IBM's new gaming patent envisions using blockchain consensus in an MMO


IBM scored a new patent last week that hints at potential uses of blockchain-based consensus in gaming environments — particularly those of the massively multiplayer variety.

The patent, entitled "Gaming concensus protocol for blockchain," was awarded on November 10. First filed in 2018, the patent outlines examples by which a game's participants — particularly those in a massively multiplayer online (MMO) game — would participate in the ordering of transactions that make up the game's flow of information. Players would, in effect, be akin to bitcoin miners in that their hardware and software resources would be used to order transactions in blocks.

What's more, those peers could potentially get paid for contributing their resources to the game. As the document explains:

"In one embodiment, the consensus algorithm is provided as a service from the game network to any blockchain network, thus blockchain networks can delegate consensus to a distributed network of game clients within the gaming peers. In the preferred embodiment, for each transaction processed by the massively multiplayer online gaming network, a fee would apply. These fees may be distributed between the participants of the consensus round (i.e. participants/users associated with each gaming peer ) as an incentive, be used to maintain the network infrastructure or any other purpose that serves the gaming network and the players."

As the document goes on to stress, this player-centric consensus model only forms one part of the overall system. But their role could expand should sufficient computing power be assembled.

"The gaming peers would only perform consensus on the ordering of the transactions. The execution of smart contracts remains within the blockchain network. In some embodiments, smart contract execution could be moved to the massively multiplayer online gaming network if the gaming peers have sufficient computing power to perform the additional task of executing the smart contracts and if the business case allows it in terms of security and confidentiality," the document explains.

To date, IBM has not revealed much in the way of its thinking on the gaming and blockchain front. The tech giant published a third-party blog post in February about the ways in which the technology intersects with the gaming world, highlighting the use of non-fungible tokens for in-game assets.

Trending Stories

Get Your Crypto
Daily Brief

Delivered daily, straight to your inbox.

Will Sanctions Drive Russia into the Arms of Cryptocurrencies?

From the removal of many Russian banks from SWIFT to a seemingly constant flow of new sanctions, Russia’s invasion of Ukraine has left many to wonder: Is the country likely to lurch towards cryptocurrencies? And if so, what does this mean for businesses that are holding and/or using crypto? Crypto and sanctions evasion Although crypto […]
Read Full Story
Sponsored Post

Layer-2 Scaling Solutions: A Framework for Comparison - Commissioned by Polygon

Ethereum had a breakout year in 2021. It’s native asset, ETH’s, market capitalization surpassed $500 billion for the first time. Its network facilitated upwards of $7 trillion value transfer. Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) emerged as another “killer application” that have put its technology on the global stage and caught the attention of the masses.
Read Full Story
May 5, 2022, 3:17PM UTC