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“State of Play V” Conference Aug. 19-22 To Examine Virtual Worlds

A pioneering global conference on virtual worlds, “State of Play V: Building the Global Metaverse,” will be held August 19-22, 2007, in Singapore.

Organized by Yale Law School, Harvard Law School, New York Law School, Trinity University, and Nanyang Technological University in Singapore, the conference invites experts across disciplines to discuss the future of cyberspace and the impact of these new immersive, social online environments on education, law, politics and society.

Whether they take the form of games, social spaces, or educational environments, virtual worlds are now truly global in scope and their popularity in Asia is phenomenal. Yet the conversation about virtual worlds is dominated by Western voices, and the absence of cross-cultural dialogue means that virtual worlds are being set up and run without sensitivity to diverse cultural, legal and social norms.

“We look forward to bringing a global perspective to issues of law and society in virtual worlds at State of Play V,” said Eddan Katz, executive director of the Information Society Project (ISP) at Yale Law School.  The ISP, founded and directed by Knight Professor of Constitutional Law and the First Amendment Jack Balkin, has been studying this topic, as well as related issues of identity online, for several years in collaboration with top experts in the field as part of the Reputation Economies in Cyberspace project.  James Grimmelmann '05, Resident Fellow at the Information Society Project and Associate Professor of Law at New York Law School, will represent the ISP as a conference speaker.

The “State of Play” conference seeks to enhance cross-cultural interaction and understanding while exploring differences in legal approaches to free speech, privacy and intellectual property across cultures.

Panel discussion topics include:

• Cross-cultural communication and avatar-to-avatar diplomacy
• Strategies for understanding behaviors and values of virtual world residents
• Regulating speech, property, and addiction in the metaverse
• Building transnational businesses in virtual worlds
• Using virtual environments to teach students of all ages
• Space, place, and virtual world cultures

To learn more about the conference program and speakers and to register online, visit