3A. ESSAY: IN ORDER FOR THE ADMISSIONS STAFF OF OUR COLLEGE TO GET TO KNOW YOU, THE APPLICANT, BETTER, WE ASK THAT YOU ANSWER THE FOLLOWING QUESTION: ARE THERE ANY SIGNIFICANT EXPERIENCES YOU HAVE HAD, OR ACCOMPLISHMENTS YOU HAVE REALIZED, THAT HAVE HELPED TO DEFINE YOU AS A PERSON?
I am a dynamic figure, often seen scaling walls and crushing ice. I have been known to remodel train stations on my lunch breaks, making them more efficient in the area of heat retention. I translate ethnic slurs for Cuban refugees, I write award-winning operas, I manage time efficiently. Occasionally, I tread water for three days in a row.
I woo women with my sensuous and godlike trombone playing, I can pilot bicycles up severe inclines with unflagging speed, and I cook Thirty-Minute Brownies in twenty minutes. I am an expert in stucco, a veteran in love, and an outlaw in Peru.
Using only a hoe and a large glass of water, I once single-handedly defended a small village in the Amazon Basin from a horde of ferocious army ants. I play bluegrass cello, I was scouted by the Mets, I am the subject of numerous documentaries. When I'm bored, I build large suspension bridges in my yard. I enjoy urban hang gliding. On Wednesdays, after school, I repair electrical appliances free of charge.
I am an abstract artist, a concrete analyst, and a ruthless bookie. Critics worldwide swoon over my original line of corduroy evening wear. I don't perspire. I am a private citizen, yet I receive fan mail. I have been caller number nine and have won the weekend passes. Last summer I toured New Jersey with a traveling centrifugal-force demonstration. I bat .400. My deft floral arrangements have earned me fame in international botany circles. Children trust me.
I can hurl tennis rackets at small moving objects with deadly accuracy. I once read Paradise Lost, Moby Dick, and David Copperfield in one day and still had time to refurbish an entire dining room that evening. I know the exact location of every food item in the supermarket. I have performed several covert operations for the CIA. I sleep once a week; when I do sleep, I sleep in a chair. While on vacation in Canada, I successfully negotiated with a group of terrorists who had seized a small bakery. The laws of physics do not apply to me.
I balance, I weave, I dodge, I frolic, and my bills are all paid. On weekends, to let off steam, I participate in full-contact origami. Years ago I discovered the meaning of life but forgot to write it down. I have made extraordinary four course meals using only a mouli and a toaster oven. I breed prizewinning clams. I have won bullfights in San Juan, cliff-diving competitions in Sri Lanka, and spelling bees at the Kremlin. I have played Hamlet, I have performed open-heart surgery, and I have spoken with Elvis.
But I have not yet gone to college.
The Jurisdiction of Play
In this presentation, the authors revisit a cyberspace governance question popular in years past: the question of whether activities that occur through the medium of the Internet might be seen as occurring within a separate jurisdiction. Our conclusion is that this approach, while currently rejected by courts and almost all commentators, is appropriately applied to legal issues that arise in the special case of virtual worlds and virtual property.
In the first part of our paper, we perform a fairly straightforward jurisdictional analysis with regard to a hypothetical virtual property crime. We conclude that if a virtual world might be recognized as a separate space of any sort, the concept of a virtual jurisdiction appears to be a plausible concept.
In the second part of our paper, we contrast and compare this approach toward treating virtual worlds as separate jurisdictions with the law's approach to games and play. Physical game spaces and game rules have historically been treated, either de facto or de jure, with a certain degree of jurisdictional independence. This jurisdictional independence of games and game rules has only been abrogated in instances where these rules have threatened harms to the players or the public. We argue that disputes with regard to virtual spaces should be treated with analogous deference.
In the third part of our paper, we briefly address two anticipated criticism of our approach. First, we anticipate that some will object to our arguments for virtual jurisdiction due to the difficulty created by frequent liminal conditions where virtual and real identities, interests, and harms may merge. We agree that such problems exist, though we argue that similar problems exist in standard jurisdictional problems. Second, we anticipate that some will object to our arguments for virtual jurisdiction due to the absence of any true democratic jurisdictional authority in many virtual spaces other than the assertion of technocratic power. Again, we admit that this is a significant problem, but suggest it is mitigated by the absence of any harms recognizable outside the virtual environment.