This edited volume explores the intersection between the coded realm of the video game and the equally codified space of law through an insightful collection of critical readings.

Law is the ultimate multiplayer role-playing game. Involving a process of world-creation, law presents and codifies the parameters of licit and permitted behaviour, requiring individuals to engage their roles as a legal subject – the player-avatar of law – in order to be recognised, perform legal actions, activate rights or fulfil legal duties. Although traditional forms of law (copyright, property, privacy, freedom of expression) externally regulate the permissible content, form, dissemination, rights and behaviours of game designers, publishers, and players, this collection examines how players simulate, relate, and engage with environments and experiences shaped by legality in the realm of video game space.

Featuring critical readings of video games as a means of understanding law and justice, this book contributes to the developing field of cultural legal studies, but will also be of interest to other legal theorists, socio-legal scholars, and games theorists.

chapter |28 pages


Playing Law

part I|101 pages

Code as Law, Law as Play

chapter |20 pages

Towards a Legal Ludology

Language Games, Playful Magic, and the Game of Law

chapter |23 pages

Invisible Walls

Facts and Freedom in Coded Space

chapter |15 pages

Emergent Systems

Virtuality, Legality, Formality

part II|79 pages

Worldbuilding and Subject Formation

chapter |21 pages

Playing With Borders

Using Video Games to Bring Emotion Into the Law Classroom

chapter |18 pages

One More Turn

The Gamic Afterlives of Johnson v M'Intosh and Digital Settler Colonialism in Sid Meier's Civilization VI

chapter |18 pages

Playing the World Picture

Sid Meier's Civilization and the Law of Abstraction

chapter |20 pages

A Minor Jurisprudence of Play

Becoming Jurisprudents Through Play in the Majora's Mask

part III|98 pages

Sites of Law and Jurisprudence

chapter |15 pages

Law Among Chaos

An Anti-Schmittian Reading of Skyrim

chapter |21 pages

Terra Nullius

Claiming Land on Civilization's Empty Earth

chapter |19 pages

Game Over

On Emptying the Public Square