Sony Working on Self-Coaching System for Below Average Players

Sony has filed a patent that might be used for coaching players during gameplay, to help balance player frustration. The Sony patent is set to be applicable for online play as well as for use in single player games.

The patent claims that many games are built on the premise of trial and error to get the game flow and game mechanics committed to player memory. However, some of the most challenging aspects of a game may only arise in rare cases, meaning that players don’t have as much chance to learn the specific system required. This is not the first time that Sony has filed a patent to help struggling players, but this new patent seems a lot more advanced.

Sony aims to aid players by providing a UI display to review video and controller input capture of previous gameplay, specifically of player failures, and then provide an alternative strategy. The patent also hints at supporting players who fall below a specific skill level, and even hints at possibly accounting for how often similar circumstances may arise later in the game. The illustrations associated with the patent are somewhat obtuse in the specifics of how this UI may appear or be accessed, but it could be construed that they are using Fortnite (or a Fortnite clone) as their key example with some of the examples of reviewed options being “Jump or build a wall.” As games like Fortnite continue to add tons of content, and enjoy widespread popularity, it’s no surprise that some may want to get better at such competitive shooters.

While the Sony patent may prove useful for players of esports, especially those who feel that they cannot catch up to the great esport players that are currently active, this does raise a question in the ongoing discussion of playing games the “correct” or intended way. Developers spend years designing their game to be played in a certain way, and for well-designed games, that includes the experience of failure. It could be argued that games should be created in a way that ensures the player knows exactly what to do through gameplay alone. A case that is often brought up is Mario 1-1, the very first level of Super Mario Bros. While the gameplay elements are now quite simple compared to current games, the core idea of the gameplay and level design educating the player on how to interact with the game world is still implemented by Nintendo to this day.

On a similar note, the Souls games simply wouldn’t have the same impact or reward if they didn’t teach the player the game mechanics via death. It can also be argued that games should be bleak, for example, Scorn aims for the player to have a bad time to really soak in the atmosphere of the world. The word “game” implies that there will be a winner or a loser in an event that is intended to be fun, but this kind of terminology and mindset simply doesn’t fit the myriad experiences players can get from video games. Players cannot always improve at experiencing a game.

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"Sony Working on Self-Coaching System for Below Average Players" :: Login/Create an Account :: 2 comments

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I certainlt won't be using the self-coaching system


Yeah that's nice. Or how about all games we just umm idk. Maybe take SBMM out !? Lol that'll fix a LOT of issues lmao.

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