Dispute resolution across platforms : offshore gambling industry & EVE online

Woodford, Darryl (2013) Dispute resolution across platforms : offshore gambling industry & EVE online. In Proceedings of the 1st International Workshop on EVE Online, Chania, Greece, pp. 39-46.

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Contemporary online environments suffer from a regulatory gap; that is there are few options for participants between customer service departments and potentially expensive court cases in foreign jurisdictions. Whatever form of regulation ultimately fills that gap will be charged with determining whether specific behavior, within a specific environment, is fair or foul; whether it’s cheating or not. However, cheating is a term that, despite substantial academic study, remains problematic. Is anything the developer doesn’t want you to do cheating? Is it only if your actions breach the formal terms of service? What about the community norms, do they matter at all? All of these remain largely unresolved questions, due to the lack of public determination of cases in such environments, which have mostly been settled prior to legal action.

In this paper, I propose a re-branding of participant activity in such environments into developer-sanctioned, advantage play, and cheating. Advantage play, ultimately, is activity within the environment in which the player is able to turn the mechanics of the environment to their advantage without breaching the rules of the environment. Such a definition, and the term itself, is based on the usage of the term within the gambling industry, in which advantage play is considered betting with the advantage in the players’ favor rather than that of the house.

Through examples from both the gambling industry and the Massively Multiplayer Role-Playing Game Eve Online, I consider the problems in defining cheating, suggest how the term ‘advantage play’ may be useful in understanding participants behavior in contemporary environments, and ultimately consider the use of such terminology in dispute resolution models which may overcome this regulatory gap.

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ID Code: 66875
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Additional URLs:
Keywords: Virtual Worlds, Games, Design, Dispute Resolution, Gambling, Regulation
Divisions: Current > Research Centres > ARC Centre of Excellence for Creative Industries and Innovation
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2013 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 05 Feb 2014 01:02
Last Modified: 16 Apr 2014 00:42

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