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 John Marshall Video Game Law Society was founded in May of 2014. Through its membership and events like the Chicago Video Game Law Summit, the VGLS has two goals: to inform the legal community of the unique legal protections video games require, and reach out to the game industry to raise awareness of what legal protections are available for the medium. The Chicago Video Game Law Summit is the first annual symposium hosted by the VGLS, and aims to create a public forum where gamers and lawyers can explore, explain, and debate the latest issues in video game law.

Meet the Organizers

Ross Hersemann

Ross A. Hersemann

Ross is the founder of the Video Game Law Society at the John Marshall Law School. He received his J.D. from John Marshall in 2014 and his LL.M. in Intellectual Property in 2015. His law blawg Loading Law was founded in 2013 and is devoted to developing legal issues in video games. In addition to writing for Loading Law, Ross has contributed articles to IGDA Perspectives, Legati Law, and Game Dev Law. Ross’ most recent speaking events include Indy Pop Con and the Ohio Game Dev Expo. Ross volunteers at the JMLS Trademark Clinic, the Video Game Art Gallery, and Chicago Loot Drop. His favorite video game is Sonic the Hedgehog.

Suzanne Jackiw

Suzanne (Zed) Jackiw

Suzanne is a law student at Chicago-Kent College of Law, graduating May 2015, and a Founder of GameDevLaw.org. Her primary focus is on Business and Intellectual Property issues as they relate to Video Game Law. Suzanne has written articles on the legal issues of game development for the Journal of the Patent and Trademark Office Society, The SciTech Lawyer, the IGDA, and the Patent Arcade. She also currently writes for Game Dev Law and Loading Law. She has experience in general practice firm law and video game business development. Suzanne currently speaks at conferences on video game law and is employed as an intern with IE Law Group, a video game law firm.

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