This Note analyzes the development and efficacy of social norms in maximizing the welfare of participants in the virtual community of Second Life. Although some of these norms developed appropriately in response to the objectives and purposes of this virtual world, Second Life is so thoroughly steeped in conditions that have impeded the development of successful social norms in other communities that any system of social norms in Second Life will ultimately fail. Because social norms will likely,fail to successfully maximize resident welfare, regulatory schemes imposed both by the operators of the virtual world and by real-world governing institutions are needed to enhance the functioning of this particular alternative reality inhabited by millions.
The Development and Failure of Social Norms in Second Life,
58 Duke Law Journal
Available at: http://scholarship.law.duke.edu/dlj/vol58/iss2/4