Microsoft has filed a patent on a community-driven hint system for Xbox 360 games, through which players can get solutions to trouble spots -- and author their own tips for other players.
Siliconera discovered the patent
, which establishes a system for in-game help, by which a game can search a database for user-submitted tips and guides related to specific areas where players get stuck.
The patent also shows that players would be able to use screenshots, videos and digital markup to demonstrate solutions to one another, with the possibility for tags and audio-commentary. A ranking system ensures the most useful guides rise to the top, and developers may offer their own as well.
Nintendo also recently patented its own
"Super Guide" in-game help system, by which video solutions can demonstrate the correct path through a level, allowing players either to simply view the solution, or to let the guide pass the area for them and resume wherever they'd like. It's currently in use with New Super Mario Bros. Wii
, for exam,ple.