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U.S. Patent No. 8,690,653: Video game systems and methods
Issued Apr. 8, 2014, to Nintendo Co., Ltd.




Summary:

The ‘653 patent covers multiplayer games in which each player controls a separate character and, under certain conditions, a character may become invincible. Each player uses a separate controller. While a character is invincible, the character responds to a different control scheme than when a character is susceptible to damage.


Abstract:

Example systems and methods relate to a video game in which multiple players each supply inputs to a respective input device to control a corresponding game character in a game world. Movements and actions of each game character are controlled in accordance with respective first game character control operations during the playing of the video game. If one of a plurality of conditions is satisfied by one of the players, the one player's game character is protected from harm in the game world. Movements and actions of the protected game character are controlled in accordance with a second game character control operation. The protecting of the one player's game character is stopped in response to one or more protecting stopping conditions, whereby the game character is again controllable in accordance with the first game character control operation.


Illustrative Claim:

1. A method comprising:
while playing a multi-player video game in which multiple players each supply inputs to a respective input device to control a corresponding game character in a game world displayed on a display screen,
controlling movements of each game character in the game world in accordance with respective first game character control operations during the playing of the multi-player video game;
in response to satisfaction of any one of a plurality of conditions by one of the players, protecting the one player's game character from harm in the game world, wherein the plurality of conditions include both voluntary conditions based on the one player's inputs and involuntary conditions automatically imposed by the multi-player video game;
controlling movements of the protected game character in the game world; and
stopping the protecting of the one player's game character in response to one or more protecting stopping conditions, whereby the movements of the one player's game character in the game world are controllable in accordance with the first game character control operation for that game character.

U.S. Patent No. 8,715,087: Video game including user determined location information
Issued May 6, 2014





Summary:

The ‘087 patent covers a method and device, which work together to collect player selected GPS information then use that information in the creation of some elements of a game world. The created elements may be derived from real world video or from other stored information. The game world is mapped over the selected GPS location.


Abstract:

A method, apparatus and computer program product for a video game including user determined location information is presented. Location information (e.g. GPS, Google Maps, an entered address or the like) determined by a user of a video game is acquired. Then user determined location information relating to a physical location determined by the user is mapped to a video game environment wherein the user of the video game experiences objects from the users entered location while playing the video game.


Illustrative Claim:

1. A computer-implemented method comprising:
receiving information about a real world physical location for a user of a videogame;
obtaining user determined location information relating to said real world physical location determined by said user, said user determined location information comprising continuous pre-recorded actual video of said real world physical location and of an area surrounding said real world physical location; and
mapping said user determined location information into a video game environment wherein the user of said video game experiences objects from the entered real world physical location, wherein said user traverses said video game environment while playing said video game, wherein said user of said video game is stationary in said real world and wherein all images acquired from said continuous pre-recorded actual video remains exactly as presented in the real physical world into the video game.

U.S. Patent No. 8,721,412: System and method configured to unlock content within a videogame
Issued May 13, 2014, to Activision Publishing, Inc.





Summary:

The ‘412 patent covers both single and multi-player video games. The games covered have different content sets, or quests, that can be completed by any combination of a single player, other real world players, and artificial intelligences. The player can move between these content sets, interact with the players therein, and complete discrete goals.


Abstract:

A system and method are configured to provide a videogame to one or more players. The videogame may involve a series of different sets of content within which players perform activities. A group of players may be associated with the content sets. The players may include virtual players controlled by artificial intelligence and one or more real world players. Players may progress through the videogame by moving from content sets to content sets, performing objectives in the various content sets, and interacting with the players within those content sets.


Illustrative Claim:

1. A system configured to provide a player with a videogame, the system comprising:
a game platform configured to implement one or more computer program modules to provide a player with the videogame, the one or more computer program modules comprising:
a content module configured to manage multiple sets of content within the videogame, wherein the multiple sets of content within the videogame comprise a first content set that is accessible to the player engaging in the videogame and a second content set that is not accessible to the player initially within the videogame, wherein the second content set is associated with a first set of criteria, wherein the content module is configured to unlock the second content set within the videogame for the player to enable the player to access the second content set within the videogame responsive to the player fulfilling the first set of criteria, wherein the first set of criteria includes performance of one or more tasks provided by the first content set that are not sufficient to pass the first content set, successful participation in one or more events associated with the first content set, and achieving a first disposition mode for a social relationship between the player and one or more virtual players in the videogame, and wherein the first content set and the second content set must be passed to complete the videogame; and
an event module configured to manage a first set of events associated with the first content set, and to determine if the player has successfully participated in individual events in the first set of events, and wherein the first set of criteria associated with the first content set requires successful performance of some subset of the first set of events as determined by the event module.

U.S. Patent No. 8,740,707: Video game controller for multiple users
Issued Jun. 3, 2014




Summary:

The ‘707 patent is a hardware patent, which covers a game controller that can be used by two or more players cooperatively. The controller senses real world movement and converts these signals into information that can control game play. The controller relies on conductive materials to sense how many players are using the controller and in which ways.


Abstract:

The present invention provides a video game controller and apparatus that may be used by two or more players. The users physically manipulate the control device cooperatively to the kinesthetic feedback of the other player(s) to control the events of the video game. By working together through orientation of the controller, the players can jointly move the video game object on the screen and/or govern the play of the game.


Illustrative Claim:

1. A video game system for cooperative play by two or more players comprising:
a first conductive material attached to or in contact with a first player's body and a second conductive material attached to or in contact with a second player's body;
a microcontroller in communication with the first and second conductive materials, said microcontroller further being in communication with a computer processing unit (CPU) or a game console;
whereby skin of the first player touching skin of the second player closes a circuit between the first and the second conductive materials and the microcontroller, said circuit closing causing the microcontroller to send a signal to the CPU or the game console thereby causing said CPU or gameconsole to display a video game having at least one game object that responds in accordance with the signal.

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