U.S. Pat. No. 6,522,333: Remote Communication Through Visual Representations

Issued February 18, 2003 to Electronic Arts

Electronic Arts has improved the traditional in-game (or out-of-game) chat feature. Instead of informing your sarcasm-impaired friends that you’re joking by typing ;-), you can instead make an on-screen avatar wink for you by typing (wink). In addition, the software can animate your avatar based on natural language processing techniques. A default mood (such as “humorous” or “stone-cold-serious”) is set in order to make sure the system animates ambiguous phrases correctly. This preset can be temporarily or permanently overridden at any time. Gestures can also be programmed to occur every time a specific word is typed. With all these features, you’ll never need an emoticon again… 🙂

Exemplary Claim:

A method of communicating over a network comprising:

receiving a data communication from a first user, wherein the data communication contains behavioral movement information;

translating the received behavioral movement information into a choreography sequence of behavioral movements of a figure of the first user by:

responsive to the data communication containing text, processing the text in accordance with at least one natural language processing rule; and

constructing a choreography sequence from at least one behavioral movement associated with at least one natural language processing rule; and

animating the figure responsive to the choreography sequence.

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