U.S. Patent No. 7,147,562: Input character processing method
Issued Dec. 12, 2006, to Sega


The ‘562 patent provides a system during an online game where players can interact with each other by text. Whenever players approach each other they have the ability to type words that the other players can read. The invention also allows a user, whenever he types “ha,ha,ha,” to move his character. Whenever this string of letters is typed the player’s character simulates a laughing motion. By allowing the player to type a command which produces laughter in his character, this invention enhanced the interaction between the players and makes the game more engaging for people.


Three user characters are displayed in a chat room. When a user inputs a character string, the character string is displayed on the screens of the respective users. When a character string inputted by a user contains a character string “Ha,Ha,Ha”, a data table outputs an event corresponding to the character string “Ha,Ha,Ha”. All the user characters participating in the chat make a laughing action, uttering the laughing sound “Ha,Ha,Ha”. The input character processing method not only can simply transmits utterances of respective participants but also can occur various events.

Exemplary Claim:

1. An input processing method for a multi-user system comprising a plurality of information processing devices operated by users of the system, each user of the system being associated with a player character in a virtual environment shared by each user of the system, the method comprising: at each one of the plurality of information processing devices: receiving an input string from a user of the system associated with the information processing device; connecting to a network; sharing information, including said input string, over said network; and processing the shared information to create the virtual environment shared by each user of the system, if said input string contains a string from a set of predetermined strings, triggering a specific event in the virtual environment; if said input string does not contain any string from the set of predetermined strings, displaying the input string to each user of the system, wherein said virtual environment is a virtual chat room, said specific event is a motion of one of the player characters, and wherein when the user associated with the information processing device inputs the input string, the motion of the player character of the other users responds to the input string.

U.S. Patent No. 7,147,560: Selection of targets for attachment
U.S. Patent No. 7,240,093: Use of online messaging to facilitate selection of participants in game play