Faculty Pub Night with Robert Brain: What You Missed

Meg De Leon
Library Student Ambassador Meg

Today’s post was written by library student ambassador Meg De Leon. 

On Tuesday, December 2, a small group gathered together in the William H. Hannon Library’s Von der Ahe Family Suite to share a drink and to discuss video games and law. Yes, that’s right: law. Robert D. Brain, a Clinical Professor of Law at Loyola Law School, has recently published the second edition of his book, Videogame Law: Cases, Statutes, Forms Problems, and Materials, the only casebook in the United States that focuses exclusively on video games.

Everyone in the audience was intrigued by the notion that there are laws regarding video games and were eagerly awaiting for Professor Brain to explain how the two were tied together. Brain started off by picking a member from the audience and using him as a character in a scenario. “If your name, image, or likeness (NIL) has been used by a product that has made money, what would you expect?” Everyone in the audience agreed when the selected member firmly said, “Money.”

Money is the reason for the need of laws regarding video games. Brain revealed that many individuals who are depicted in certain games do not earn a single penny from the billions of dollars in revenue video games earn for their respective companies. The topic has been hotly debated and a case has even made its way to court because of the quandary. At the time of the case, there were few to no laws concerning video games. But as the years went by and video games became more and more sophisticated, there was a need for litigation to set limits on certain issues that have risen due to lack of legal regulation. Brain’s daughter, who introduced the evening’s speaker, commented that “there hasn’t been a precedence about this before.” She commended her father for co-authoring Videogame Law and wishes that the topic be discussed more as it is rapidly growing.

After speaking about the different cases and issues that have been brought up to court in regards to video games, the audience was left in awe with many of the members saying, “I never knew!” Everyone wanted to hear more of what Professor Brain had to say but sadly the night had to come to a close. Students who attended, although initially apprehensive of sitting for two hours talking about law, said that they had a surprisingly great time at Faculty Pub Night and will attend those in the coming semester. Faculty Pub Night will be back in January 22 with guest speaker Cesare Romano, who will be discussing “Human Germline Modification and the Right to Science.”

Thank you, Meg, for sharing your experience and reflections with us! If you are a student interested in being an event correspondent at a library event, contact John Jackson, Head of Outreach and Communications for the William H. Hannon Library.