Monday, March 26, 2007

The Rights of Avatars

The SLLA wasn't the first entity to conceive of the rights of avatars - there have been a number of people interested in this subject before we got to it. One of the most interesting treatments of the subject is by Raph Koster, who in April 2000, asked, "Do players of virtual worlds have right?". In answering this question he outlined a theoretical Declaration of the Rights of Avatars.

Other notable attempts to highlight the question of rights for Avatars include Julian Dibbel's 1993 essay, <a href="">A Rape in CyberSpace - which neatly demonstrates that players of virtual worlds can indeed suffer harm and therefore, by extension should have rights.

The question of Avatar rights is not likely to go away especially as virtual worlds and Second Life continue with their rapid development. It is therefore worth highlighting some of the thinking that has preceeded this moment.

The SLLA will seek to keep this debate at the forefront of SL users minds but recognizes its debt to the past.

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