U.S. Patent No. 8,282,491: Game-based incentives for location-based actions

Issued October 9, 2012, to Zynga, Inc.
Priority Date August 13, 2010

Smart Phones have allowed people to play games anywhere. U.S. Patent No. 8,282,491 (the ‘491 Patent) describes a method and system for giving in-game rewards to players for performing an action at a physical location. The game may give a player in-game currency for scanning the receipt for coffee from Starbucks. The ‘491 Patent relates more to how the game determines the reward for the player, than how the game determines a player’s location. Rewards are determined based on the player’s demographic information, how often the player visits the location, how often the player buys something from the location.

Systems and methods for providing game-based incentives to users of online games as a reward for performing actions at physical locations are provided.

Illustrative Claim:
1. A method comprising: accessing a game state of one or more computer-implemented games associated with a user; determining, using at least one processor of a machine, an incentive reward for the user based at least in part on the game state of the one or more computer-implemented games, the incentive reward being an in-game asset in the one or more computer-implemented games; determining a location-based action for the user based at least in part on the game state of the one or more computer-implemented games, the location-based action being an action performable by the user at a physical location that is external to the one or more games; and transmitting, to a device associated with the user, a message comprising a description of the location-based action, a description of the incentive reward, and an offer of the incentive reward for performing the location-based action at the physical location.

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