1 Jun 2011
Misunderstanding Creativity: User Created Content in Virtual Worlds and its Constraints by Code and Law
Published in the International Journal of Communications Law and Policy (IJCLP), vol. 14 (2011).
Virtual worlds have moved from being a geek topic to one of mainstream academic interest. This transition is contingent not only on the augmented economic, societal and cultural value of these virtual realities and their effect upon real life but also on their convenience as fields for experimentation, for testing models and paradigms. User creation is however not something that has been transplanted from the real to the virtual world but a phenomenon and a dynamic process that happens from within and is defined through complex relationships between commercial and non-commercial, commodified and not commodified, individual and of the community, amateur and professional, art and not art. Accounting for this complex environment, the present paper explores user created content in virtual worlds, its dimensions and value and above all, its constraints by code and law. It puts forward suggestions for better understanding and harnessing this creativity.