Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Microsoft Files Interesting Patent

It's become customary for gaming sites to report on patents filed for specific functions being done exclusively for one console. Most patents hardly interest me, but 1UP posted a patent by Microsoft called "User Created Game Guide".

Siliconera reports that the company's game platform strategy director Andre Vrignaud has filed a patent for user-submitted game guides over Xbox Live. According to the patent, the system detects where a player is stuck, and accesses a database with user-made tips for that section.

So an Xbox Live feature that replaces all those starter guides people buy for games, to help you get out of a situation you're approaching the wrong way or unsure what to do. Sounds pretty cool, but wait THERE'S MOOOORE:

The authoring features allow users to capture screenshots and video clips, and to use a digital pencil to mark them. It also may allow for audio commentary and tags, and developers can submit their own guides that will take precedence over user-created guides. There are obvious problems to be ironed out.

So if you're a gamer and you are a big shot with a certain game, you could help others. Just the thought of some random gamer recording audio commentary saying "Alright stupid ass, here's what you're supposed to do" sounds funny and potentially cool for some people to do. I welcome this interesting feature.

Although there is a concern it will make games too easy for people and discourage the "hunt" many go through for achievements and/or progressing through the game. Is the feature innocent enough to avoid abuse by cheap gamers?

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