A great amount of video games is protected by patents. As a rule, video games develop much faster than any other entertainment industry and each game invention has the author. Respectively, the author’s ideas are accepted in order to be protected by patents from competitors or at least to make good money (in case the idea is really successful). Among these patents sometimes can be found very unusual and funny. In Part 1 we will present 5 examples of such inventions.

NES Controller

Crossings on Gamepad

Invention of: Nintendo
Excerpt from the patent:Multi switch which can be mechanically activated in different directions by the operator’s finger tip pressure. It has the shape of the cross.
Significance: A crossing, or so called D-pad is presented on all console types of gamepad, including NES. But if you look closely, you will notice that the shape of a cross was taken only on controllers of Nintendo. Sega and Microsoft framed the “arrows” with a plastic circle and Sony preferred to separate all directional buttons. These creative solutions are the result of the patent obtained by Nintendo in 1983. It describes in detail the device of cross which could not be copied by the Japanese contenders. Nearer to the forbidden territory came Sega in 1998 when D-pad gamepad Dreamcast had the shape of a cross, but was significantly different of both look and mechanics of the work. The patent had been invalidated only in 2005, but the consequences of its departure we see just now: D-pad controller of Xbox One looks like a classic “cross”.

Crazy Taxi

Directional Arrow

Invention of: Sega
Excerpt from the patent:A method of displaying the direction for the object that is moving in the virtual space to a destination.
Significance: The directional arrow for the first time appeared in the arcade racing Crazy Taxi. When a passenger was getting in your car, a green arrow displayed at the top of the screen that shows you where to go. This is a very simple and intuitive method of orientation, so Sega had arrogated it and even successfully sued the developers of The Simpsons: Road Rage (they decided that the replacement of the arrow with the index finger will not be a breach). However, this ban has given life to new solutions: GTA 3 introduced to the players a much more friendly minimap, so, the arrow is no longer needed.

Fallout

Dialog Wheel

Invention of: Electronic Arts
Excerpt from the patent:A graphical interface is displayed during operation of the program that provides a choice indicator, wherein the choice indicator has a plurality of selectable slots, each associated with a dialog class. The graphical interface is consistent as to the position of dialog classes throughout at least a segment of the program.
Significance: Dialogues in role-playing games had been giving for a long time an accurate representation of the consequences that would trigger this or that phrase in conversation. Thus, the half of the fun of Fallout I was the augury whether you get shot after another replica or not. Mass Effect previously explained the meaning of each phrase: the good answers are always located at the top right of the dialog wheels, the hostile ones are at the bottom right, and so on. Such a system has become a part of a series’ patented element. Other role-playing games still use simple lists of available responses.

Sonic-Sega

Running in Spiral

Invention of: Sega
Excerpt from the patent:A method is provided for controlling the appearance of a video game character, as the character traverses a path displayed on a display screen; wherein the method is used in a video game system which includes a graphics controller, digital memory and a display screen, the method comprises the steps of: displaying a banked path segment in which the game character is displayed upright at least one location on the banked path and is displayed upside down at at least one other location on this banked path…
Significance: The complicated formulation of the patent conceals a simple idea. Do you remember blue Sonic the hedgehog who ran through the corkscrew loops? At that moment we have seen him upside down and at angles. Sega could not patent the idea of the loops, but completely does the method of displaying two-dimensional character that falls into them.

EA-Logo

Gaming Console of EA

Invention of: Electronic Arts
Excerpt from the patent:An electronic game system includes a game console, which accepts a game cartridge and runs the games stored therein, and a wireless controller for controlling actions in the game. The wireless controller includes a radio frequency transmitter for sending control signals to the console, and the console includes a receiver for receiving the control signals from the controller. Because the controller uses radio frequency signals instead of infrared signals to send information to the console, the controller may be operated at a large distance from the console. Thus, the game system of the invention may be used in long range applications wherein the console and the controller need to be separated by a relatively large distance.
Significance: In early 1994, Electronic Arts applied for a patent of their own gaming console. It has been almost two decades and the patent will soon be over, but in reality such a controller does not exist yet. And, what makes things worse for EA, the company could not even sue anybody. Nintendo 64, released in 1996, had only wired gamepads. Though, the subsequent generation of consoles switched to wireless controllers, but they decisively abandoned cartridges at the same time. Fail.

In Part 2 we’ll be talking about 4 more Patented Game Inventions That Might Amaze You.

About the author: Paul Smith is a professional writer who composes articles about health, lifestyle, self-development, social media, and business. His hobbies are dancing and traveling. Paul can be contacted at Google+ and custom essay writer.

 

This post is brought to you by Car Games World.

CarGamesWorld

One of the best parts of the Internet is how many games are available to play for free. If you don’t have a lot of funds and are not able to pay for very expensive next generation consoles and the equally as expensive games that go with them, you are not out of luck. There is no shortage of creative websites that have put together very cool games. Car Games World is one of these such places.

Car Games World has seven different categories with more than fifty games. One of the categories is Parking Games, which includes such games as Parking Space, Parking Master, Violet Park, Docking Perfection, and parking game. A second category is Truck Games, with games including Police Truck, Rocky Monster, Space Hummer, truck mania part 2, Trucksformers 2. My favorite of the seven categories is Racing Games, with such titles as Offroaders 2, Age of Speed 1 and 2, Spy Car, and Smash Palace. Lets take a look at a few of the games that are available to play online for free.

Age of Speed 2

Age of Speed 2. From Silent Bay Studios, this free game is a racing game that takes the user to the future and challenges you to master tracks with huge jumps and a fast pace. The gameplay and controls are basic. You use a combination of the arrow keys to steer, accelerate, and brake and the x key for using power-ups.

FBI Chase 2

FBI Chase 2. From Car Games 9, FBI Chase 2 reminds me of the classic Nintendo game Spy Hunter. You are racing down the road trying to find criminal cars and run them off the road.

Space Drifting

Space Drifting. From 101 Car Games, Space Drifting combines two awesome things; racing and space. You face off against other racers in a future like setting where you earn points from “drifting” around corners and in circles. You need to hit minimum point sets in races to move on.

If you like one or another game, there is most likely something on Car Games World that will help you kill many many hours. The above are only a very small sampling of the variety of games the website hosts. Head over there and come back and leave us a comment with what games you play and which is your favorite.

Posted on November 18th, 2013 by ThePit | Leave a Comment (2)
Filed Under Entertainment

Batman Arkham Origins

Batman: Arkham Origins is a prequel to the hugely successful and critically acclaimed Batman: Arkham Asylum and Batman: Arkham City from developers Rocksteady. This is the first title in the series from new developers Warner Bros. Games Montreal.

The difference is not a big deal, but I’m afraid Origins feels like a copy and paste of Arkham City with very little added in terms of gameplay. The Bat-gadgets aren’t exactly an upgrade and no new combat has been added. The script is pretty decent, especially when you consider that Batman expert Paul Dini didn’t have any input on it. The voice acting is top notch with Troy Baker and Roger Craig Smith making more than worthy successors for Kevin Conroy and Mark Hamill.

Batman Arkham Origins Penguin

As for other characters, Black Mask is severely and disappointingly underused. I liked some of the re-imaging of characters, such as Nolan North’s Cockney Penguin, who is a joy to behold. The new female Copperhead stands out as well.

I really did enjoy the game, but I felt it was too short. I completed the main story mode in under a week and when I came to load to do side missions I found the main story mode only makes up 30 per cent of the overall 100 per cent completion. Call me crazy, but I find that criminal. Games should be made to last, not just for online value as well as side missions. Like I said, Batman: Arkham Origins was enjoyable, but I couldn’t just shake the feeling that I’d been here and done it before. So I’d give it a…

***½

Posted on November 11th, 2013 by Kris Greet | Leave a Comment (2)
Filed Under Entertainment

Despite the meteoric rise of video games, board games are still going strong, as increased sales prove. Families have the opportunity to enjoy both video games and board games together, taking the advantages of each and widening the options for family game night.

The Entertainment Software Association found that 59 percent of parents surveyed felt that video games produced a cohesive family environment, and 71 percent of parents believed that video games could provide mental stimulation. While these numbers are definitely encouraging to any young gamer who wants to spend more time on the console, they may also signal a cultural shift in the way game night happens.

Advantages of playing board games

Historically, board games brought people together. Board games are far from dead, indicated by their climbing sales every year for the last decade. They offer distinct advantages over video games that serious gamers can appreciate. Board games are much more in line with the game developer’s idea of the game than video games, which rely on programmers to translate the game developer’s idea into a digital format. The lengthy video game development process creates more room for duds, which can make it challenging for a gamer to select a new, quality game. Quintin Smith of Kotaku recommends several board games that video gamers would enjoy, including Catacombs, The Resistance, Fury of Dracula, Descent: The Road to Legend, Cyclades and Risk Legacy.

Board games are also much cheaper than video games, which have a higher retail cost and offer expansion packs and extras for additional fees.

While many video games have a narrative sequence that is the same every time, board games have scenarios that differ each time you play. There are exceptions here, as video games have adopted the idea of in-game consequences where what you do or how you act has game-changing consequences. An example of this type of game is the Battlefield series, a shooter game with a dynamic environment.

Advantages of video games

Video games have their own advantages for adults as well as for children. They can improve early literacy skills, help folks learn to delegate responsibility, participate on a team, improve hand-eye coordination and get better at multitasking — all skills that translate directly to the workplace. Wii or Kinect games offer physical benefits for gamers and can be a fun way for the whole family to be active together. While your family cannot play a board game across state lines, members can collaborate on a video game using online gaming platforms.

When parents take the time to play video games with their children, Arizona State University researcher Elizabeth Hayes notes, they can insert teaching moments into the fun time and may be better able to maintain open lines of communication with tweens and teens, who may be trying to assert independence. While first person shooter games have earned a negative reputation, there are lots of fun and family-friendly games on the market for families to play.

This guest post was written by Grant Weaver, a writer from Detroit.

Posted on November 2nd, 2013 by admin | Leave a Comment
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Turbo from DreamWorks

Win at all costs! The company DreamWorks has not made an exception on making a life-affirming, bright, touching cartoon about a dream, which seems so unachievable and impossible, but comes to life because the one who dreamt this dream refused to give up and surrender. So, here is the new creation DreamWorks, a brilliant and beautiful cartoon Turbo.

The story of Turbo is the life story of a small yet astonishing snail, which looked pretty ordinary at the first glance, but kept an immense dream in his heart. His name is Theo, and Turbo is his nickname, a sonorous alias which was based on his reckless dream to become fast. It must sound ridiculous, and even more than this. A fast snail, a joke of nature, a fruit of some craze fantasy.  From our early childhood we know that snails are ones of the slowest creatures in the Earth. But Turbo could not care less about the prejudices he was surrounded by, because he dreamed of racing, he dreamed of becoming a winner and indeed, he managed to make his dream come true. Of course, a miracle took place, and even as the Turbo trailer demonstrates, Turbo nearly died under the wheels of a racing car to acquire some supernatural powers of unimaginable speed. Despite the difficulties, he overcame his fears and doubts, defeated every trouble with a little help from his loyal friends, he made it to the race and he owned the race.

If you want something ardently, if you give your heart and soul to that, if your dedication is as profound as you desire, your dream is destined to come true.

So Turbo is a cartoon not about races, snails, or something just as concrete. Turbo’s dream of being fast is a metaphor for every single dreamer out there, who has some doubts about his dream, who is afraid or not dedicated enough to achieve it. Turbo is a story of unimaginable success, unconditional friendship, pure faith, incredible dedication and, of course, the strength of character. It does not matter, how many times you fail, how many times you become a laughing stock, how many times it seems that you have lost it all. As long as you have faith in your powers, a few faithful friends, who are there for you whatever happens and a dream, which keeps you breathing, you have every chance to success. Turbo took a reckless shot. He was carrying inside of his snaily soul a dream so big it made him strong enough to make to the finish of the race. And his example teaches us to never give up, because our dream should give us strength to achieve the greatest things.

Posted on October 22nd, 2013 by MHD | Leave a Comment
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Marvel Agents of Shield

Okay, we are five episodes into Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD and I have to say, I dig it. Clark Gregg’s Agent Coulson genuinely looks like he is having a blast as he chews through the scenery. I love the nods to the movies and seeing both Maria Hill and Nick Fury earlier in the season was shocking (I figured we’d get one, both both? Awesome.). The show feels like it is firmly set in the Marvel movie universe and I love that we’re getting to see more of the said universe. What will happen when the new Thor movie is released? Will we see any of the supporting characters? How about the big guy himself?

My only complaint so far is that the rest of the team needs to be fleshed out a bit more. I want to know more about them. Fitz and Simmons are a lot of fun, Agent May has shown shades of her dark past, but why should we root for Agent Ward or Skye? Neither have drawn me in the way past Whedon leads have. They don’t have the Buffy and Angel chemistry, Captain Mal’s wit, or Echo’s mysterious past and circumstances. Than again, we have plenty of time to learn more about the team and I’ll be along for the ride.

Official Description, “Girl in the Flower Dress”: Coulson and the team travel to Asia to rescue a young man with an unusual and dangerous power. Meanwhile, Skye has a secret that jeopardizes her relationship with the team.

Marvel’s Agents of SHIELD airs tonight at 8pm on ABC. What else is on tonight?

8PM
NCISCBS: NCIS (crime drama)
CW: The Originals (supernatural drama)
NBC: The Biggest Loser (competition)
ABCFAM: Pretty little Liars (teen drama)
FOX: Dads/Brooklyn Nine Nine (comedies)
CNN: Anderson Cooper 360 (news showcase)
DIS: Wolfblood (info)

9PM
Supernatural, Show LogoCW: Supernatural (supernatural drama)
ABCFAM: Ravenswood (teen drama)
NBC: The Voice (competition)
CBS: NCIS Los Angeles (crime drama)
ABC: The Goldbergs/Trophy Wife (comedies)
SYFY: Face Off (competition)
FOX: New Girl/The Mindy Project (comedies)

10PM
TV Logo - Sons of AnarchyFX: Sons of Anarchy (drama)
NBC: Chicago Fire (drama)
CBS: Person of Interest (thriller/drama)
TNT: Cold Justice
LIFE: Chasing Nashville (reality)
MTV: (10:30) Awkward (teen)
CNBC: Car Chasers (reality)

Posted on October 22nd, 2013 by ThePit | Leave a Comment (3)
Filed Under Entertainment

Gravity

Alfonso Cuaron is the kind of director who can inspire strong emotions- positive and negative- from audiences, simply by being attached to a film. The Mexican director has been nominated for three Oscars and has brought home a total of 29 awards for films as different as Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban, the dystopian Children of Men and the steamy Y Tu Mama Tambien.

Cuaron’s unique visual style and dark humor have helped cement him a place of honor among many American film audiences, and his skills have matured with each successive film. The style is not for everyone, though, and plenty of viewers find themselves feeling exhausted or disoriented by the ambitious storytelling.

All of which makes it supremely interesting that Cuaron’s newest film, Gravity, has been heralded as “the best space film ever done” by James Cameron, and Guillermo del Toro called it “completely mind-blowing.” With praise like that from two huge names in Hollywood, it’s clear that Gravity is something special– but what can movie audiences really expect from it?

What is Gravity?

If you haven’t heard about the movie previously, don’t worry: You don’t know much less about it than the rest of us. The film’s official trailer does little to reveal much of the plot. Instead, it simply features one long, uncomfortably tense scene between a pair of astronauts – played by Sandra Bullock and George Clooney – as they attempt to make a repair outside of a spaceship. A piece of floating debris hits Bullock, sending her reeling, and she tumbles away into space.

Until recently, that’s basically everything audiences knew about the film.

Now that Gravity has hit film festivals and has been released in theaters, everyone who watches it seems to have only great things to say, but details of the story are still maddeningly vague. From the film’s IMDB page, we know that the film is a survival story set in space, and it’s billed as a techno-thriller. And from what we’ve seen of the trailer and reviews from Cameron and other industry giants, it’s quite clear that Cuaron’s pulled out all the stops to make this a visually stunning cinematic event.

Gravity

A Technological Feat

Gravity, which should have been an easy story to film, reportedly took Cuaron four and a half years to make because it demanded technology that did not yet exist. Instead, his team had to innovate new solutions to create the effects.

When watching the trailer, the graphics are so beautifully rendered that the viewer is completely oblivious to how the film was made: with two actors suspended in harnesses inside a 9 by 9 foot chroma-keyed cube. From a technical perspective, then, it’s no wonder that other filmmakers are praising the film as a marvel of cinematography; Cuaron’s managed to accomplish something that no other space movie has done successfully, and it may come to be held up in film school as a hallmark of the genre.

Most space films spend a rather limited amount of time actually in space. They take place instead on the deck of a spaceship or surface of a planet, with the occasional CGI or stock footage establishing shot of the universe to put things in perspective. By and large, these movies were constrained by the limitations of a sound stage and what type of sets could be built. The real vastness of space is something the audience must accept and remember but never really see in its full glory.

Cuaron’s film doesn’t seem to do that. Gravity appears to be giving us more space than ever. His signature long takes and wide-angle shots are meant to portray both the enormity of space and the intimacy of personal stories, and the reviews so far suggest that he’s perfectly achieved this goal. Undoubtedly, we’ll see something new in Gravity, and that newness certainly earns it some of the praise it’s received so far.

Gravity

Story-wise, the film seems to be breaking some new ground as well. The overwhelming majority of space stories have been science fiction tales that use space travel metaphorically or as a backdrop for another type of story. Gravity seems to be a more realistic tale, a film that works within the framework of existing space technology. It appears to be taking the well-worn path of the survival story and planting it in a new atmosphere. If it can deliver something new to the genre, it might be truly interesting.

Will it live up to its hype? Go see it and decide for yourself. Though it may be both technically proficient and visually stunning, its strength will ultimately lie in the quality of its plot and performances. If the story can carry its visuals and provide a framework for all of Gravity‘s innovations, Cuaron’s movie might just earn a position alongside the other great space dramas of all time.

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