I’m re-reading Ren Reynold’s “Intellectual Property Rights in Community Based Video Games”
and I had to take a little thinking breather, because I’m trying to get my head around the whole ‘arthor & work’ issue. I’m having a hard time agreeing with the unbelievably smart Mr. Reynolds when he states:

“The alternative position – that of Player as Author, is similarly difficult to sustain. If one is to assert that a player is the Author of a player-character, then under the present codifictaion of Intellectual Property law, the player characters must be a Work.
Player-characters require human endeavour in their creation and development, but while endeavour is a necessary condition of a Work, it is not sufficient. A Work must also be original and recorded in an appropriate form.
But the originality of any player-character is difficult to sustain because while player-characters do have unique elements e.g., their name. Other elements are simply field with a set and finite range of values, such that it is more than likely that for any given character there exists a digital-doppelganger in all but name
Thus there seems no defence in law for the position of a player as the Author of a player-character as player-characters are not Works”

My initial thoughts are “What bollocks!” – but as I’m playing around with the words, history, experience, individuality, story, narrative (still playing around with it actually – so I’ll get back with a good argument soon) – I started thinking about the word ‘digital-doppelganger’. What an odd choice of words for an Englishman, I thought and shared my amusement with Mr. Delicious who responded with a link to Wikipedia which gave me a few minutes of chuckles! Wikipedia is just sooo geekily charming! There are just no limits to what resources can be put into it!

I mean there’s the ‘famous reports of the Doppelgänger phenomenon’ where you can find the useful information that “Abraham Lincoln told his wife, while shaving after his election as president, that he saw an image of himself in the distance fade away while shaving in front of a mirror. He believed this to mean he would be elected to a second term but would not survive’.

And here’s the one that really got me going!! ‘The doppelgänger phenomenon in popular culture’ and there’s a list of literature, film, television, VIDEO GAMES (yay) and other media. I ofcourse had to have a look through this list and some I recognise the piece, but can’t think of doppelgängers and some I’m just REALLY suprised are in here!!!
Neighbours episode “The Joy Flight”, Janelle briefly sees Dylan’s doppelganger when he is involved in the plane crash”. He he…I remember Neighbours!!

So I guess I’m thinking…should I maybe for the first time ever contribute to Wikipedia starting a list of academic papers mentioning the phenomena?! Or maybe I should start my own definition of what a’ digital-doppelgänger’ is. But that’s kinda hard to do when I don’t believe in them!!

Yeah…I’ll shut up now and get back to work!

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