Microsoft Thinking About Giving You Achievements For Watching TV

Illustration for article titled Microsoft Thinking About Giving You Achievements For Watching TV

Achievements are changing on the new Xbox One. They might be changing even more than we realise, though, if a Microsoft patent application for TV achievements ever actually comes to fruition.

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Yes, according to a report on GI.biz, last November Microsoft applied for a patent aimed at giving you achievements for watching TV.

"Television viewing tends to be a passive experience for a viewer, without many opportunities for the viewer to engage or have interactive experiences with the presented content," the application's description reads. "To increase interactive viewing and encourage a user to watch one or more particular items of video content, awards and achievements may be tied to those items of video content."

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That last sentence is the kicker, Microsoft obviously hoping to use achievements as a carrot, with sponsored content the stick.

Some other rewards beyond just a score are mentioned, such as "new clothes and props for an avatar, virtual money for a game, or even physical rewards."

Microsoft applies for patent on TV achievements [GI.biz].

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DISCUSSION

This whole TV-centric rollout of the XBox One is one of the dumbest things I've ever seen.

1) Your TV is going to do all of this stuff on its own in the relatively near future, so Microsoft is trying to "own the living room" with a separate box that is going to be obsolete for everything other than gaming (which should be its core purpose) soon enough.

2) I don't care how much you try to tech up television. You can make the screen bigger. You can make it look nicer. You can make it sound better. You can give me a remote control. But at the end of the day, watching TV is watching TV. It's a simple experience that can be "reinvented" only so much. I'm sorry, but when I turn on the TV these days, I'm doing it to watch something in particular, because I really want to watch it (otherwise I'd be playing a game, checking out the internet, making music, programming, or whatever else). I don't want to check my fantasy football team while I'm watching TV. I don't want to bring up a map of fucking Westeros, either. They're trying to take TV and turn it into the most un-TV experience of all time. It's all a big strategy to shoehorn themselves into our entertainment time, even though what they're offering is barely anything we need, and mostly nothing we really want. If you listen to these asshole execs talk about consumers, these days it's all about "People only have so much entertainment time in one day, so we need to try and get a piece of as much of that time as we can." Yeah, and let's worry about whether any of this shit is valuable, helpful, or of genuine merit later. As long as it glitters and "looks like Minority Report," it's all good, right?