About Me

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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'.

Monday, July 22, 2013

The UK Draft Consumer Rights Bill 2013...

...has specific chapter for digital content

The deifinition 2(8) sets forth that "Digital content" means data which are produced and supplied in digital form. It is clearly open for interpretation.

Substantial matters are dealt with in Chapter 3 which  applies to a contract under which a trader provides or agrees to provide digital content to a consumer, if the digital content is provided or to be provided: (a) for a price paid by the consumer, or (b) free with goods or services or other digital content for which the consumer pays a price.

The Draft Bill and associated documents are available here.

Sunday, July 21, 2013

Real-To-Virtual Time Ratio

Modern MMORPG providers rely on audience which is able to invest real money in online games, especially if it is a kind of free-to-play (not necessarily 'pay-to-win') project. 

Conversely, people who play online games and are able to pay for virtual goods without substantial harm to their wallet (such as myself) are looking for those MMORPGs which can provide maximum gaming value for each penny invested.

FINCEN's Virtual Currency Guidance

The U.S. Financial Crimes Enforcement Network publishes its Guidance on Virtual Currency. I have got the link from PillsburyLaw.

Razer Naga...

...has improved my MMORPG performance as I notice after two months of using it. Although I would not say 'drastically': my usual keymapping involved 'alt', 'shift' and 'ctrl'-ing the buttons around WASD (which is '1' - 'c' from the upper left to the bottom right corner) before this, so the new mouse allowed me just to put less stress on the left hand. And I agree with Dr. Bartle who admits that the thumb buttons could do more than reflect either keyboard number line or numpad.

Hooray! My first authentic picture. Feel free to use it with a link to this blog.

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Do Games Attract With Predictability?

Computer games can be viewed as mathematical models. In many cases - mathematical models of 'real' life, a kind of abstraction. And although random number generator is used now and then, a game is often a closed system where a player can get perfectly forseeable results. Well, at least much more foreseeable than in 'reality'. 

May it be that predictability is one of the main things sought for in computer games, though often unconsiously?

Boss rewards you get in MMORPGs are random, but you know in advance how the game is designed.
And in most cases you know that you get at least something.

Thursday, July 18, 2013

It Is Dangerous To Go Alone...

...when you venture into the realm of virtual world research.

Take this:

I reasonably hope that Dr. Bartle and/or publisher won't sue me for what is effectively a free advertisement

This book is available, for instance, at Amazon, and it is worth every 1/100 of your national currency whatever the standpoint from which you research virtual worlds is.