Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date



Both players and game developers have great influence over how avatars—via their assembled components— manifest in digital game play. Developers craft their foundational platforms and draw on those infrastructures to craft dynamic code that enables movements, appearances, and abilities. But those potentials call into question whether avatars are avatars until they are played—players click avatars into being, customize their bodies and attire, drive their actions and interactions, and sometimes bring them outside the game world through physical representations. So, given avatars’ joint reliance on developers and players, and given legal frameworks such as copyright law, who really “owns” a video game avatar?



To view the content in your browser, please download Adobe Reader or, alternately,
you may Download the file to your hard drive.

NOTE: The latest versions of Adobe Reader do not support viewing PDF files within Firefox on Mac OS and if you are using a modern (Intel) Mac, there is no official plugin for viewing PDF files within the browser window.