Online worlds can involve large numbers of people, and they need some kind of governance.
Even though "Eve Online" is only virtual, it looks like they're evolving in ways that reflect real-life governance.
I'd suggest taking a look at In a Virtual Universe, the Politics Turn Real in the Times today:
The kingdom is in crisis. After pledging to treat its citizens equally, the government stands accused of unfairly favoring one powerful, well-connected political faction. Many citizens have taken to open dissent, even revolt, and some are threatening to emigrate permanently.
This specter of corruption has emerged most recently not in some post-colonial trouble spot but in the virtual nation of an Internet game called Eve Online (population 200,000) where aspiring star pilots fight over thousands of solar systems in a vast science-fiction universe every day.
I think this is part of a really big deal.