top level general category

tVPN support IEEE and the VECoLab

tVPN support IEEE and the VECoLab

the Virtual Policy Network is supporting the creation of a body of practices and standards for virtual environments through the IEEE sponsored Virtual Environment CoLAB (VECoLab). The VECoLab is a group of individuals and organizations working to further the adoption of virtual environments. Its draft charter states:

Virtual Environments CoLab is hereby established to achieve standardization within and among virtual environments to enable vast technology/medium to intertwine their respective capabilities in a manner which exponentially increases potential and effectiveness of the virtual realm. As proponent, the VE CoLab (purpose and role) intends to act as advocate and mediator through the direct and significant involvement of the IEEE Standards Association, facilitator organizations and key professionals working within the communities of interest of internet technologies, production media and virtual environments, et al.

For more information see:

White Paper: Virtual Items and Public Policy

7 February 2011. Today the Virtual Policy Network has released a White Paper on Virtual Items and Public Policy. The Paper provides an overview of virtual items and virtual currency are – covering the spectrum from Xbox points to MMO characters. The paper defines what the key public policy interests are in virtual items, and provides a survey of the legal responses to issues involving virtual ‘goods’ from jurisdictions as diverse as China, Korea, Finland the US, citing a number of cases of virtual ‘theft’.

Released today as a .pdf under Creative Commons, the white paper will also be a living document held as part of the Virtual Policy Network’s database of resources. See the new Global Policy section of the site for details.

the Virtual Policy Network is looking for people to support this work, extend the number of countries covered and keep our database up to date with legislative changes impacting convergent media – if you would like to become an associate of tVPN or support our work in other ways please contact us at: info AT virtualpolicy DOT net.

Download Virtual Items and Public Policy (.pdf)

Art and the IGF

At the Internet Governance Forum meeting of the Dynamic Coalition on Gender in 2010 it was decided that members of the group should organize some form of art for the 2011 IGF meeting in Nairobi Kenya.

A group of UK delegates agreed to take on this project, these are:

  • Dr Marianne Franklin (Goldsmiths College, London)
  • Dixie Hawtin (Global Partners)
  • Ren Reynolds (the Virtual Policy Network)
  • Facilitate the presence of art and artists at
    • EuroDIG 2011 (Belgrade, Serbia, May 2011)
    • IGF 2011 (Nairobi, Kenya, November 2011)
  • To facilitate art works of quality, and ideally meet one or more of the following criteria:
    • Utilize network technology
    • Comment on networked society – including issues such as privacy
    • Created by women artists
  • Art works can be of any type, including
    • Artifacts
    • Online
    • Video
    • Performance
  • Facilitate an IGF workshop on art
  • Currently there is no budget of this project, thus artists will need to be self-funded
  • The organizers are exploring funding options and interested parties should contact us
Next Steps
  • Please contact us if:
    • You are an artist that want’s to participate
    • You are a potential sponsor
    • You can help with logistics
    • You have knowledge of Kenyan human rights law


Andy Moseby

Andy is a corporate partner at Kemp Little who specialises in advising technology and digital media companies on their domestic and cross-border M&A strategies.   He also works with both capital providers in respect of their investment portfolios and with entrepreneurial companies on all stages of the funding cycle (including seed capital, development funding and exits).   Andy has over a decade’s experience in advising video games companies and online businesses and leads Kemp Little’s focus on gaming.  Andy is listed as a “computer games expert” in Legal 500.



tVPN and The Play Ethic propose a festival of PLAY, as part of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad’s Inspire Programme. The festival will center on play as a fundamental human activity that is the connecting principle between Sports and Arts. The festival will have multiple strands – in venues, the built environment, rural areas and online.

We seek partners and sponsors for this project. If you are interested in being a part of PLAY contact us on: PLAY AT virtualpolicy DOT net.

The centerpiece of PLAY will be an international conference on play drawing together and bringing into contrast disparate strands such as non-human play, play learning and innovation, play and citizenship. Around this there will be various events such as an un-conference and strands such as Education and Arts. Always though, the festival will seek to bring fresh and diverse views e.g. what do computer game designers have to say about education, what to artists have to say about sports, what do civic activists have to say about festivals.

We are currently talking to a number of organizations about being potential partners for the London hub of PLAY and the site of the academic conference.

Specific proposed activities include:

  • A multidisciplinary PLAY conference
  • A companion PLAY un-conference
  • Innovation workshops focusing on creating new ways for children, young people, adults, seniors and people with disabilities to play together and to enable and empower people to generate more cross-group and cross cultural play
  • Exploring sport and art through mechanisms such as digital media, data mashup’s and data visualization
  • Alternate Reality Games bringing a new perspectives to places through the use of the environment as play space
  • Workshops exploring the use of play to support local communities in creative and decision making projects

UK Consumer Protection & games

In July 2009 the UK’s department of Business Innovations and Skills (BIS) issued a White Paper titled: A Better Deal for Consumers – Delivering Real Help and and Change for the Future. While this paper was introduced by the previous UK administration the current coalition administration has not indicated any willingness to halt the modernisation of consumer protection .

In light of this tVPNs wishes to draw attention to Chapter 4 of the White Paper: Modernising Consumer Law, which deals with ‘new “digital” products’ and explicitly mentions computer games. the Virtual Policy Network suggests that the online games industry and other online industries consider their positions in respect products and services as a whole and elements such as digital download, episodic updates, digital artifacts and digitally currency in the light of the principles outlined in the paper.

Read more…

DISE:10 Games, Media Law

DISE:10 Games, Media Law

Digital Interactive Symposium: Edinburgh

27 August 2010 (10:00 – 16:00)

John McIntyre Conference Centre, Pollock Halls, the University of Edinburgh.


The Digital Interactive Symposium: Edinburgh (DIS:E) is an annual event organized by the Virtual Policy Network in conjunction with the University of Edinburgh.

The Digital Interactive Symposium: Edinburgh 2010 focuses on the legal issues of computer games, virtual worlds and the issues that arise from the convergence of new and traditional media. Speakers include both academics and practicing lawyers.

Read more…

Net Neutrality consultations: EU and UK

A number of bodies around the world are conducting various forms of action in respect of so-called Network Neutrality. While the United States’ FCC (Federal Communications Commission) public consultation phase (see FCC News Release) has just closed the EU and UK are currently in consultation phases that end in September 2010.

the Virtual Policy Network encourages the online games, social media, location based and augmented reality industries, interested academics and policy makers to respond to these request for comments.

Specifically tVPN draws actors’ attention to some of the unique aspects of these technologies that might not be highlighted from the digital elements of traditional media industries. Such specific may include:

  • Importance of ping times to some types of gaming
  • Equal access a range data sources in populating augmented reality layers

Further details on the European consultations, including background documents, consultation question, reply dates and response details follow.

Read more…

World Bank’s Virtual Economy project

The World Bank’s infoDev is launching a research and innovation project into the potential of the Virtual Economy to aid Developing Nations. The project titled “Converting the Virtual Economy into Development Potential” is co-sponsored by the UK Government’s Department for International Development’s (DFID) Research4Development (R4D) program (see: http://www.research4development.info).

The two year project has three main phases as follows:

1. Knowledge map on the virtual economy.
2. Report on business opportunities and business models to convert the virtual economy into development potential
3. Workshop and research dissemination using virtual economy tools

More information can be found on the infoDev site: Converting the Virtual Economy into Development Potential

Economics, Research and Virtual Worlds

One area of interest in virtual worlds is the study of their economies. Such studies tend to have two approaches: study of virtual economies for their own sake, and study of virtual economies as a method for illuminating external / hard currency economies.

This is a short guide to resources for those interested in either aspect of virtual world economics.


  1. Edward Castronova
  2. VERN
  3. Economics – questions and meta-questions
  4. The nature of virtual goods

Read more…