Jordan's Scratch Journal Entry

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Over the weekend, I created “coil” and played games called “pong” and “ski-ball.” This process brought me into contact with a variety of different legal regimes and helped me to see the relationship between law and code. It also left me with a little bit of a puzzle (see parenthetical at the bottom of the final paragraph in this journal entry.)

One legal regime with which I came into contact defined the moves that game players are capable of making, without regard to whether they win or they lose. Thus, the law that governs Rebecca’s game (“pong”) says that a player is capable of moving the pong paddle back and forth. (such laws are analogous to laws of nature)

Another kind of legal regime defines the moves that a player must use to win the game he is playing. For instance, the basic law in the game I created (“coil”) says that a player only wins the game if he is able to move his sprite to the center of the coil without touching a wall. (such laws are analogous to statutory [common?] laws)

A third kind of legal regime has to do with the combinations of scratch code that a game-creator can use. For example, these laws explain which combinations of scratch code can and can’t be used in the creation of successful games (such laws seem at least partially analogous to constitutional provisions)

Each legal regime is created through code – the fact that the pong paddle can be moved backwards and forwards, that a player loses coil if he touches a wall, and that only certain combination of scratch code can be used in the creation of successful games is the result of how someone has used code to lend structure to an environment (puzzle: what is the basic code in the world that we inhabit?)