The law is always a step behind technology. In particular, the legal profession has expressed extreme difficulty in addressing the technical and expressive qualities present in video games. Video games are subtly complex by their very nature, and do not seem to fit completely into any singular field of law. The fields of copyright, trademark, patent, constitutional, and business law have all been applied to video games in an effort to regulate and protect them. As often as not, as many conflicting applications of law emerge as congruent ones.

The second annual Chicago Video Game Law Summit will be held on April 16th at the Chicago Bar Association in Chicago, Illinois. CVGLS 2016 will feature panels discussing hot topics in video game law ranging from the legal status of eSports to the ever-changing definition of free speech in virtual worlds. Organized as a joint venture of the John Marshall Video Game Law Society and the CBA YLS Creative Arts Committee, CVGLS 2016 aims to create a public forum where gamers and lawyers can explore, explain, and debate the latest issues in video game law.

Chicago Video Game Showcase

The city of Chicago has been integral to the development of the video game industry from its very inception. To honor that history, CVGLS 2016 will feature a Chicago Video Game Showcase! Attendees will be able to play a selection of Chicago-made games from past and present, and learn about Chicago’s enduring and evolving status as a platform for video game development.

Chicago Video Game Organizations

CVGLS could not be possible without the support of local video game community. This year, several of the organizations that are synonymous with video games in Chicago will be present at CVGLS to lend their continued support and meet with attendees. Participating organizations include: Bit Bash, IGDA Chicago, Sugar Gamers, VGA Gallery, and the Voxelles.

Meet the Organizers

Ross Hersemann

Ross A. Hersemann

Ross is a gamer, writer, and attorney. He received his J.D. and an LL.M. in intellectual property from the John Marshall Law School, where he also founded the John Marshall Video Game Law Society. In 2013, Ross launched Loading Law, a law blawg devoted to developing legal issues in video games. Ross has contributed articles to IGDA Perspectives, Game Dev Law, and his first book on video game law will be published in early 2017. Ross speaks about video game law regularly at conferences and conventions. His most recent speaking events include Indy Pop Con, Valor Con, and the Ohio Game Dev Expo. Ross also serves as the Board President of the Video Game Art Gallery, Board Member of the International Game Developers Association – Chicago Chapter, the Legislative Liaison for the Chicago Bar Association Creative Arts Committee, and the Alumni Advisor of the John Marshall Video Game Law Society.

Suzanne Jackiw

Suzanne (Zed) Jackiw

Suzanne is a junior associate at IE Law Group, a firm focused on video game law. She is also one of the founders of GameDevLaw.org, a blog about legal issues in the video game industry, and a 2015 graduate of Chicago-Kent College of Law. She has written articles on the legal issues of game development for several online and print publications. She has spoken at several industry conferences and online programs. Suzanne is a co-founder and board member of the Voxelles, a group for women in game development in Chicago. She is assistant to the board at the Video Game Bar Association, and she is also volunteer manager for Take This, an organization focused on mental health in the gaming community.

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