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Architecture for a Video Arcade Game Network

IP.com Disclosure Number: IPCOM000120251D
Original Publication Date: 1991-Apr-01
Included in the Prior Art Database: 2005-Apr-02
Document File: 4 page(s) / 189K

Publishing Venue

IBM

Related People

Farmer, AL: AUTHOR

Abstract

The video arcade game industry is facing stagnation due to many problems which include, but are not limited to the following: 1. Lack of integrated production and accounting. 2. Lack of large-scale multi-player games, due to the present architecture and configuration of video game machines. Currently, each "box" a store owner buys is a stand-alone, single-game machine. 3. Lack of innovative new concepts in video games. Customers are tired of "the same old shoot-em-ups". 4. The sky-rocketing cost of the stand-alone video game machines is prohibiting the influx of "winner" games. 5. Lack of an efficient way to keep statistics on video game usage, in order to avoid "loser" games.

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Architecture for a Video Arcade Game Network

      The video arcade game industry is facing stagnation due
to many problems which include, but are not limited to the following:
1.  Lack of integrated production and accounting.
2.  Lack of large-scale multi-player games, due to the present
architecture and configuration of video game machines. Currently,
each "box" a store owner buys is a stand-alone, single-game machine.
3.  Lack of innovative new concepts in video games.  Customers are
tired of "the same old shoot-em-ups".
4.  The sky-rocketing cost of the stand-alone video game machines is
prohibiting the influx of "winner" games.
5.  Lack of an efficient way to keep statistics on video game usage,
in order to avoid "loser" games.

      The video arcade industry is still a viable market, but it
needs some new and more-innovative concepts to survive and to grow.

      This article describes a new video game architecture, GameNet,
which will solve all of the aforementioned problems by providing:
1.  Integrated, real-time accounting and production.
2.  The facility for large-scale multi-player games via networks of
PCs or workstations.
3.  The facility for new, more-enticing games through the use of
multimedia technology.
4.  A reduction in the cost of new games, because the purchaser would
not need to buy new hardware with each video game.
5.  The ability to closely monitor the usage of each video game in
the network, and liquidate any unprofitable software.
6.  The ability to draw people out of their homes with the
multi-player, multimedia experience possible through GameNet.
7.  The ability for American software companies to cheaply produce
games for GameNet, thus destroying the tight control that Japan
currently has on that part of the video arcade market.

      The disclosed idea for the architecture of a video arcade game
network is really quite simple, but there are numerous optional
details that have not yet been resolved.

      Note also that this disclosure does not entail the creation of
any new hardware technology.  It is simply putting together a bunch
of heretofore unconnected hardware to perform an innovative new
function that could not have been accomplished otherwise.  The
architecture does require the implementation of some new software
technology, however. Specifically, the video games for GameNet must
have the ability to allow numerous multiple players, who may be
located across the room or across a city.  In order to implement such
video games, new Local Area Network (LAN) communications software,
with appropriate APIs (Application Programming Interfaces) must be
created.  That, however, is an exercise left to the implementer of
this architecture.

      Before getting into details, the figure may help to visualize
the end result of the GameNet architecture.  As you can see, a
full-blown system would consist of a backbone network, with a server
at each store location, and mult...