NEW BRUNSWICK, N.J. – More than 150 professionals, experts,
scholars, and students from North America, Europe and Australia will gather in
New Brunswick at the Heldrich Hotel and Conference Center April 8-9, 2011, for
an international conference, “The Game behind the Video Game.”
The conference will examine the complex policy, legal,
ethical, economic, and social issues arising from the proliferation of games
and virtual worlds such as Second Life and World of Warcraft, as well as the
use of video games in government and business. The School of Communication and
Information at Rutgers and the Institute for Information Policy at Penn State
are hosting the event.
Registration for the event is open, with early-bird prices
in effect until February 28.
The conference’s keynote speakers are:
Lastowka, author of “Virtual Justice: The New Laws of Online Worlds” (Yale
University Press, 2010) and a professor at Rutgers School of Law—Camden.
Lastowka is also a co-founder and author of the popular virtual world blog
Terra Nova (http://terranova.blogs.com).
Kornblum, director of security policy at Microsoft’s Interactive
Entertainment Business, which produces the Xbox 360. Kornblum is an attorney
and leader of a global team focused on anti-piracy, privacy, content ratings,
online safety, geopolitical affairs, and accessibility.
The conference has attracted scholars and experts from
across the United States as well as the United Kingdom, Ireland, Belgium,
Australia, Canada, and Switzerland. Representatives from the Entertainment Software
Rating Board (ESRB), the European Commission, and the Organisation for Economic
Co-operation and Development will be in attendance.
Video games aren’t merely a diversion these days – the size
of the virtual economy in virtual worlds and social games has grown to more
than $2 billion, a number greater than the gross domestic product of 48
“The world of video games is changing quickly, and offering
new opportunities for businesses, entrepreneurs, and individuals to
capitalize,” said Jorge Reina Schement, conference chair and dean of the School
of Communication and Information at Rutgers. “At the same time, there are tough
questions that have yet to be answered.”
Several of the submitted conference papers examine the case
before the United States Supreme Court – Schwarzenegger vs. Entertainment
Merchants Association – that challenges a 2005 California law banning the sale
of violent video games to children. Other topics include international
governance and market regulation in virtual worlds and video games,
international and regional views of the gaming industry, and workplace games
intended to increase employee productivity.
“A lot of hot issues in virtual worlds carry over to social
software generally,” Lastowka said. “Virtual worlds are on the cutting edge of
technology and society. They’re kind of like the canary in the coal mine.”
School of Communication and Information: http://comminfo.rutgers.edu
Institute for Information Policy:
Greg Lastowka: http://www.chaihana.com/pers.html
Terra Nova: http://terranova.blogs.com
Media Contact: Ashanti M. Martin
732-932-7500 ext. 8012