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U.S. Patent No. 6,829,569: Social dilemma software for evaluating online interactive societies
Issued Dec. 7, 2004, to Microsoft


Summary:

The ‘569 patent describes a social dilemma virtual world environment software which creates and uses social dilemma tests or exercises for measuring and analyzing online interactive societies. Whenever two or more people play online together (whether by voice or text communication), the software monitors the activities of the players in order to determine level of cooperation and trust between the group.

Abstract:

Social dilemma virtual world environment (VWE) software facilitates creation and usage of social dilemma tests or exercises for measuring and analyzing online interactive societies. An online interactive society arises whenever two or more people interact through a computer-based communication medium, which may include text or written communication, audio communication, still or motion video communication, or any combination of these communication formats. The social dilemma VWE software and the methodology of the present invention are capable of distinguishing the levels of cooperation and trust that are created by various interface and social factors within online interactive societies. Evaluating with social dilemma VWE software the effects of such social and interface factors on the degree of online cooperation allows such factors to be incorporated into the design and functionality of online interactive societies.

Illustrative Claim:

1. In a computer-readable medium, software objects of a social dilemma virtual world environment for evaluating an interactive online society of plural participants, the software objects comprising: one or more social dilemma exercise objects that, when executed on a computer, implement a social dilemma exercise between the participants and logs social factors and interface factors that can be evaluated to determine a level of success of the social dilemma exercise; and one or more computer-based communication objects that, when executed on a computer, selectively provide computer-based communication between participants in the social dilemma exercise.

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