Vanderbilt Journal of Entertainment & Technology Law

First Page



This Article is a study of the interaction of rules and contractual terms within the context of fraudulent conduct in virtual worlds. It makes two main arguments: first, that virtual world providers cannot generally be trusted to regulate themselves; and second, that contractual remedies alone do not provide players with useful solutions to player disputes. The Article highlights the shortcomings of relying solely on the existing web of contractual documents to resolve the issues and disputes currently experienced in virtual world communities. Starting with the applicability of real-world laws to virtual worlds, this Article examines a case study that demonstrates the insufficiency of contract law in providing remedies for online fraud using the virtual world EVE Online as an example. While this is a case study of governance and contract remedy failure in one virtual world, the arguments and scenarios presented here are applicable to other virtual worlds because of the homogeneity of terms of service in virtual worlds.