United States Patent

1111 E

[19]

l45l Reissued Oct. 28, 1975

Baer et al. l54l

TELEVlSlON GAMING APPARATUS AND METHOD

Primary Examiner—David L. Trafton Attorney, Agent, or Firm-—Louis Etlinger; Richard I,

[75]

Inventors: Ralph H. Baer. Manchester; William T. Rusch; William L. Harrison, both of Hollis, all of NH.

s 1. I 6 ‘gm‘‘"

[73]

Assignee: Sanders Associates, Inc., Nashua.

[57]

_

[22] [2l]

Re. 28,598

N.H.



ABSTRACT

Apparatus and methods are herein disclosed for use in

Flled' Apr‘ 25‘ ‘974 Appl. No: 464,023

conjunction with standard monochrome and color tel evision receivers, for the generation. display and ma~ nipulation of symbols upon the screen of the television receivers for the purpose of playing games. training simulation and for engaging in other activities by one or more participants, The invention comprises in one embodiment a control unit. connecting means and in some applications a television screen overlay mask uti» lized in conjunction with a standard television re~ ceiver. The control unit includes the control means.

_ Related US‘ Patent Documents Reissue of: [64] Patent No.: 3,659,285 Issued: Apr. 25, 1972 Appl. No.: 851,865 Filed: Aug. 21, 1969

[52]

US.

340/324 AD; 178/68; 250/549; 273/85 R; 315/377

switches and electronic circuitry for the generation, manipulation and control of video signals representing

[51] [58]

Int. Cl? .......................................... .1 G08B 5/36 Field of Search ............. .. 340/324 AD; 315/377

Symbols which are to be displayed on the television screen. The symbols are generated by voltage con

trolled delay of pulses and coincidence gating. The [56]

2.45s,992 2595,6461

References Cited

connecting means couples the video signals to the re»

UNITED STATES PATENTS

ceiver antenna terminals thereby using existing elec

l2/l948 Goldsmith et al. ................. t. 315/22 5/1952 Doba et .340/324 AD

"lfmmh°"§u"fl‘f"i:m the {scene/km grohccss anglxdis PAY ‘ e *‘gnd 5' “ mgr") "/i‘“ w ‘L m‘“ L ’"

2‘847‘66!

8/1958

Amwuse r V V _ _ ‘ p _

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movably attached

3‘011625

H1962

Evans eta] , _ _ _ _ _ y _

_ _ __ 340/334 AD

mine the

3,046,676 3.l5l.248 1153353 3'l891889

7/1962 9/1964 “H964 6/1965

3,249‘796

3,334,236

3,497,760

to

the

television

nature of the game

screen

to be

Control

Hermann et all. ........ . 35/25 Glaser et al ....................... .. 250/227 Rage" el al‘ --------------- ~ 340/334 AD Ends?“ ---- --340/324 AD

units may be provided for each of the participants. Al ternatively. games may be carried out in conjunction with background and other pictorial information origi nated in the television receiver by commercial TV.

5/1966

MOffIIL...

ciosed_circuit TV or a CATV Station.

8/1967

Bacon ......................... 11 250/217 CR

2/1970

Kiesllng ......................... 1. FIB/6.8 X

. . , . . . . . .1 315/222

17 Claims, 37 Drawing Figures

FOREIGN PATENTS OR APPLICATIONS l_l80,47O

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WILLIAM LHARRISON

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Re. 28,598 1

2

TELEVISION GAMING APPARATUS AND METHOD

or monochrome television receiver is utilized as an ac

tive instrument for playing various types of games in— volving one or more participants.

Matter enclosed in heavy brackets I II appears in the original patent but forms no part of this reissue specifi cation; matter printed in italics indicates the additions made by reissue.

It is a further object of the present invention to pro vide a device whereby an individual may pit his alert

ness, skill, manual dexterity and visual acuity against automatically controlled video displays. It is yet a further object of the present invention to provide an apparatus which will generate dots such as

REFERENCES TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

squares which may be controlled by one or more par

ticipants for playing various types of games.

This invention relates to the subject matter of Appli

It is another object of the present invention to pro vide a cathode ray tube apparatus for displaying sym

cation Ser. No. 126,966 filed Mar.22, I97] , a continu

ation of Application Ser. No. 697,798 filed Jan. 15, i968, now abandoned; and application Ser. No.

bols to be manipulated by participants. It is yet another object of the present invention to

828,154 ?led May 27, I969.

provide an apparatus which will allow one or more par

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

ticipants to actively use a standard television set while

receiving background and other pertinent pictorial in

This invention relates to apparatus and methods by

formation from a cooperative commercial TV, closed means of which standard television receivers can be utilized as active rather than passive instruments or, al 20 circuit TV, or CATV station, thus combining or alter nating studio and home-generated information on the ternatively, to special television receivers constructed

for active operation by participants. This is accom

TV screen.

plished in certain embodiments by having participants

It is still another object of the present invention to

manipulate controls of a control unit connected to the

allow the use of a standard TV set for gaming or other

television receiver to cause a symbol, such as a square, 25 activities without the need for any kind of internal elec

trical connection to the TV set for the introduction of

or a plurality of symbols, to be displayed upon the tele vision screen by means of which the participants can

play a variety of games, participate in simulated train

video and/or chroma signals, connections being re quired to be made only to the externally accessible an‘

ing programs, as well as carry out other activities. By

tenna terminals.

way of example, modified versions of the well-known 30 In accordance with one embodiment of the present invention, a television gaming apparatus is provided for game of ping-pong may be played by two participants generating video signals in accordance with the stan‘ by physically or electronically placing an appropriate dardized television format, which signals may be con mask representing the net upon the screen of the televi trolled by an individual operator by means of a joystick sion receiver. Three displayed dots represent two pad dles and a ball wherein the ball is moved in a particular 35 or other manually operative means. The television gaming apparatus comprises control apparatus having direction when “hit" by a paddle. included therein the necessary electronic circuits to Heretofore, color and monochrome television receiv produce video signals which are compatible with stan ers have been used generally by the home and other dard television receivers. viewers as passive devices; i.e., the television receiver The control apparatus has video signal control means is used only as a display means for programming origi mounted thereon for easy access and connecting means nating at a studio. The viewer is limited to selecting the are provided for coupling the video signals generated presentations available for viewing and is not a partici within the control box to the television receiver.

pant to the extent that he can control or in?uence the

nature of, or add to the presentation displayed on the receiver screen.

A standard receiver employed with auxiliary equip

By way of illustration, the television gaming appara 45 tus can be used for playing a game of ping-pong by pro viding on a TV screen two dots which represent pad

ment to provide an active form of home entertainment

is described in patent applications for “Television

Gaming and Training Apparatus" Ser. No. l26,966 ?led Mar. 22,

1971, a continuation of Ser. No.

697,798, ?led Jan. 15, 1968 and “Television Gaming Apparatus and Method" Ser. No. 328,154. ?led May 27, 1969, both assigned to the assignee of this applica

dles. Means are provided for enabling the players to control the vertical movement of the paddle dots. Means are also provided for generating on the screen of the television receiver a third dot which represents the ping-pong ball. This dot can be made to move from an off-screen left position to an off-screen right posi~ tion and vice versa unless "hit” by a paddle dot where

tion. Since most homes are equipped with television re 55 upon the ball dot will change direction. The players

ceivers, the only expense required to provide added

have further controls for changing the vertical position

of the ball dot. Suitable overlays or presentations from a cooperative TV station may be used in conjunction with said games SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION to enhance the asthetic appeal thereof. Alternatively, 60 presentations such as a ping-pong net may be generated Accordingly, it is an object of the present invention

family enjoyment as well as training means is the ex pense of a control unit of one type or another.

to provide apparatus and methods for displaying video signals on the screen of a television receiver, where some or all of the video signals are both generated and controlled by apparatus external to the television re 65

ceiver. It is another object of the present invention to pro vide an apparatus and method wherein a standard color

by controls in the hands of the participants. BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The above-mentioned and other features and objects of this invention will become more apparent by refer ence to the following description taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings, in which:

Re. 28,598 4

3

FIG. 20A is a diagram of electronic apparatus for a

FIG. I is a pictorial view illustrating the principle

simulated race game;

components of an embodiment of the invention includ» ing a television receiver and a control unit; FIG. IA is a pictorial view illustrating an alternate embodiment for the control unit of FIG. 1; FIG. 2 is a sketch illustrating a typical TV screen and overlay mask as employed in an embodiment of this in

FIG. 20B is a schematic ofa dot generator having po sition controlled clot size; FIG. 20C is a sketch of a television screen illustrating

the manner of play of the race game of FIG. 20A; and FIG. 21 is a diagram of electronic apparatus for a

left-right shooting game.

vention; FIG. 3 is a sketch illustrating the manner in which

DESCRIPTION OF PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

dots are formed on a TV screen;

The principal components of one embodiment of a

FIG. 4 is a block diagram illustrating the general the» ory of dot generation; FIG. 5 is a block diagram of the preferred mode of

television gaming system con?gured according to the

generating dots on a TV screen; FIG. 6 is a schematic of a sync generator employed

in the embodiment of FIG. 5; FIG. 7A is a schematic of a dot generator employed in the embodiment of FIG. 5; FIG. 7B are waveforms illustrating operation of the 20 circuit of FIG. 7A; FIGS. 8A-8C are schematics of controls used to gen

erate control signals for the dot generator of FIG. 7; FIG. 9 is a schematic of a primary flip-flop arrange ment used in many of the gaming applications; FIG. 10 is a schematic of a secondary ?ip-flop ar

tions;

are generally used for home entertainment. Either a monochrome or color television set may be used with

the present invention since the basic principles of the invention apply to both types. The connection means I2 is in this embodiment a cable, for example, shielded or unshielded twin-lead, and is attached to the antenna

respectively.

FIG. IIA is a diagram of apparatus for a simulated FIG. IIB is a sketch of a television screen illustrating

any of the standard commercially available models that

terminals of receiver 10 in conventional fashion. Control unit 14 generates video signals shown as dots 20,, 202 and 21. The dots 20, and 202 are positioned on the receiver screen 18 by knobs 16,, 17,, and 162, 17,,

rangement used in certain ones of the gaming applica

ping>pong type game;

invention are illustrated in FIG. 1 which is a pictorial view showing a television receiver 10, a control unit I4 and means 12 for connecting control unit I4 to re ceiver 10. The television receiver 10 employed can be

Knob 16, controls the vertical position of dot 20,, 30 while knob 17, controls the horizontal position thereof.

Thus, it can be seen that the dot 20, many be posi tioned at any point on the screen by the proper manipu~

the manner of play of the ping-pong game of FIG. 11A; FIG. 12A is a diagram of apparatus for a simulated

lation of knobs l6, and 17,. Dot 20, is positioned in like manner by knob 16,, 172. In this embodiment dot 21

handball type game;

FIG. IZB is a sketch of a television screen illustrating 35 can be automatically positioned on screen 18 without

the manner of play of the handball game of FIG. 12A; FIG. 13A is a diagram of apparatus for a simulated

manual control. This will be described more fully here inafter. A pair of serve/reset switches 11, 13 are shown

volleyball type game;

on the control unit 14 and are used to reset the picture

FIG. 13B is a sketch ofa television screen illustrating

on the television screen or “serve" a simulated ball. For

the manner of play of the volleyball game of FIG. 13A;

example, a game may be played in which one dot is to be positioned over the other and when this is accom

FIG. [4A is a diagram of electronic apparatus for a

simulated golf putting game;

plished one dot will disappear and/or the background

FIG. 14B is a sketch of the input control for the appa will change color. When games of this nature are ratus of FIG. 14A; played, a reset means is required before play can be re FIG. 14C is a sketch ofa television screen illustrating 45 sumed. Serve reset switches II, 13 can perform this

the manner of play of the golf putting game of FIG. 14A;

function as well as other functions to be described

hereafter. A knob 15 controls background color for color TV receiver applications wherein a chroma generator is employed in the manner set forth in said application

FIG. ISA is a diagram of apparatus for a “pumping“ game; FIG. 15B is a sketch ofa television screen illustrating the manner of play of the “pumping" game of FIG.

Ser. No. l26,966. Alternatively, control unit I4 may be broken up into a master control unit containing the electronic circuits

ISA; FIG. 16 is a diagram of apparatus for a target shoot

ing game;

55

and individual control units containing control knobs

FIG. 17 is a schematic of a chroma signal generator; 16,, 17, and 162, I72 and switches 11 and I3, whereby each participant may operate from a position away FIG. 18A is a schematic of another embodiment of from the other and so not to interfere with other play a dot generator; ers. This is illustrated in FIG. IA wherein control unit FIG. 18B is a sketch of illustrative video signals of the 14 is broken up into a master control unit 27 and indi dot generator of FIG. I8A; 60 vidual control units 22 and 23. The master control unit FIG. 19A is a block diagram of apparatus for control 27 contains the electronic circuitry found in control ling a "hit" dot; unit 14 and control knob 15. Knobs 16,, 17, and 16,, FIG. 19B is a sketch illustrating the manner in which and 17, which position the dots 20, and 202, and the apparatus of FIG. 19A controls a "hit" dot; FIG. 19C is a schematic of the horizontal gated dif 65 switches 11 and 13 are situated on individual control units 22 and 23, respectively. More than two control ferentiator of FIG. 19A; units may be provided when additional participants are FIG. 19D is a schematic of the bilateral switch, inte to take part. grator and wall bounce of FIGv 19A;

Television gaming apparatus and method

Apr 25, 1972 - IIA is a diagram of apparatus for a simulated ping>pong type game;. FIG. IIB is a sketch of a television screen illustrating the manner of play of ...

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