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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, September 23, 2012

Guild Wars 2: First Impressions

Back in 2005 the first Guild Wars appeared as an interesting alternative to World of Warcraft and Everquest 2. Since then the general market has not changed much, except for the fact that the latter two may be now included into one general category, along with other notable games with similar core mechanics (Lord of the Rings Online, RIFT etc.). This is the reason why each new MMORPG with a gameplay different to certain extent, such as, for instance, recent The Secret World, is subject to high expectations which are sometimes hard to meet. How responsible is Guild Wars 2 in this aspect?    

An official Guild Wars 2 wallpaper, the link is here. 

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.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Injustice In Open Virtual Worlds

If you feel pain, you are alive as a natural being; if you face injustice, you are alive as a social being. A pleasure of open virtual worlds is that they create a feeling of virtual social reality. One of the main bricks of this reality may find short expression in "virtual world, real feelings" phrase.
  

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

1000 Total Pageviews...

...in about 1,5 months. An epic moment for a lazy video game blogger. Thanks everyone for visitis, even more thanks for those who check the blog regularly. My next goal is to incite more comments. Will work on the content more.

Just in case someone wanted to leave a comment but did not do it for some technical reason: do you consider it convenient to post comments in Blogger? Should I turn on or off any option in blog settings?

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

'Save Virtual World' Petitions

Before going further with a detailed analysis, let me share a link to "Just My Two Copper" blog post which addresses a concern similar to my "End Of The World..." post, but more in political, rather than in legal aspect.

READ "WOULD YOU SAVE WORLD OF WARCRAFT" BY MOMMAR.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Guild Wars 2 Is Now Available

Should I make a pause with Wurm Online and finally check Guild Wars 2?

Wurm Online: Minecraft Was Not The First

Minecraft is great, but it was not the first sandbox game by Notch, or at least not the first sandbox game where he was invloved. I was surprised too. If you like such kind of games, you definitely should try Wurm Online

I post a link to more or less official video below, and inside this post you may find a story of my first experience along with some actual screenshots. While watching video have in mind that everything you see besides the landscape and characters was crafted by players.



Wednesday, September 5, 2012

Less Frequent Updates

Dear friends,

Thank you again for regular visits to my blog!

As anyone who has read my introduction post might have expected, September brings much more responsibilities. This is great, but a side effect is that this reduces my blogging opportunities.

However, I will do my best to stay online during the teaching period.

While I am away from home, the clients of several online games I missed (including Lineage 2 and Aion) are being downloaded through my new 20Mb/sec modem. Trying these games should help me to fill certain gaps in my MMORPG knowledge, and probably come back with some general analytical post.

Have a nice fall!