If we needed proof of the importance of games to business practices, we need look no further than The State of Play, a conference at NYU Law School:
From the international Olympics to football pools, communities, both public and private cohere through games. All cultures play. Games reflect our fantasies and reinforce our values. We spend much of our time playing games that immerse us in the world and values of a game designer and inculcate the norms of imagined cultures….
Now, with the launch of massive multiplayer on-line gaming, electronic games have gained an even broader reach. A vast number of participants can play together in a game space and the rules of play are dynamic and evolving.
The new environments of electronic games, especially those that are massively multiplayer, are not just gamespaces; they are cultures unto themselves. Like real societies, they grow and evolve as their members create rules and norms. Some norms in games are cooperative and democratic, others are dictatorial and dystopic. This interdisciplinary conference will examine the state of play today in an effort to understand the phenomenon of digital games and the virtual worlds they create and to discuss the complex social, psychological, and legal issues to which they give rise.
[via Matt Jones]