Considering all the recent news about people getting in trouble for virtual crimes committed while playing online games involving virtual people, virtual places and virtual things, it seems to me that there is probably a valid and tangible market for a virtual legal profession.
In a recent divorce case involving a British couple and the internet game Second Life, his avatar was found cheating on her avatar with a virtual prostitute. Suspicious, her avatar hired a virtual investigator who slithered and sleuthed his way through the game and found the rat bastard (er, avatar) dead to rights. (not to be confused with dead dead, as in the murdered Japanese avatar in Maple Story, where the avatar’s killer and virtual wife was hauled off to jail in real life.)
In the Second Life case, not only did she dump his sorry boo-tay in the game but also in real life, as they were in fact, married to each other. Oh to be a fly on the wall in that divorce courtroom. "Well your honor, you see, his avatar cheated on me with an avatar whore (would that be a whorevatar?) and who knows WHAT kind of VIRUS he could have given me!!"
The money and time spent in the virtual gaming world is astounding. Because of the state of the world economy, more people are choosing to stay home rather than go out. Twenty dollars a month for a life in a virtual world is a helluva lot cheaper than dinner for two on a Saturday night, not to mention that you can make your avatar look like yourself only with larger breasts or perhaps, hung like a racehorse. Who needs a plastic surgeon? I have an avatar and I’m not afraid to use it!
The potential for a virtual legal system where you would elect virtual judges, hire virtual lawyers and conduct legal proceedings in a virtual courtroom is enormous. I’m pretty sure that if nobody has thought of it yet they will soon because hey, if there’s a whore to be screwed, there’s money to be made.
As for the British couple, sad yes, but as luck would have it, we hear she has moved on to a new lover from World of Warcraft. I hope she’s careful. That game involves sharp objects.