Saturday, December 19, 2009

Microsoft Patent Application - An attempt at shaming obese gamers.

Logging on...

"Our records show that you are an overweight high-school educated 36-year old male in Akron, Ohio with below-average IQ, part-time employment at a Wal-Mart with an annual take-home of $16k who is a single Baptist Republican."

Creating avatar... done.

"Congratulations! Explore our virtual world with your new avatar -- an overweight, high-school educated 36-year old male with below-average IQ."

Your avatar will spawn in: Virtual Akron Ohio
You start with the following items: Bible, Pat Robertson DVD, "Going Rogue" by Sarah Palin
You start with: 0 gold
You earn: 7 gold per hour
For doing the following task: Checking groceries at the Virtual Akron Wal-Mart.


That is a post in a thread on Slashdot about a new Microsoft Patent application that could be very unpleasant, especially for those with obese medical conditions. It seeks to create the avatar of a gamer based on the medical record of that person. So like the guy said in the thread, if you are fat or obese (no offense meant please), you could have a gaming avatar that is similar to you physically, making everyone know that  yes you indeed are obese in real life.

The Avatar Individualized by Physical Characteristic as it's referred to, is aimed at obese people. According to the patent application, "An undesirable body weight could be reflected in an overweight or underweight appearance for the avatar. Only requisite health levels are allowed to compete in a certain competition level."

Linking one's gaming avatar to one's physique, explains Microsoft, will produce healthy and virtuous behaviors in individuals (and we all believe Google is Skynet?!!!)

I am not a gamer, but I know people play games in order to sometimes escape this brick and mortar world and for brief periods pretend to be who they are not. But if now they actually are going to be chased to the virtual world and shamed, then I think Microsoft seriously deserves the Skynet title.

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By Seraaj Muneer with 6 comments

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