed introduction please visit my website arkhipov.info which serves more as a 'business card'.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Should We Have A Right To Play?

I received an official answer from EA support that High Seas Booster for Ultima Online is not available for Russian players and it is not planned to be available.

This is a great disappointment for Russian Ultima Online players (the few of them who remained) for two reasons. First, we, unlike other civilized nations, will not have legitimate access to nice fishing content. Second, it is clearly unfair, because earlier it was possible to buy it through UO Accounts store.

This raises a topical question: do (and should) virtual worlds users have any fair rights to access content, or we are just poor deprived beings who are totally dependent on service providers? 

The legal aspect of this issue may imply the question whether constitutional rights securing access to cultural heritage/objects may be extrapolated on modern virtual environments.