Wednesday, March 10, 2010


Before reading "A Rape in Cyberspace," I had never given much thought to the idea of differing political affiliations in virtual worlds. The classic stereotype of the technophile's idea political system is that of anarchy, as exemplified by Napster, BitTorrent, ThePirateBay, or any other pirate service that is viewed as the avant-garde of internet technology and ideology, but the discussion of all the differing ideologies present in LambdaMOO made me realize that netizens aren't as one-dimensional as they might seem to be.

In his Declaration of the Independence of Cyberspace, John Perry Barlow asserts that "property, expression, identity, movement, and context do not apply to us," although most of these things, in fact, have emerged in virtual worlds. As Cyberspace becomes closer and closer to reality, the problems of Cyberspace will begin to resemble real life problems.

What phenomena create a need for governance in Cyberspace, and what methods and political apparatus can be used to achieve this goal? What lessons about government have we learned in real life that we can apply so as not to make the same mistakes again in Cyberspace? Is there an intrinsic connection between real life and virtual governments, or is there a possibility to achieve Barlow's online utopia, a land completely independent of the physical world.

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