Sony wins patent for booting players through democratic voting process or paying to bench them

Sony Patent Boot Bench Gamers eSports Virtual Video Games Twitch Tournaments
Boot or Bench gamers through the power of vote or money? Pic credit: Sam Churchill/Flickr

Sony has officially secured a patent that offers a way to boot or bench players in a virtual tournament. The “Spectators Vote to Bench Players in a Video Game,” patent details a democratic method as well as the ability to simply pay to make decisions.

Considering the massively growing interest in eSports, a new method is now offering the power to stop a player from continuing. Spectators could also issue a warning, and send a custom message.

Sony has a new patent that basically offers Spectators the power to take important decisions mid-game:

Video games or eSports is an immensely popular online activity. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of gamers who are earning well merely by streaming their virtual conquests.

There’s no doubt that platforms such as Twitch have opened up a whole new, and lucrative platform, for gamers and content creators. Gamers playing games, and thousands of virtual spectators tuning in to watch them, is now a common phenomenon.

There are several occasions wherein spectators wished they could send out a stern message, or simply bench a virtual player for lousy gameplay. Sony has just secured a patent that grants this ability to spectators of eSports.

The patent, titled “Spectators Vote to Bench Players in a Video Game,” even cites Twitch: “Online platforms such as, for example, Twitch, have made it possible for spectators to stream, live and recorded video on top of videogames and electronic sports (‘esports’) events.”

“As more and more people have become interested in watching videogames and esports events, game developers have sought to enhance the viewing experience by providing increased functionality and interactivity for spectators.”

Needless to mention, the ability to prevent certain gamers or players from participating, is certainly not new. In fact, Twitch itself has Twitch Plays, wherein the platform decides who doesn’t play.

Sony has basically reimagined a decades-old concept. And the company has added several more specific details, rules, conditions, and scenarios in which spectators can take effective decisions.

How will eSport spectators decide about the fate of a virtual gamer mid-game?

Sony seems to have given some serious consideration to multiple aspects about granting the ability to boot or bench gamers mid-game. The company has envisioned that a majority decision would require at least 60 percent of the votes. Moreover, Sony has also thought of a way to allow spectators to merely pay to make the decision.

The patent outlines how viewers will give spectators the ability to bench a player. It mentions how the virtual tournament or platform could eject those players. It also envisioned what will happen to them once the audience has spoken the final word.

The system could have a weighting system based on the skill level of the spectators involved. Such a methodology would obviously need a lot of data about spectators.

Some of the data points could include how long the spectators themselves have played the game they’re viewing, what are their ratings, and how many achievements they’ve earned, etc. This indirectly means votes from audience members with high rankings would count for more than those cast by low-ranked viewers.

Sony has envisioned what would happen to the players that spectators decide to boot or bench. Some gamers could go offline while some may lose access to controls. Some gamers could also move to “a different circle of players” that suits their skill level.

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