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U.S. Patent No. 5,805,784: Computer story generation system and method using network of re-usable substories
Issued September 8, 1998, to Christopher C. Crawford
Priority Date September 28, 1994







Summary:
U.S. Patent No. 5,805,784 (the '784 Patent) describes a method and system for creating procedurally generated storylines. The system ties together a bunch of substories to create a larger throughline. A key aspect of the '784 Patent is that each substory is reusable meaning that every substory can be executed by any character and involve any character. For example, substory #1 could be about Character A looking for Character B, or vice-versa, Character B looking for Character A. Substory #1 could also involve Character B looking for Character C. There are an initial set of substories that all the characters start in. After completing the initial substory, the character moves to the next substory. The computer system generates a plan list that maps out the substory path the character follows. The plan list can change depending on actions taken by the player. Creating a generated plan which can change results in dynamic storytelling where a player could play the same character twice and experience two different stories.


Abstract:
The storyline of a dynamically generated entertainment program, such as a video game, is generated using a matrix of reusable storyline fragments called substories. A set of characters that participate in the storyline is established and a set of reusable substories is defined. Each substory represents a "fragment of a story", usually involving an action by a subject, where the subject is one of the characters. Most substories can be reused multiple times with different ones of the characters being the subject and different ones of the characters being the direct object of the substory. Each substory has a set of possible reaction substories, which are a subset of the defined substories. A plan list stores plan data indicating ones of the substories to be performed at specified times. An initial "seed story" in the form of an initial set of substories is stored in the plan list. The substories stored in the plan list are executed at times corresponding to their respective specified times. For at least a subset of the executed substories, the end user of the system is either shown a video image representing the executed substory or is otherwise informed of the executed substory. In reaction to each executed substory, plans to perform additional ones of the substories are generated. The additional substories are ones of the set of possible reaction substories for each executed substory. Each plan to perform an additional substory is assigned a specified time and plan data representing the plan is stored in the plan list.

Illustrative Claim:
1. A method of generating a sequence of images representing a dynamically generated story line, comprising: establishing a set of characters; defining a set of re-usable substories, a multiplicity of the substories representing an action by a subject comprising a selectable one of the characters where the action is performed with respect to at least one object comprising at least a selectable one of the characters; for each substory, establishing a set of possible reaction substories comprising a subset of the set of re-usable substories; establishing a plan list for storing plans indicating ones of the substories to be performed; storing in the plan list an initial set of plans, each of the stored plans representing a substory to be performed; executing ones of the substories represented by the plans stored in the plan list; establishing a physical position for each of the characters and updating the characters' physical positions during the executing step; establishing a current time and advancing the current time during the executing step; generating, in reaction to each executed substory, additional plans to perform additional ones of the substories wherein the additional substories comprise selected ones of the set of possible reaction substories for the executed substory; and storing the generated plans in the plan list; the plan list at times storing a multiplicity of the generated plans; the generating plans step including receiving, in reaction to at least a subset of the executed substories, input from an end user and selecting at least a subset of the additional substories in accordance with the end user input; the plan generating step including assigning each generated plan an earliest execution time and a set of associated characters including a subject and an object, wherein the subject and object are each a specified one of the characters; each stored plan in the plan list including the assigned earliest execution time, subject and object, such that at various times at least a subset of the plans in the plan list have respective earliest execution times that are later than the current time; at least a subset of the generated plans comprising deferred plans, where each deferred plan's execution is deferred because its earliest execution time is later than the current time and/or its associated characters are not physically proximate each other; the executing step including selecting for execution one plan from those of the stored plans in the plan list whose associated earliest execution time is at least as early as the current time and that meet opportunity availability criteria, the opportunity availability criteria including a requirement that the characters associated with the one plan have physical positions that are proximate to one another; wherein the generated plans are executed in a different order than those generated plans are added to the plan list by the generated plans storing step.


Researched By: Andrew F. Thomas


U.S. Patent No. 8,858,328: Storage medium having game program stored therein, hand-held game apparatus, game system, and game method
Issued October 14, 2014, to Nintendo Co., Ltd.
Priority Date June 2, 2010







Summary:
U.S. Patent No. 8,858,328 (the '328 Patent) describes a game that uses real pictures as the basis for the puzzle. Using the Nintendo DSi, the player takes a picture that the system converts into the puzzle. The system divides the image into sections assigning each section a number. The numbers corresponded to the sections' original location. Once the system determines the starting points, it shuffles the sections. The player must rearrange the picture sections to their original position to complete the puzzle. Players can adjust the difficulty by increasing the number of sections.



Abstract:
An information processing section of a game apparatus executes a program including: a step of setting a puzzle area to be cut from an image taken by an outer camera; a step of setting the division number representing the number of portions into which the puzzle area is divided in accordance with a stage; a step of generating one-dimensional arrangement data representing a state in which puzzle pieces are positioned at random: a step of executing a game process by updating the one-dimensional arrangement data of the puzzle pieces which are selected based on a tilt of the game apparatus; and a step of switching, in accordance with the one-dimensional arrangement data, texture coordinate data of the puzzle pieces calculated based on a tilt of a virtual camera, and displaying an obtained image.



Illustrative Claim:
1. A non-transitory computer-readable storage medium having stored therein a game program executed by a computer of a hand-held game apparatus including an imaging device and a display device, the game program causing the computer to perform at least: sequentially acquiring taken-image data representing a plurality of taken-images which are taken by the imaging device; image dividing, into a plurality of small areas, an image of a predetermined area in a taken-image which is one of said plurality of taken-images represented by the acquired taken-image data; positioning, in the predetermined area, the plurality of small areas into which the image of the predetermined area is divided, so as to form an image different from the taken-image which is taken by the imaging device and is one of said plurality of taken-images; retaining a positioning state in which the plurality of small areas are positioned, by using, as an initial value, an obtained positioning state; image changing for sequentially changing, by using the taken-image data having been sequentially acquired, images to be displayed on the plurality of small areas, respectively, of which the positioning state is retained; display control for causing the display device to display images changed by the image changing; changing the positioning state of the plurality of small areas, which is retained, in accordance with an operation performed by a user viewing the images displayed by the display device; determining whether or not the positioning state of the plurality of small areas, which is changed, satisfies a predetermined condition; and a game process for performing a predetermined game process in accordance with a result of a determination of whether or not the positioning state of the plurality of small areas, which is changed, satisfies a predetermined condition.



Researched By: Andrew F. Thomas



U.S. Patent No. 4,738,451: Multi-player, multi-character cooperative play video game with independent player entry and departure
Issued April 19, 1988, to Atari Games Corp.
Priority Date May 20, 1986






Summary:
U.S. Patent No. 4,738,451 describes the gameplay of the Gauntlet series, where multi-players navigate a maze. Gauntlet was a four-player dungeon crawler. Each player would select a fantasy troupe with unique abilities. In the first Gauntlet, each player was forced to take a different troupe, but in Gauntlet II, everyone in the party could be wizards if they desired. The players would need to cooperate with each other to escape. Progress could only be made if the players move together since all the characters must remain visible on the screen. Locking the camera with all the characters created a competitive cooperation feeling in the game. Even though all the players had to progress through the maze together, each player could independently control their character on the screen. There were game items the players could obtain to help their journey, but only a limited number of items are available to the players must choose who gets what. Players could also join or leave the game at any time. This patent was reissued in 1996 which we covered here

Abstract:
A multi-player, multi-character video game where the game rules force the players to cooperate in negotiating the maze at least until the characters reach a portion of the maze where a specific objective is located. Certain limited resources to change the attributes of the characters or to increase their longevity are displayed in a maze. The players may compete to obtain possession of these limited resources when the characters have cooperated in their movements sufficiently to move to the location of the limited resources. Cooperation among the characters is forced by forcing all characters active in the game to remain visible in the displayed window. Players may enter the game at any time, and they may leave the game at any time without affecting the status of the game or the status of the other characters in the game. All active players may simultaneously, independently control their characters so long as they do not attempt to move their characters outside the currently displayed window.

Illustrative Claim:
1. A video game comprising: a central processing unit; a video display; a plurality of sets of controls coupled to said central processing unit; sofware means run by said central processing unit and coupled to said controls, and to said video display for reading player input from said controls and generating, storing, changing and outputting data for causing said video display to display a maze populated by a plurality of different kinds of characters each having attributes, said maze also being populated by a plurality of attribute-affecting entities including monsters, each said character having attributes including longevity and abilities including the ability to fight and to move, said attributes defined by stored data, said longevity attribute defined by stored data and decreasing over time and when that character is damaged by a monster, and including means for displaying different types of resources having characteristics defined by stored data and displayed on said video display throughout said maze in quantities and loctions established by said software means, said resources increasing the longevity attribute or otherwise affecting the attributes of the first character which is displayed to have obtained possession of them, and for causing said video display to display action by said characters and said monsters in accordance with rules of said game implemented by the following included means: first means for allowing a plurality of players to each simultaneously and independently control the movements and actions of one of said plurality of characters in the video game via said controls; second means for allowing any one of said plurality of players to enter the game at any time and simultaneously and independently control the movements and actions of one of said characters independently of when the other players started playing or when any other said player or players stops playing; and third means for encouraging the players to cooperate during play by displaying on said video display only a window portion of said maze which is related to the relative positions of all the characters being active in that they are controlled by a player at that time and by not allowing any active character to move outside the bounds of said window portion and by moving the window portion to display different portions of said maze only so long as all the active characters are contained in said window portion.



Researched By: Andrew F. Thomas



U.S. Patent No. 8,282,491: Game-based incentives for location-based actions
Issued October 9, 2012, to Zynga, Inc.
Priority Date August 13, 2010




Summary:
Smart Phones have allowed people to play games anywhere. U.S. Patent No. 8,282,491 (the '491 Patent) describes a method and system for giving in-game rewards to players for performing an action at a physical location. The game may give a player in-game currency for scanning the receipt for coffee from Starbucks. The '491 Patent relates more to how the game determines the reward for the player, than how the game determines a player's location. Rewards are determined based on the player's demographic information, how often the player visits the location, how often the player buys something from the location.

Abstract:
Systems and methods for providing game-based incentives to users of online games as a reward for performing actions at physical locations are provided.

Illustrative Claim:
1. A method comprising: accessing a game state of one or more computer-implemented games associated with a user; determining, using at least one processor of a machine, an incentive reward for the user based at least in part on the game state of the one or more computer-implemented games, the incentive reward being an in-game asset in the one or more computer-implemented games; determining a location-based action for the user based at least in part on the game state of the one or more computer-implemented games, the location-based action being an action performable by the user at a physical location that is external to the one or more games; and transmitting, to a device associated with the user, a message comprising a description of the location-based action, a description of the incentive reward, and an offer of the incentive reward for performing the location-based action at the physical location.


Researched By: Andrew F. Thomas
U.S. Patent No. 7,887,403: Method and system for controlling a game involving battles
Issued February 15, 2011, to Sony Interactive Entertainment, Inc.
Priority Date October 14, 2005





Summary:
U.S. Patent No. 7,887,403 (the '403 Patent) describes an RPG battle system where player characters and enemies share magic points (MP). Traditionally, in an RPG every character is given their own MP. MP can be used for magic attacks that may have different effects than a standard attack. When a character no longer has any MP, that character may not cast any magic attacks. The '403 Patent describes a battle system where both sides share MP. Sharing MP could change a player's strategy in battle. Typically, players try to maintain their MP so their characters can keep performing magic attacks. With shared MP, a player may find it more beneficial in some situations to entirely drain the MP so an enemy character cannot cast any magic attacks of their own.


Abstract:
In a game system, a PC control unit controls an attack on an enemy character by a player's character. An enemy character control unit controls an attack on the player's character by the enemy character. An MP management unit stores, in an MP storage, a current value of a magic point indicative of the power required for a magic attack and manages an increase and decrease in the current value of the magic point. The magic point stored in the MP storage is used commonly by the player's character and the enemy character. When the player's character attacks the enemy character and the enemy character attacks the player's character, the MP management unit subtracts a value required for the attack, from the current value of the magic point.

Illustrative Claim:
6. A game system comprising: a player's character control unit which controls an action of a player's character in a battle between the player's character and an enemy character; an enemy character control unit which controls an action of the enemy character in the battle; and a first point management unit which stores, in a first point storage, a current value of a first point indicative of a power required for achieving a specific ability in the battle and which manages an increase and decrease in the current value of the first point; and a second point management unit which stores, in a second point storage, a current value of a second point indicative of a vitality of the player's character and the enemy character and manages an increase and decrease in the current value of the second point, wherein when one character attacks on the other character, said second point management unit subtracts a predetermined value, as a damage caused by the attack, from the current value of the second point, said first point management unit adds a value calculated according to the damage caused by the attack, to the current value of the first point, the first point stored in the first point storage is shared by the player's character and the enemy character, and wherein when the player's character exercises the specific ability or the enemy character exercises the specific ability, said first point management unit subtracts a value required for the exercise of the specific ability, from the current value of the first point; and wherein when an action has been executed by a first character and thereafter the first character is attacked by a second character during a time duration until the action by the first character is completed, said first program code module which controls the action of the player's character and said second program code module which controls the action of the enemy character cancel the action by the first character and when the first point in the first point storage has been reduced by the action by the first character, said first program code module which controls the action of the player's character and said second program code module which controls the action of the enemy character restore the value by adding an value equivalent to the amount subtracted.



Researched By: Andrew F. Thomas



U.S. Patent No. 8,914,136: Game control program and game device
Issued December 16, 2014, to Sega Corp.
Priority Date January 27, 2009








Summary:
U.S. Patent No. 8,914,136 (the '136 Patent) describes a method for dealing damage in a video game. A health bar is a means to communicate to the player how many hits the game's character can absorb before losing a life. Once the bar is depleted then the character loses a life. Typically games that use health bars do not distinguish between types of hits or damage. The '136 Patent describes a method for using health bars that uses two types of damages: fixed damage and scratch damage. Fixed damage is the traditional damage type, a player who is hit with a fixed damage attack has their health bar drained. Scratch damage does not immediately reduce the health bar like fixed damage. If a player gets hit with scratch damage, then a portion of the health bar turns a shade of red. The portion amount is determined by the amount of scratch damage received. The scratch damage only decreases the health bar after a set time frame has elapsed, giving the player a chance to recover the scratch damage. Scratch damage can be compounded with fixed damage by adding together and immediately applying to the player's health. The type of health system described in the '136 Patent is usually used in fighting games or 3D brawlers. 


Abstract:
Damages include ineffective damage (scratch damage) and effective damage (fixed damage). When scratch damage occurs, an amount Ds corresponding to the scratch damage is stored into a memory. When fixed damage occurs, a vitality parameter Lp is decreased by an amount Df corresponding to the fixed damage. Scratch damage decreases over time. If fixed damage Df occurs in the presence of scratch damage, the vitality parameter Lp is decreased by a total amount of the scratch damage and the fixed damage. Such controls on the vitality parameter diversify the game progress.


Illustrative Claim:
1. A game control method for making a computer, having a processor, a memory, and operation input means, perform game processing in which a player character that acts in response to a player operation and an enemy character attack each other, and in which a vitality parameter set for the player character is decreased in accordance with damage given to the player character when the enemy character makes an attack on the player character, the game control method comprising the steps of: setting by the processor the damage as ineffective damage or effective damage based on a value of an attack-power parameter of a weapon used in the attack by the enemy character; storing by the processor an amount of said ineffective damage into the memory when the player character is given the ineffective damage; restoring by the processor the amount of the ineffective damage stored in the memory decreased by a predetermined amount as time elapses after the player character is given the ineffective damage; calculating by the processor, as the player character is given effective damage while the amount of ineffective damage is stored in the memory, a total amount of damage that includes an amount of effective damage based on the effective damage and the amount of ineffective damage in the memory, and decreasing by the processor the vitality parameter of the player character based on the amount of damage; setting the attack-power parameter for the attack, wherein said setting the damage sets the damage as the effective damage or the ineffective damage based on the attack-power parameter; generating by the processor one or more points for the player character for each successful attack on the enemy character by the player character; and changing by the processor, when an accumulation of points reaches a predetermined amount, a state of the player character in which all damage incurred by the player character during a predetermined period of a remainder of a current game is set as ineffective damage regardless of the attack-power parameter value.

Researched By: Andrew F. Thomas


U.S. Patent No. 6,299,535: Method of processing interactive game, program product and game system for the same
Issued October 9, 2001, to Square Co., Ltd. 
Priority Date April 28, 2000






Summary:
U.S. Patent No. 6,299,535 (the '535 Patent) describes a method for creating branching storylines in an RPG. The storylines are tied to characters in the game and happen separately from the player's character. A classic example of this the '535 Patent is recruiting secret characters in an RPG. A player must meet certain in-game conditions to add the secret character to the part, or the character will continue down his path. The game will not always tell a player when a condition has been met; nevertheless, the game progresses the secret character's story. The '535 Patent also encompasses situations where a player may have to choose between two characters, especially if there is an alternative path to acquire both.

Abstract: 
A method of processing an interactive game, and a program product and game system for the same, which enables a character other than the player character to act separately from the player character in the game virtual space, sets an event which a character other than the player character can execute when a condition in the progress of the game is satisfied, displays on the screen the existence of that event for the character other than the player character acting separately from the player character when the condition in the progress of the game enabling execution of that event is satisfied, selectively accepts execution of the event displayed on the screen by an operation of the player in the screen display, and selectively executes and displays on the screen the event for the character other than the player character acting separately from the player character in accordance with the acceptance of the selection and execution of that event.

Illustrative Claim:
1. A method of executing an interactive game program giving a plurality of characters roles in a game and making each character play out an assigned role, comprising: making at least one character among the plurality of characters play out a first assigned role and displaying the at least one character on a screen, preparing in advance at least one event shared by the plurality of characters and judging if the at least one character playing out the first assigned role on the screen has reached the at least one event, switching display of the role played out by the at least one character to another character in the plurality of characters when determining that the at least one event has been reached, and making the other character play out a second assigned role and displaying the other character on the screen, wherein when the display is switched, the other character playing out the second assigned role is displayed instead of the at least one character playing out the first assigned role.


Researched By Andrew F. Thomas


U.S. Patent No. 7,803,048: Radar manipulation in a video game
Issued September 28, 2010, to Microsoft Corp.
Priority Date March 15, 2006





Summary:
U.S. Patent No. 7,803,048 (the '048 Patent) describes methods and systems for a deception in an online multiplayer game. One such method is for a player to manipulate the game's radar to trick other players. The player's in-game character could shoot a fake bullet to create a noise at another location, triggering the virtual acoustic radar. Also, a player can temporarily jam an opponent's radar, or make all the opponents visible on the radar. The '048 Patent describes several methods for deception using the in-game radar.

Abstract:
Methods and systems for deceiving other characters in a video game are disclosed. A video game may include a simulated environment in which player and computer controlled characters can monitor each other's positions using radar, e.g., an acoustic radar that detects noise (such as the firing of various weapons) associated with other characters. A character may fire a decoy bullet, which creates noise at the location of impact rather than the location of firing. A character may temporarily jam another character's radar so that the other character's radar does not display character locations. A first character may mimic an enemy character so that the first character appears as a friend to enemy characters on each enemy characters' radar. A special weapon may make all visible characters visually appear as enemies to a first character, thereby confusing the first character. Another special weapon may create a duplicate image of a character, thereby confusing others.
Illustrative Claim:
1. One or more computer readable storage device storing executable instructions for performing a video game method of representing characters on a radar image displayed on a video output device, said method comprising steps of: determining a first simulated noise level associated with a first object in a simulated environment operating under control of the video game; and displaying on the radar image, said radar image corresponding to a first character, a first radar blip corresponding to the first object, said first radar blip having a first characteristic based on the first simulated noise level associated with the first object determining a second simulated noise level associated with the first object in the simulated environment operating under control of the video game, wherein said second simulated noise level is determined to be louder than said first simulated noise level; and displaying on the radar image corresponding to the first character, a second radar blip corresponding to the first object, said second radar blip having a first characteristic based on the second simulated noise level associated with the first object, wherein the first characteristic of the first radar blip comprises a first amount of time based on the first simulated noise level, wherein the first characteristic of the second radar blip comprises a second amount of time based on the second simulated noise level, said second amount of time being longer than said first amount of time, wherein displaying the first radar blip comprises displaying the first radar blip for the first amount of time, and wherein displaying the second radar blip comprises displaying the second radar blip for the second amount of time.

Researched By: Andrew F. Thomas


U.S. Patent No. 8,882,590: Touch-controlled game character motion providing dynamically-positioned virtual control pad
Issue November 11, 2014, to Nintendo Co., Ltd.
Priority Date April 28, 2006






Summary:
U.S. Patent No. 8,882,590 (the '590 Patent) describes a method to control a game through touch controls. The '590 Patent relates to the Nintendo DS and its touch screen. On the DS, a player could move a game character by touching the bottom screen. If the player wanted the character to move to the right, he would first need to touch the screen then move his finger or the stylus to the right. At the first point of contact, the system divides the screen into multiple zones around that point of contact. Each zone indicates a direction, so when the player moves his finger to the right, the system moves the character to the right.  


Abstract:
Methods and apparatus for controlling movement of a digital object displayed on a screen provide a virtual dynamic direction control pad based on zone detection and touch stroke direction to control customized animated character motion. A player wishing to move the digital object can use a stylus or other touch to indicate a first point on the screen. When the player first touches the stylus to the screen, the system analyzes the touch and divides the screen into multiple zones around the first point indicated by the player. To move the object, the player moves the stylus to a second point on the screen. Movement of the stylus to a second point within one of these zones causes the digital object to perform a predetermined action. Each zone has a predetermined associated action. Direct control of character motion by the game player is enhanced.


Illustrative Claim: 
1. A method of controlling movement of a moveable digital object displayed on a touch screen that is coupled to at least one processor, the method comprising: displaying the moveable digital object on the touch screen; using a touch to the touch screen to select the moveable digital object and indicate a first touch point on the touch screen corresponding to the displayed digital object; automatically dynamically dividing, using the at least one processor, the screen into plural virtual zones that (1) are associated with the first touch point, and (2) emanate from a neighborhood determined in accordance with the selected moveable digital object; detecting a further touch to at least a second touch point on the touch screen different from the first point; determining, using the at least one processor, in which of said automatically divided plural virtual zones said second touch point is disposed within to thereby select one of said plural virtual zones; and controlling, using the at least one processor, the movable digital object to perform an action that moves the movable digital object based at least in part on said which of said determined virtual zones is selected by said second touch point.


Researched By: Andrew F. Thomas

U.S. Patent No. 8,313,379: Video game system with wireless modular handheld controller
Issued November 20, 2012, to Nintendo Co., Ltd.
Priority Date: August 22, 2005



Summary:
U.S. Patent No. 8,313,379 describes the Nintendo Wii system. The Wii incorporation of motion controls into a video game system. Motion controls were not a new concept in video games, but the Wii certainly push motion controls into the mainstream. The Wii utilized a small remote and IR sensor bar to track a users movement. The IR sensor bar would be place usually on top of or below the television. A user would point the Wii remote in the direction of the television/sensor bar, and the Wii would generate a cursor on the TV in the corresponding area. When the user moved the remote, the cursor would follow. The Wii remote used accelerometers and infrared detection to determine its position in 3D space when pointed at the sensor bar. Calculating position in a 3D space is essential for games that require movement along a Z axis, such as a boxing game. Despite the complexity it took to track a user's movement, the motion controls were simple to understand. 

The Wii was a hugely successful console for Nintendo, selling around 100 million units. A big reason for the Wii's success was the accessibility. The motion controls made playing video games simple for the non-gamer. A person could easily understand that to play a golf game only required swinging the Wii remote like a golf club. The Wii had a significant impact on the video game industry. Shortly after the Wii launched, Microsoft and Sony introduced their versions of motion controls. Nintendo still uses a form of motion control in its current system, the Nintendo Switch, though the system does not require motion controls to operate. 


Abstract:
A home entertainment system for video games and other applications includes a main unit and handheld controllers. The handheld controllers illumination emitted by emitters positioned at either side of a display, and information derived from the sensed illumination is used to calculate the orientation of the controllers. The controllers can be plugged into expansion units that customize the overall control interface for particular applications including but not limited to legacy video games. Further, the controllers can be used in one-handed or two-handed modes of operation.

Illustrative Claim: 
1. A handheld controller operable in a one hand mode of operation and a two hand mode of operation, said controller for use in wirelessly communicating with an electronic game machine having an associated display screen, a first light emitting marker and second light emitting marker each mounted spaced from, but in the vicinity of, the display screen, said handheld controller comprising: an elongated housing having an upper surface, a lower surface, a forward end, a rearward end and a longitudinal axis defining at least one longitudinal center line, and sized to be operable by one hand of a user; a first set of game controls proximate said forward end of said housing; a second set of game controls proximate said rearward end of said housing; said first set of game controls and said second set of game controls being operable in use in a two hand game playing mode of operation, wherein during said two hand game playing mode said first set of game controls are disposed so as to be actuated by one thumb of a user and said second set of game controls are disposed so as to be actuated by the other thumb of the user, and wherein said first and second sets of game controls are actuated in use by the cooperative action of the user's thumbs; the lower surface of said housing having a concave portion provided with a trigger switch; a processor enclosed within said housing; an imaging device located in said forward end of said housing at least substantially aligned with said longitudinal center line and including a filter, a lens, an image sensor and an image processing circuit, wherein the image sensor, in use, detects light from the first light emitting marker and the second light emitting marker and generates image data, and wherein the image processing circuit, in use, receives and processes said image data and generates position data related to positional coordinates of the first light emitting marker and the second light emitting marker, and wherein the image processing circuit outputs the position data to said processor; at least said trigger switch and said imaging device being used in a one hand game playing mode of operation, wherein game play is controlled by the user holding the controller in one hand; linear accelerometer circuitry for detecting acceleration of the controller along each of three axes and for generating acceleration data along each of said three axes, said linear accelerometer circuitry being, in use, in communication with said processor; and a wireless communication device disposed within said housing and operatively connected to said processor and operable, in use, to transmit signals to said electronic game machine representing operational states of at least said first set of operational controls, said second set of operational controls, said trigger switch, said position data, and said acceleration data.

Researched By: Andrew F. Thomas


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