- A video game design where the player uses a map to drive around in a city, rather than a race track, and doesn’t have to stay on roads.
- Cars surrounded by an invisible smaller "danger zone" and larger “caution zone." Virtual people in the danger zone jump out of the way. Virtual people in the caution zone stop walking, rather than walk into the danger zone. The patent says this is so virtual collisions won’t occur, “because recently it is strongly required to avoid cruel game images.”
- Arrows hover showing which direction to go to reach the destination. Here’s a figure from the patent illustrating how an arrow can point out the correct direction to the player:
Sega's game Crazy Taxi, released in 2000, required players to act as a taxi driver and earn money by performing extreme stunts and shuttling passengers to their destinations as quickly as possible. The Simpsons: Road Rage was released in 2001 and features similar game play of racing to get passengers to destinations and completing missions to collect money. Sega brought this lawsuit at the end of 2003 claiming the defendants’ game was an obvious rip-off of Crazy Taxi because it copied certain gameplay elements such as using arrows to direct the player where to go and having pedestrian characters jump out of the way of cars.
GamesIndustry recognized the effects a court ruling may have had on the gaming industry: “Gameplay patents could arguably encourage more innovation in games and stem the flow of staid clones which follow on from every successful original title, which would certainly be a good thing. However, certain other less pleasant possibilities also arise from a verdict in Sega's favour in this case. Imagine a world where Bungie had patented the Halo control system - generally agreed as the logical best solution to controlling FPS games on console joypads. Other developers would be forced to adopt different and almost certainly inferior control mechanisms; and the person who really lost out in the end would be the consumer.”
Really? Really?!?! Does Sega believe it is the first game to "emphatically display" an object to which another movable object can navigate? Yeah, I bet Fox settled cheap...
25. An electronic device for displaying a game in which a movable object which is movable in a virtual space gets a specific object at a prescribed position in the virtual space and is moved to a destination in the virtual space, comprising:
display means for emphatically displaying a position of the specific object.