New Sony patent lets spectators bench players in games

October 21, 2021
Sony Patent "Bench"

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Originally filed in January of last year, Sony has finally been granted a patent that allows spectators to vote and bench players from a game.

The patent, which is descriptively titled “Spectators Vote to Bench Players in a Video Game,” will let spectators do just that, giving them the power to vote to remove a player, to warn them to improve, or to send them a custom message.  

Citing Twitch as an example of the growing interest in “watching video games and esports events,” Sony is looking to capitalize on developers desires to “enhance the viewing experience by providing increased functionality and interactivity for spectators.” 

While removing players from games may sound like a recipe for disaster, Sony seems to have thought this through by having a 60%  voting threshold to try and remove a player, and also basing spectators voting power on their skill in the game. This skill factor is determined by a plethora of statistics such as “the spectator’s accomplishments in the video game.” 

Throughout that patent application, Sony detail a number of scenarios in which this benching feature could be useful, such as by removing a griefing player from a game. In another example, however, Sony posits that players could “pay in full a fixed price to have a player removed from playing the video game,” which definitely sounds like something that can be abused. 

Sony Spectator Benching Patent Diagram
Here’s how Sony expects the voting process to go down.

We’re not too sure who’s actually asking for the ability to remove players from the games that they’re playing, but knowing Twitch chat as the unbridled agent of chaos that it is, we’re sure that they’re going to jump at the chance to stop someone enjoying themselves while also sending crude ASCII art directly into their game.

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