The year is 2009 and Uncharted 2 is one of the year’s biggest sellers and contender for game of the year. The game surrounds Nathan Drake on a quest to find lost treasure by climbing conveniently placed ladders, using his carpentry skills to build bridges, and carrying enough rope to supply the next hangman’s convention. Sounds weird, right? Amazingly, had Nintendo’s Shigeru Miyamoto had his way, that is probably how things would have played out.
Miyamoto, in a Q&A session with Satoru Iwata for the Nintendo website, at one point in the 1980’s considered applying for a patent to cover jumping in a platforming videogame. “I went as far as thinking that jumping is an original idea and that it should be patented! Anyway, I thought: “Right, I’m not going to let those other games top us!””
The horror of that notion is the fact that developers would have had to pay the patent holder in order to allow their videogame characters to jump in a game. Can anyone really imagine a world without jumping in their games?