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The Roundtable: Committing Virtual Crime, Serving Real Time?

Should actions in the metaverse have real-life consequences?

A panel of commentators joined Roundtable to discuss sexual harassment, abortion, and other current hot-button issues. In this segment, the panel discusses laws and legality in the metaverse.

"It is how gamers behave—in Grand Theft Auto, you're killing hookers and driving over them. Do you criminalize that?" wonders Tracey Hoyos-Lopez, a former prosecutor.

"You will need the law in the metaverse," says Michael Loftus. "You can't do it in gaming, but you will need the law in the metaverse because they're gonna be selling real estate."

At the same time, Hoyos-Lopez says, there's "a difference between criminalizing the sale of [actual] drugs through the metaverse, which I understand, because that's drug trafficking and you are receiving a real product in real life." 

"That's unlawful," she says, "But are we going to criminalize people's behavior in the metaverse?"

Watch the full discussion below:

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Roundtable Guests:

Tracy Hoyos Lopez, Attorney, Former Prosecutor

Joy Villa, #1 Billboard Charting Singer, Actress, Producer

Michael Loftus, Host, The Loftus Party Podcast

Dr. Sarah Manski, Professor of Business and Global Affairs, George Mason University