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Apple Wants Patent On Video Game-Based iBooks 104

theodp writes "Patently Apple reports that a new Apple patent application has surfaced describing an application that would record your personal journey through a video game and turn it into a custom comic or iBook when you're done playing. Imagine how thrilled little Billy's Mommy would have been if she only had the chance to read the story of her son's foray into Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas or see how he dealt with BioShock's Little Sisters."
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Apple Wants Patent On Video Game-Based iBooks

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  • by DarkKnightRadick ( 268025 ) <> on Friday August 13, 2010 @05:20PM (#33246034) Homepage Journal

    The only thing novel is, well there's nothing novel, and certainly nothing patent worthy.

    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      Turning a journey through a game into a notebook (iBook) is indeed an enormous invention. Just imagine: Every time you need a new notebook, you just have to play your favourite game! However I wonder how your gameplay affects the created notbook. Will you get a better processor if you achieve higher score? Will the clock speed depend on how fast you played? What will determine the memory and hard disk size?

    • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

      by Anonymous Coward

      Nothing novel? The game play creates a novel!

      • And nothing of value will be created.

      • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

        and only now do I see the pun. durp.

      • Yeah - comic and game conventions are going to be a blast. "Let me tell you about my character.... or better yet, here's the book!"

      • by robsku ( 1381635 )
        In case of some adventure games (loads of them) the game *is* a novel - add a feature to record a demo of your game and your infringing. I think I will add a feature to my personal port of tetris to record demo and an option to save it as video - after that I will patent the idea of creating video of your game play. Too bad that Finland does not support these fantastic software patent things though...
    • Actually, this strikes me as a legitimate patent, well it could be depending upon the specifics. It involves a process of turning a players game play into a graphic novel. As stupid as this seems to me, there is at least innovation going on and actual effort needed to make it work.
      • are you kidding me? You do a video of the action, break it into frames and go from there. Nothing novel at all.

        • It's not that simple. Even just choosing the right moment to do it isn't that easy, then there's the text bubbles for speech and thought. The way you put it is almost certain to fail.
          • by 3vi1 ( 544505 )

            Yeah... BUT CAN APPLE DO IT? Or are they waiting for me to write all the logic / engine API... then going to sue me to death?

          • The point is, this isn't some novel innovation worthy of patenting. Complex != patent-worthy. Unique? Might have a case there. Useful? Never.

      • Let's see. Rollercoaster Tycoon 3 was bundled with Microsoft PhotoStory. The entire The Sims series revolves around this and has stuff built in to help do it. Every Civilization game (and most Sid Meier games in general) have aspects of this. Take a look at the ending credits screen of Sid Meier's Pirates! (the recent version). All that takes beyond this is exporting your results page by page instead of having you click on each button to re-view all the pivotal scenes of your progression. All this is is a l

      • by mysidia ( 191772 )

        As long as they are patenting a specific machine/mechanism for transforming a gameplay sequence into a story, and not the general concept of turning a sequence of gameplay into a book.

  • WEIRD!!!! (Score:4, Interesting)

    by future assassin ( 639396 ) on Friday August 13, 2010 @05:23PM (#33246072) Homepage
    I was playing Need For Speed on my new 3DO machine the other day and when I finished a race I had the replay option which lets me view the whole race from several angles. I could then make a video and turn it into a personal video game comic.
  • by easterberry ( 1826250 ) on Friday August 13, 2010 @05:27PM (#33246122)
    All the terrible narrative pacing of video games with none of the gameplay or freedom of choice! Shit. Can I get a video game based jarhead too?
  • I call prior art (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Zocalo ( 252965 ) on Friday August 13, 2010 @05:28PM (#33246142) Homepage
    Lucasart's "Grim Fandango" saved a transcript of your game in a marked up HTML format that was a script of your game back in 1998. It's only a tiny step from there to turn it into a comic (add screen captures from the game), screenplay (add stage directions) or an eBook (add narrative), so I'm not sure that Apple's application meets the sufficiently novel requirement of a patent. Oh, wait. It's the USPTO we're talking about, isn't it?

    As an aside, given the brilliant humour in the game, its cult popularity and the movie making talents of LucasArts I was quite surprised, and more than a little disappointed that it didn't make it onto the big screen.
    • by unix1 ( 1667411 )

      Actually, if you read the patent application, it's so broad, there is no requirement for screen captures, just text. Here's claim 1:

      1. A method, comprising:recording data from a videogame on an electronic device; andinserting one or more portions of the recorded data into a narrative data structure, wherein the narrative data structure comprises a plurality of pregenerated text.

      This is basically a text log of the game. There are other claims, of course, that extend this one that add images, dialogue, screenshots, etc. but none of those would be required to infringe.

      • by grumbel ( 592662 )

        For images one can look at Leisure Suit Larry 7, that game gave you a new Windows background image depending on the progress you made through the game.

    • It's the USPTO we're talking about, isn't it?

      That's right. I mean, they're totally different. One of them was an HTML page, and this is an "eBook". That's completely different. Right?

  • Would make an interesting book :)

  • Will Wright (Score:3, Interesting)

    by ArbitraryDescriptor ( 1257752 ) on Friday August 13, 2010 @05:32PM (#33246172)
    Genuinely surprised this isn't coming from Will Wright, this meta-gaming/user-content-generating stuff is right up his alley. I also thought The Sims already did something along these lines.
    • The Sims did torture porn? Seriously, I might know people that are more screwed up than average, but it seems like everybody I've ever seen play the Sims did so as a way of torturing virtual people. The conclusion I came to was that the Sims was primarily a way of doing all the antisocial and generally psychopathic things one couldn't get away with in real life.
  • Tom Hank's Big (Score:3, Informative)

    by Josedemuerto ( 1628083 ) on Friday August 13, 2010 @05:38PM (#33246234)
    Does know one remember this being an idea from Big, the 1988 Tom Hanks movie?
  • Imagine how thrilled little Billy's Mommy would have been if she only had the chance to read the story of her son's foray into Grand Theft Auto: San Andreas

    See Billy shoot the cop.

    See Billy beat up hooker.

    See Billy run over pedestrian.

  • All those genius roundtable discussions we've had on in-game chat will finally get the story-telling immortality they deserve.

    Douchenozzle: YOU'RE A FAG.
    Player L333T: lulz!
    PinkPenis: Dood stopp cheating!
    GiantCockMonster: I'm not haxxing you noob.
    NoobBoobies: FAG.
    Mangina: You're just butthurtz!

    Oh this should give the literary world a run for it's money - hooray. Can't wait for them to show on the NYT best-sellers list.
    • for an audience that can't read.

      Well, at least that is close to the segment of the market were Apple tends to be popular. The hipsters.

      Lets face it, a book with an audience of 1 will be a major hit with hipsters

      • by falzer ( 224563 )

        >Lets face it, a book with an audience of 1 will be a major hit with hipsters

        Nay, too mainstream.

      • I'll take hipsters over bitter jealous virgin-nerds any day.

        "STOP USING THAT Apple's EVIL WAH"

        Fuck off.
        • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

          by Ironhandx ( 1762146 )

          Congrats, since you're using an apple product I get to assume you're actually a hipster virgin nerd and believe you are rebelling against the "less cool" virgin nerd side of yourself in favor of the hipster.

          At least thats the explanation my brain came up with first. It was followed by a more plausible explanation that you're like many who have bought apple products and are unsatisfied with your purchase but you paid so much more for it than an alternative product that you feel you must defend it at every tu

        • Re: (Score:1, Redundant)

          The fact that you didn't all-caps Apple in your little shitpost there is pretty telling about how far up Jobs' ass you are. Can't even bring yourself to mar Apple's name while mocking someone else. Sad. Very sad.

  • I think it's pretty cool that now you can get a patent on some stoned "what if" scenario.

    "What if we could totally make like a comic book out of my game went? Wouldn't it be totally gnarly if I could make it like a comic book of my shenanigans dude?!"

    It's funny those dickholes came up with literally just some idea probably 50,000 people have talked about at one point or another, and then add just a super-high level set of "details" on how to do it, the same details that anyone would come up with if asked h

  • One of the Pokemon games (Diamond and Pearl, I think) presents you with a slideshow consisting of pictures of what you did last time you played the game, along with text captions every time you start up your DS. I would think that this qualifies as prior art.
  • $ wump | tee book.txt

    (Actually, I use zsh, which doesn't seem to understand the patent issue with this command.)
  • by tacarat ( 696339 ) on Friday August 13, 2010 @06:37PM (#33246798) Journal
    Dear Penthouse,
    I never thought I'd be writing to you, but I just got this new app for my iPad...
  • This has been done by Fallout 3 and other games, I'm sure. Don't think it being in an iBook format is special enough to require a patent o.0

  • I did this manually in 6th grade. We had to write a story, so I wrote a story about when I was playing Adventure (the Atari game). Sure it was more of a story than a straight walk-through, but I did get a ribbon for it.

  • Prior art of this has been discussed as a concept in the City of Heroes forums, repeatedly. Going back six years or so.

  • My video game Wild Earth, published a few years ago, did almost exactly this. Players took photos and then a story was generated after the game using their content. Does anyone know the best way to submit prior art to the USPTO?
  • Pretty much any save game will hold a record of how you went through a game. Choices you selected, etc. Just look at games like Mass Effect, which transfers MANY of your choices to Mass Effect 2. So suddenly, this must violate the Apple patent because you could go through the save game to see your choices? Ummm, no thank you Apple, prior art comes into play.

  • I thought the electronic toilet seat was out of production.
  • should be interesting if they try to patent it, Bungie would have prior use

  • Dwarf Fortress [] logs all of your activity in story form as you play. Also, you can explore your creations in Adventure Mode, which is essentially creating a game from a game. Assuming Apple is smart (stupid?) enough to patent the general concept of using the result of one form of media to create another form of media, most every game will be infringing simply due to the incredible amount of fan-content created.

    If you are interested in playing Dwarf Fortress, I highly suggest watching the video tutorials []. T
  • Civ 1 store the evolution of your civilization,and generate in the end a flipbook with it.

    Can we burn the idea of patents, please? this is not a "invent", this is just a use of computers.

  • Meh, patent this crap all you want Apple because I claim copyright on all the actions I take it the games I play.

    Your patent will be public domain in 18 years, but with the current state of Copyright law I'll own my game-play-through-comics until everyone on the planet is dead.

    Until patent expiration Apple may choose to prevent me from making and selling my own game-play-through-comics,
    but that's OK because my copyright will keep them from selling comics I make that infringe.

    • Except for the bit in all of the EULAs of games that use this that state all game-play-through-comics are the sole property of Apple and you need explicit written permission to do anything with them, including showing your friends.
  • This game is based around the idea that you play, and it generate a flipbook with your game.

    This is monstruous evil, corporations taking over ideas. Please *DESTROY* the ability to patent this type of stuff.

  • now they are trying to get a patent for what i, MYSELF are going to do.

    how many examples of stupidity and greed you need to realize allowing patenting IDEAS is allowing patenting THOUGHT ?
  • The write up say that killing has been 'linked' to potential for violent behaviour.

    But, so far as I can tell they missed an opportunity to criticise the game, for the more sinister and bio-shocking and I believe true reason for the girls.

    Clearly they want to turn us all into pedos, in-fact the first comment on the article quite clearly says.

    I've been saving them so far...I just couldn't bring myself to kill the first one.

    Saving them for what you pedo!

  • Reading about Apple's ridiculous patents and new products failures I think Apple is becoming the new lemon.
  • Of course Dragon Age's ending doesn't display your progress, but it generates an ending story based on what's been recorded of your progress. Would this count as prior art?

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