Issued November 10, 2015, to Activision Publishing, Inc.

Priority Date May 17, 2011 

 

Summary:

U.S. Patent No. 9,180,378 (the ‘378 Patent) relates to controlling access to areas in a video game. An area may be unlocked when particular characters are at an entrance, or may require characters in the game to perform certain actions. Sometimes particular characters are needed to successfully perform these actions. A unique way to solve this is the ‘378 patent. This patent includes a real life toy and a reader, which is a flat surface to place the toy on. The reader plugs into the console.

A game player generally places the toy or other object on the flat surface of the reader during game play. In many cases the toy reflects the game character of the game, for example the dragon above. The toy includes an identifier that may be read by the reader. When a toy figure is placed on the reader, the game character represented by the toy is added to game play. During game play the player generally controls the character, and causes the game character to move around and perform various tasks. The game world includes multiple game areas where the game character may be useable. This can allow characters to unlock secret dungeons, levels and caves.

Abstract:

A video game includes conditional access to areas of the game. An area may be unlocked when particular game characters are at an entrance to the area. An area may be unlocked for a particular character, for all characters, or for categories of characters. Categories of characters may include characters of a particular type, characters of a particular skill level, characters controlled by a particular game player, and characters previously played in the video game.

Illustrative Claim:

1. A computer implemented method for use in providing a video game, comprising: reading character information for a game player controllable game character from a toy proximate to a reader associated with the video game, the reader comprising one of the group of RFID reader circuitry, optical recognition circuitry, and communication transmitter or transceiver circuitry; determining whether the game player controllable game character has moved, based on game player input provided by a game controller, to a particular entrance to a particular game area of a game world; and when the game player controllable game character is at the particular entrance to the particular game area of the game world, determining whether presence of the game player controllable game character at the particular entrance to the particular game area of the game world should allow accessibility of the particular game area to game player controllable game characters; when the particular game area of the game world should be accessible to game player controllable game characters, determining a set of game player controllable game characters for which the particular area of the game world should be accessible, the set of game player controllable game characters including at least a plurality of game player controllable game characters; wherein the determined set of game player controllable game characters for which the particular game area of the game world should be accessible comprises game player controllable game characters that match a type of the game player controllable game character at the particular entrance to the particular game area of the game world; and allowing access to the particular game area of the game world for the determined set of game player controllable game characters.