12th apr, 2010

Very inspirational presentation on game innovation

Via Wired I found a presentation from DICE on game innovation by Jesse Schell. He is talking about game innovation and invasion of game dynamics in our lives.

It seems like a lot of innovation will happen in the way we make out products more like games or more interactive.

From an IP point of view how do  you protect the game dynamics that will make your product a hit??


You seem to assume that society finds it an acceptable bargain to subsidize game development with temporary monopolies.

Why do you think that?

To IP law and the subsequent protection it does not matter in what area innovation takes place (patent law does exclude some areas).
So its not a matter of chosing if game innovation will be protected its a matter of if the different components fall under different IP regimes. The source code will be under copyright, the trademark. We will probably see all kinds og game like schemes protected in the US under their more liberal patent law. This could have an effect on the distribution af games

Yes it exactly a matter of chosing. As you point out for patents. And since you explicitly mention “game dynamics” I find it hard to imagine anything other than patents being relevant. Game dynamics can’t be trademarked nor be copyrighted. And very clearly cant be patented in Europe either.

So why is it that you think society finds it an acceptable bargain to subsidize game development with temporary monopolies – beyond what already exists?

A method of playing a game is not patentable in Europe as it is (nor do I think it should be). My point is that when creating new game dynamics it´s not something you do in minutes or hours. As is pointed out in the talk I reference there are serious investments and research involved in creating theese dynamics. And the results are better products and workplaces for a lot of people. Why is that investment less deserving of a monopoly than that of an artist or a construction company?

Hmm. You don’t think a method of playing a game should be patentable. But you still want to give temporary monopoly rights for game dynamics?

Do you imagine some kind of new temporary monopoly right? Or are you saying “a method of playing a game” is not the same as “game dynamics”?

My point is that if you create a technical invention supporting your game..fx a technology for keeping score – you should be able to apply for a patent – even if your invention is in the “game-area”. After the success of Farmvill many copy cats have appeared, although not as successful. It may be that branding power is strong enough protection.

new regulation – sui generis rules – is not a soultion. It has been tried and does not work.

I don’t think you are making any sense. You don’t think a method of playing a game should be patentable. But you want patents for keeping score – which I think is very hard to separate from the actual method of playing the game??

Why do you want further monopolies on mental acts, games etc?

Regarding Farmville you mention “strong enough protection”. But you don’t mention “strong enough” for what? Is farmville not a success – does it need more monopoly to become a success? And does it not seem great to you that potentially better variations of the Farmville concept will appear?

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