The Implications of Property Rights in Virtual Worlds

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Ian MacInnes, School of Information Studies


The financial success of online communities based on multiplayer game environments has been a bright spot among the many failures in electronic commerce initiatives. While this form of business has existed for less than a decade, it is growing rapidly and has become a mainstream form of entertainment in some areas of the world, such as Korea. Game environments are becoming more immersive and compelling and if this rate of improvement continues, such as through growing broadband penetration, they are likely to become as common as other forms of entertainment. This paper analyzes the issues facing developers of game communities in their goal of establishing viable business models.


Virtual communities, property rights, virtual worlds, online games, item trade, EULA



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