[MUD-Dev] DNA Game Patent [was Randy's Resume]

Adam Martin ya_hoo_com at yahoo.com
Mon Jul 30 01:27:43 New Zealand Standard Time 2001


----- Original Message -----
From: "Christopher Allen" <ChristopherA at skotos.net>

> Though not quite as drastic as the Super-Chess/Super-Risk example,
> I also remember some adventures in Apple BASIC called Eamon where
> you could take your fantasy adventure character through multiple
> scenarios, including some weird ones where instead of being
> fantasy, all of a sudden it was science fiction. Your sword became
> a blaster, etc. I also vaguely recall from BBS games of the early
> 80's that someone had a series of "door" games where the results
> of one space game would affect the results of a different space
> game played by a different set of players. Does anyone remember
> anything more about that game?

> Does anyone know of any other prior art?

If anyone wanted to challenge the patent, I'd be delighted to supply
oodles of examples from BBS door games. As a SysOp who particularly
enjoyed door games, I can recall several series of games that were
completely separate programs but which could share data in the way
described. I recall one particularly good one called Lords and
Ladies or something similar, which had loads of expansions,
customizations, and add-on games that did the sharing of data
thing. I think the idea of allowing people to play games that way
works extremely well, at least from the popularity these games had
(and the ease with which people got addicted to them!). N.B. This
was when an hour on your 14,400bps modem cost you £2 ($5) or a lot
more. And yet people still often ended up playing every day, and
often on many different boards (since you were usually time limited
on each board to 20 or 50 turns).

As a side note, the only thing that keeps me from getting really
annoyed (and afraid - these types of patent are actually going
against the original aims of the system by stifling competition) by
these petty patents is the comforting thought that where I live and
work, software patents are still illegal, sidestepping many of the
more ridiculous recent filings. One wonders what effect that has on
international products (that potentially infringe software patents)
that are produced in Europe - presumably they can't be sold in the
US (until/unless licensing deals are arranged)?

Adam M
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