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Google Might Get Into Hosted Gaming Via YouTube

Last Updated Dec 29, 2009 11:20 AM EST

There's an interesting patent application from Google (GOOG) that was published earlier this month titled Web-Based System for Generation of Interactive Games Based on Digital Videos. Filed February 19, 2009 and published earlier this month, it describes a way to provide "the collaborative generation of interactive features for digital videos, and in particular to interactive video annotations enabling control of video playback locations and creation of interactive games." And when you read through the description, it becomes clear that the games could be built atop videos submitted to a hosting site, which makes it sound as though Google plans to extend YouTube site into an associated gaming site. Here's the nut of the description:
A video may have associated with it one or more annotations, which modify the appearance and/or behavior of a video as it was originally submitted to an online video hosting site. Some examples of annotations are graphical text box annotations, which display text at certain locations and certain times of the video, and pause annotations, which halt playback of the video at a specified time within the video. Some annotations, e.g. a graphical annotation (such as a text box annotation) comprising a link to a particular portion of a target video, are associated with a time of the target video, which can be either the video with which the annotation is associated, or a separate video. Selecting such annotations causes playback of the target video to begin at the associated time. Such annotations can be used to construct interactive games using videos, such as a game in which clicking on different portions of a video leads to different outcomes.
This suggests two possibilities: the creation of games that hop in and out of popular videos (How long before we see Numa Numa: the Game? ) or a place where people could upload source videos that contain multiple versions of scenes to play out various scenarios and then pull them together through an online interface to create that particular game. That could potentially open game creation to anyone with enough imagination, a video camera, an editing suite, and the ability to keep track of the video time line.

Then again, this could also become a new way to Rickroll. So much for doing no evil.

Image via stock.xchng user noguerajef, site standard license.
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    Erik Sherman is a widely published writer and editor who also does select ghosting and corporate work. The views expressed in this column belong to Sherman and do not represent the views of CBS Interactive. Follow him on Twitter at @ErikSherman or on Facebook.