The ‘973 patent is designed to help insure a player’s cooperation and fulfillment of contracts in a video game. The invention allows a player to enter into virtual contracts in the game, contracts which are connected to a real-world bank account (through credit card information). Whenever a player defaults on a contract made in-game, he is fined in real-world money for the breaking of the contract. For all of you who get fed up with players quitting the game before a task is done, it seems this invention could be for you…if you’re willing to risk your money on your own virtual contracts.
The disclosure provides novel video game methods and systems. The disclosure includes methods and systems for allowing game players to secure in-game contracts using credit systems such as credit cards or other financial instruments. The disclosure further provides methods and systems for providing virtual and/or real world financial penalties to game players and/or player characters who default on in-game agreements.
1. A method performed by a computer, the method comprising: providing, by a Video Game Central Server, a virtual environment that is accessible to one or more players; receiving, by the Video Game Central Server, credit card information from a player; receiving, by the Video Game Central Server, a request to enter into a virtual contract from the player; wherein the virtual contract includes a condition that requires the player to engage in an action other than accessing the virtual environment; guaranteeing, by the Video Game Central Server, the player's performance of the condition identified in the virtual contract with the financial instrument; penalizing, by the Video Game Central Server, the player if the condition is not met, by imposing a financial obligation on the credit card, where the condition is paying a periodic insurance premium for a virtual item; and maintaining, by the Video Game Central Server, the player's credit history by maintaining records of the player's contract obligations and rate of success in fulfilling the obligations.
U.S. Patent No. 7,666,095
U.S. Patent No.7,645,194