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

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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atari-xboxone

When confronted with fantastic technology, the first impulse a person has is usually to figure out a way to waste hours of their time doing something nonproductive with it. The very first video game was the Cathode Ray Tube Amusement Device developed in 1947, though most people consider the 1972 game, Pong, to be the first traditional video game. The public has had a long and checkered past with video games, sometimes treating them as toys for children, and other times welcoming them as a hobby for adults. According to the Entertainment Software Rating Board, the average age of a gamer is currently 34 years old, and the average gamer has spent 12 years gaming.

The 1970s: Motown, Bell Bottoms and the Atari
Video gaming emerged as a true industry in the 1970s. Although arcades were extremely popular throughout this decade, home video game consoles were also introduced. There were a multitude of different consoles, but only one would end up standing head and shoulders above the rest: Atari. The Atari Video Computer System retailed at $199 and according to Video Game Console Library, there were a total of 418 games released for the platform. At this time, video games were mostly the domain of children and teenagers.

The 1980s: Big Hair, Legwarmers and Mario
Arcades grew tremendously in popularity throughout the 1980s–often known as the Golden Age for Arcade Games. At the same time, IBM PC compatible computer games were being developed, and home computers were starting to become more accessible. The Nintendo Entertainment System was also released in 1983, and quickly became the most popular console on the market. According to Examiner, the popularity of the NES system skyrocketed due to a single Italian plumber named Mario.

The 1990s: Dot-com, Beanie Babies and Shareware
The decade of the 1990s was marked by a release of many portable gaming systems, as well as an increase in the overall home computer market for video games. Shareware played a huge part in this, because it enabled home computer users to download, play, and release video games into the community. Sega managed to break into the console industry with Sonic the Hedgehog, though Nintendo still captured a large amount of market share. Meanwhile, iD’s 1996 FPS Quake completely revolutionized the video game industry and ushered in a new model of Internet-based gaming.

The 2000s: High School Musical, Freedom Fries and Counter Strike
The 2000s saw console and online gaming becoming rapidly more popular among adults. As laptops for the classroom, office and even home use became more popular, a shift towards casual games that required less powerful systems also developed. A simple casual game called The Sims dominated market share and opened the door for more female gamers. CNN reported that The Sims was the best-selling PC game from 2000 to 2003, and has now sold more than 125 million copies. At the same time, the market stabilized to show a total of three major video game systems: the Sony PlayStation, the Microsoft Xbox and the Nintendo Wii.

The 2010s: Zumba, Dog Shaming and the Next Generation
The next generation of video game consoles are being eagerly awaited, including the PlayStation 4 and the Xbox One. Video games are pushing forward with motion-based and voice-based technology, which is leading to far more inventive methods of playing. Independent developers are also attempting to break into the game business, such as the Ouya, which is an Android-based video game console. The games on the Ouya are intended to be completely free, as noted on the Ouya website. The market has shifted towards more casual and accessible games, especially among the female demographic.

This guest post was written by Jessica Lyman, a freelance reporter who covers the gaming industry.
Posted on September 19th, 2013 by MHD | Leave a Comment (1)
Filed Under Entertainment

Online GamesOnline gaming can be a great way to relax and interact with other players. Playing online has much more of a social element and knowing that you’re playing against real people can increase the excitement and competitiveness of the game. You can even play on your phone or tablet when you’re on the go or feeling bored.  I have been computing and luckily have access to wifi on my whole commute. This lets me sit back and enjoy some online gaming before the very busy workday begins.

One type of online game which has been growing in popularity at the moment is bingo. Yeah, it is a world away from the action or strategy games you might be used to but there’s the added bonus that you can actually win real prizes. Bingo has been around in many different forms for a very long time, but the growing appeal of online bingo can be attributed to the fact that it’s so easy to play. There’s no complicated strategy and you don’t have to think too much- you can just relax and enjoy the game. How many other games can say that?

Of course, the buzz that many people get from playing online games such as bingo is the thrill of a potential win. My sister plays bingo here but there are many sites to choose from. It’s best to do research and find the best one that suits your particular needs. Have a look and see what bonuses the various sites are offering for joining and the level of prizes you can win.  Many sites have a chat room so you can talk to other players and join a community of other players. What is the most important thing you look for when choosing an online game? Speed? Variety? Or do you like to keep it fresh and always choose a new type of game?

Just like other styles of online games and gaming, bingo has a ton of different (and some really different) varieties of games to suit your particular gaming style. There are bright and bubbly fun games with pure entertainment value, and there are more serious games for that no nonsense type of player. And of course there is everything inbetween. What is your particular gaming style? Leave a comment and let us know!

There’s nothing better than scooping a great cash prize for simply taking a few minutes to play bingo and have some fun. Many sites don’t cost much to play so even if you don’t manage to achieve a win, then it is not the end of the world, although if you do, you’ll probably be hooked! If it’s a game you’ve never tried before, give it a go. Never know, you might have fun.

Have you ever played bingo online or live and in person at a hall or event? What were your experiences like? Leave a comment and lets chat about it! Even better, have you played online and in person? How did the two styles compare? What did you prefer? Would you play again?


Big thanks to Carey for the guest post! If you have an article you’d like to send us for inclusion on My Hollywood Dream, click the above link for “Contact” and send it over! We love reading articles from our readers!

 

Posted on August 29th, 2013 by admin | Leave a Comment (1)
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HTG AdEarlier this week Hollywood the Game turned 9 years old! A big congratulations goes out to the team behind the game and its community of players old and new! It is rare for a Hollywood simulation game to have such longevity, but this one doesn’t appear to be ending any time soon!

Hollywood the Game (or HTG for short) is one part writing community and one part City simulation, which turns Hollywood and moviemaking into a game. You write a movie script, pitch it to player run studios, cast it with your favorite actors, design creative including posters and trailers, advertise the movie, release it, and finally watch the box office roll in. What will you do with all of that virtual cash? How about buying a house in HTG Malibu, a fancy car from one of your favorite movies, or how about games and DVDs based on virtual movies released in the game? The more items and awards you gather help your future releases in different ways. And with totally open game play, you can find yourself taking on a number of jobs, from producer or studio head, to a creative company, a casting agent, editor, video maker, or even a real estate agent selling virtual homes and offices. Become a big wig in a completely player run virtual Hollywood (the screen shot above is part of one of the many City maps).
Posted on August 16th, 2013 by ThePit | Leave a Comment
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The Last of Us

Left 4 Dead, Resident Evil and several other games have cemented zombies into a sub-genre for survival horror gaming just as Romero managed to pull off with cinema. Yet, something always felt like it was missing. Sure, us gamers had our Night of the Living Dead equivalents with games like Valve’s cult classic and hell, we’ve even had our version of campy Return of the Living Dead type of horror with last year’s Resident Evil 6 or House of the Dead: Overkill. But when would we get our character studies, our 28 Days Later that mixed brutality with extensive character development and equally interesting set pieces. Telltale Games’ The Walking Dead delivered the emotional goods but left fans wanting when it came to gameplay, and that’s where Naughty Dog comes in.

The Last of Us, released on June 14, is a game that I believe will be thought of as a turning point for gaming. Oh, and it’s fun.

You play as Joel, a survivor who isn’t uncomfortable with the idea of getting down and dirty to survive. Your task? Deliver 14 year old Ellie from the safety of the Boston quarantine zone to just outside city limits so that she can be picked up by local anti-military militia, the Fireflies. Of course it’s not that easy, and of course things don’t go exactly as planned.

The Last of Us

You face two immediate threats. First, the zombies, which are humans infected by a fictionalized strain of the real cordyceps fungus (though the real-life version can only infect ants) and come in multiple different flavors, each more terrifying and threatening than the last. Second, hunters that seek to kill in order to get the supplies that they need, and sometimes for fun.

From a gameplay perspective, the game is fun, brutal and bolstered by smart AI. A scenario that caught me off guard occurred during the game’s first act. After being encouraged to sneak past a gang of three hunters who linger in front of a department store, I decide to take them head on, first with sheer firepower. Two of the hunters wield pistols of their own, the third (unarmed) realizes he’s outmatched and runs behind cover. After his two friends perish in a hail of gunfire, he hears my pistol click empty. He bellows a feral shout, part predatory, part joy and attempts to beat me the ol’fashioned way. Little did he know about the pipe strapped to my back which after a couple of brutal (this point exclaimed by Ellie who shouts “Oh my god Joel!” after the climactic strike) hits destroys the man’s face. After the battle, I decide it’s time to continue on, and the moment I enter the department store I realize my mistake. Another goon begins to choke me out from behind, but Ellie quickly tosses a brick at his head. After I manage to strike him down with the wrath of my pipe, I realize that his six other friends might have something to say about it…

The game’s tight, and sleek controls help the combat system and the crafting system adds to the feel that Joel is a scavenger and the world is a scavenger’s playground at this point.

The sounds of the game cover a range of emotion, from fresh and relaxing, to the intense fervor that accompanies imminent attack. Composer Gustavo Santaolalla showcases the skills that guided him to two Academy Awards. Past the actual soundtrack, the voice-acting by Troy Baker (fresh of a magnificent performance as Booker DeWitt in spring’s Bioshock Infinite) and Ashley Johnson is original and always welcome, with the least amount of recycled lines possible.

The Last of Us

The Last of Us also comes with a multiplayer that seemed to be a tacked-on addition, but it adds legs to an already strong game. The two game modes Supply Raid (4 on 4 deathmatch with an emphasis on scavenging and crafting) and Survivor (4 on 4 deathmatch with no respawns) either lead to all-out 10 minute shootouts, sneaking/flanking escapades that leave chilling silent moments as you search for items or a crazy mixture of the two.

Ellie tells me she can’t swim, but the only way across the area in-front of me involves an impromptu lesson in aquatics. I eventually find something she’s able to cross on, and after she gets to the other side, and I climb up onto the ledge beside her, a small triangle hovers over Ellie’s head as she raises her hand up. I hi-five her and she comments on it, and I think that’s one of the things in the game, the small things that shows why Naughty Dog are one of the premier developers heading into the next console generation.

To end off this review, to call The Last of Us the game of the year would be insulting to it, as its quite better than any other game I’ve played this decade. Hell, its plot which is rich with development and emotions and raw intensity is better than quite a few films I’ve seen this decade either. The Last of Us reads more like a promise if anything, or even a manifesto. A promise for changes to come, and a future for gaming that can’t arrive soon enough.

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