Published on May 25th, 2013 | by Fraser Brown2
Microsoft applies for TV achievement patent
I don’t have a strong opinion about achievements, trophies, or whatever they are called. Unless they are particularly funny, they don’t tend to have any impact on my video gaming experience. I do find some of them a little bit silly when they “reward” players for merely playing the game or progressing through it just like everyone is expected to — it sort of takes the achievement out of the whole process. But I can understand the smug satisfaction one gets for completing a particularly difficult challenge and getting a intangible, completely meaningless reward out of it.
Microsoft has decided to take it to the next level, redefining the term “achievement” by applying for a patent for television achievements. It applied for the patent in November last year, reports Games Industry International, and it’s no doubt related to their magical TV and fantasy football platform, the Xbox One.
“Television viewing tends to be a passive experience for a viewer, without many opportunities for the viewer to engage or have interactive experiences with the presented content,” the application reads. “To increase interactive viewing and encourage a user to watch one or more particular items of video content, awards and achievements may be tied to those items of video content.”
I’m not certain how engaging an achievement for watching every single episode of The Golden Girls could really be, and I’m not certain why it even needs to be interactive. Let’s not beat around the bush, everything from that excerpt is typical Microsoft nonsense and spin apart from the last sentence. The system merely exists to make people watch more of the crap MS wants them to watch. It has nothing to do with improving the TV viewing experience.
“Additionally, by tying the awards and achievements to particular items of video or advertising content, viewers may be encouraged to increase their viewership of the content, thus increasing advertising opportunities,” the application goes on to state. Gross.
Microsoft envisions the Kinect playing a role, making this shameless promotion feature a bit interactive. The Skynet sensor might award viewers for just being in the room, watching TV, or it might demand that they hold up an object, which the Kinect will then scan and award the viewer appropriately. Probably with a pat on the head and double rations.
Leave it to Microsoft to make the simple act of watching television unnecessarily convoluted and invasive.