Nintendo files patent for 'massively single-playing online games'

Playing games online can be a mixed bag of fantastic and horrible experiences, depending on what you're playing. If you're lucky, the game you're interested in has an active, helpful community of friendly people, eager to help new players become members of the neighborhood. If you're unlucky, however, your online gaming experience may take a decidedly different, far less enjoyable form.

Nintendo, seemingly aware of the perils of interpersonal interaction online, have filed a patent for a "Massively Single-Playing Online Game," which aims to provide all of the benefits of a persistant online world, without any of the drawbacks associated with other people. The general idea is that a player's actions will affect various gameplay mechanics for all other players, much like in traditional MMOs, however the players will never actually interact with each other. A player may build themselves a house in a persistant world, for instance, and while other players can find the house, they cannot find its creator.

The Big N also gave economic examples, wherein a player's actions may increase or decrease the scarcity/value of an item for all players across the board. NPC interaction was also pointed to as a way for players to communicate with each other indirectly, with computer-controlled characters acting as messengers.

It's important to remember that technology companies like Nintendo file patent applications on a fairly regular basis, and that this application's existence doesn't necessarily mean that we'll be seeing this kind of gameplay implemented into anything anytime soon. It's also important to remember that a Pokemon game using this technology would be off the chain.

This article was originally published on Joystiq.