It is true that “intellectual property” is different from “physical property”, but it neither works to describe “virtual goods” very well. This website, you might think, is virtual… but it isn’t. It is very physical, and that is the key that the arguments about I.P.Rights miss: only people of a certain privilege and possessions can access, and thus care about, “virtual” stuff.
We could buy the news for $1 a newspaper, or perhaps even get “free” newspapers, full of advertisements. We don’t really think that is is free, though, do we? Newspapers have long become conduits for advertisements which contain articles only to drive adoption… but not all of them. Others became brighter, more entertaining, and less well researched. The tabloids.
In gaming, only the tabloid type games get a lot of press nowadays. The bright, shiny ones. Including minecraft.
Yet, whilst people complain and argue about these, often within the same square mile, they are people homeless, hungry, and desperate for an opportunity to be respected by society.
How do we get a world which is more concerned with exploiting everyone, than with empowering everyone?
It was by believing that some things are virtual, and that simple models can work for complex systems. Thus, it is ironic, that now that we have the prolific availability of physical tools to do simulations of complex systems for us, we instead use them for entertainment.
There is nothing wrong with minecraft, but there is something wrong with homeless people in regions with plenty of unused housing.
I think we should think more about how to foster people to become more empowered: well housed, capable of negotiating a better future, and embraced, rather than categorized, by humanity.