Gamasutra has learned that Greg Lastowka, a professor of law at Rutgers University whose writings and lectures advanced the legal understanding of online games and virtual worlds, passed away this week.
The news was brought to Gamasutra's attention by a memorial blog post from James Grimmelmann, who remembers his friend Lastowka as "a booster of good scholarship wherever it could be found, a low-key and patient institution-builder, and a calming presence in contentious debates. Greg was a mensch."
Grimmelmann and Lastowka shared an interest in how law applies to virtual worlds, and Lastowka earned acclaim in the game industry for exploring the field via academic papers, his book Virtual Justice and his writings across many online outlets -- including the Terra Nova game studies blog he co-founded and his Gamasutra blog.
Lastowka also took time to offer comment on a number of Gamasutra features, and even wrote one of his own about the legal implications of including public figures in games. He will be missed.