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Publication numberUS20060178218 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/213,442
Publication dateAug 10, 2006
Filing dateAug 26, 2005
Priority dateFeb 4, 2005
Publication number11213442, 213442, US 2006/0178218 A1, US 2006/178218 A1, US 20060178218 A1, US 20060178218A1, US 2006178218 A1, US 2006178218A1, US-A1-20060178218, US-A1-2006178218, US2006/0178218A1, US2006/178218A1, US20060178218 A1, US20060178218A1, US2006178218 A1, US2006178218A1
InventorsEdward Jung, Royce Levien, Robert Lord, Mark Malamud, John Rinaldo
Original AssigneeSearete Llc, A Limited Liability Corporation Of The State Of Delaware
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Virtual world escrow user interface
US 20060178218 A1
Abstract
In one aspect, a method related to conducting virtual world transactions. In addition to the foregoing, other method and system and program product aspects are described in the claims, drawings, and text forming a part of the present application.
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Claims(172)
1. A method related to virtual world transactions, the method comprising:
providing an interface to enable a player to use an opportunity in an imaginary environment to participate in an escrow transaction; and
accepting input to the interface.
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85. A system related to virtual world transactions, the system comprising:
circuitry for providing an interface to enable a player to use an opportunity in an imaginary environment to participate in an escrow transaction; and
circuitry for accepting input to the interface.
86. A system comprising:
means for providing an interface to enable a player to use an opportunity in an imaginary environment to participate in an escrow transaction; and
means for accepting input to the interface.
87. A program product, comprising:
a signal-bearing medium bearing
one or more instructions for providing an interface to enable a player to use an opportunity in an imaginary environment to participate in an escrow transaction, and
one or more instructions for accepting input to the interface.
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90. The program product of claim 87, wherein the providing an interface to enable a player to use an opportunity in an imaginary environment to participate in an escrow transaction further comprises:
one or more instructions for providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access information concerning a candidate grantor and/or a candidate depository and/or a candidate grantee and/or a candidate depository item and/or a candidate agent.
91. The program product of claim 87, wherein the providing an interface to enable a player to use an opportunity in an imaginary environment to participate in an escrow transaction further comprises:
one or more instructions for.
92. The program product of claim 87, wherein the providing an interface to enable a player to use an opportunity in an imaginary environment to participate in an escrow transaction further comprises:
one or more instructions for.
93. The program product of claim 87, wherein the providing an interface to enable a player to use an opportunity in an imaginary environment to participate in an escrow transaction further comprises:
one or more instructions for.
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96. The program product of claim 87, wherein the providing an interface to enable a player to use an opportunity in an imaginary environment to participate in an escrow transaction further comprises:
one or more instructions for providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access performance information.
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100. The program product of claim 87, wherein the providing an interface to enable a player to use an opportunity in an imaginary environment to participate in an escrow transaction further comprises:
one or more instructions for providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to select an item and/or an entity to serve in a role in the escrow transaction.
101. The program product of claim 100, wherein the providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to select an item and/or an entity to serve in a role in the escrow transaction further comprises:
one or more instructions for.
102. The program product of claim 100, wherein the providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to select an item and/or an entity to serve in a role in the escrow transaction further comprises:
one or more instructions for.
103. The program product of claim 100, wherein the providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to select an item and/or an entity to serve in a role in the escrow transaction further comprises:
one or more instructions for.
104. The program product of claim 100, wherein the providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to select an item and/or an entity to serve in a role in the escrow transaction further comprises:
one or more instructions for providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to select an entity to be a grantor in the escrow transaction.
105. The program product of claim 100, wherein the providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to select an item and/or an entity to serve in a role in the escrow transaction further comprises:
one or more instructions for providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to select an entity to be a depository in the escrow transaction.
106. The program product of claim 100, wherein the providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to select an item and/or an entity to serve in a role in the escrow transaction further comprises:
one or more instructions for providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to select an entity to be a grantee in the escrow transaction.
107. The program product of claim 100, wherein the providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to select an item and/or an entity to serve in a role in the escrow transaction further comprises:
one or more instructions for providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to designate an item and/or an entity to be a depository item in the escrow transaction.
108. The program product of claim 100, wherein the providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to select an item and/or an entity to serve in a role in the escrow transaction further comprises:
one or more instructions for providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to select an entity to be an agent in the escrow transaction.
109. The program product of claim 87, wherein the providing an interface to enable a player to use an opportunity in an imaginary environment to participate in an escrow transaction further comprises:
one or more instructions for providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to verify an identity in the escrow transaction.
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115. The program product of claim 87, wherein the providing an interface to enable a player to use an opportunity in an imaginary environment to participate in an escrow transaction further comprises:
one or more instructions for providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to elect to participate in a role in the escrow transaction.
116. The program product of claim 115, wherein providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to elect to participate in a role in the escrow transaction further comprises:
one or more instructions for providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to choose to participate as a grantor in the escrow transaction.
117. The program product of claim 115, wherein providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to elect to participate in a role in the escrow transaction further comprises:
one or more instructions for providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to choose to participate as a depository in the escrow transaction.
118. The program product of claim 115, wherein providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to elect to participate in a role in the escrow transaction further comprises:
one or more instructions for providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to choose to participate as a grantee in the escrow transaction.
119. The program product of claim 115, wherein providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to elect to participate in a role in the escrow transaction further comprises:
one or more instructions for providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to choose to participate as a depository item in the escrow transaction.
120. The program product of claim 115, wherein providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to elect to participate in a role in the escrow transaction further comprises:
one or more instructions for providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to choose to participate as an agent in the escrow transaction.
121. The program product of claim 115, wherein providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to elect to participate in a role in the escrow transaction further comprises:
one or more instructions for providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to participate as a grantor in the escrow transaction.
122. The program product of claim 115, wherein providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to elect to participate in a role in the escrow transaction further comprises:
one or more instructions for providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to participate as a depository in the escrow transaction.
123. The program product of claim 115, wherein providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to elect to participate in a role in the escrow transaction further comprises:
one or more instructions for providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to participate as a grantee in the escrow transaction.
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125. The program product of claim 115, wherein providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to elect to participate in a role in the escrow transaction further comprises:
one or more instructions for providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to participate as an agent in the escrow transaction.
126. The program product of claim 87, wherein the providing an interface to enable a player to use an opportunity in an imaginary environment to participate in an escrow transaction further comprises:
one or more instructions for providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to negotiate an agreement to govern the escrow transaction.
127. The program product of claim 126, wherein the providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to negotiate an agreement to govern the escrow transaction further comprises:
one or more instructions for providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to propose a term of the escrow agreement.
128. The program product of claim 126, wherein the providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to negotiate an agreement to govern the escrow transaction further comprises:
one or more instructions for providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to agree to a proposed term of the escrow agreement.
129. The program product of claim 126, wherein the providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to negotiate an agreement to govern the escrow transaction further comprises:
one or more instructions for providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to reject a proposed term of the escrow agreement.
130. The program product of claim 126, wherein the providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to negotiate an agreement to govern the escrow transaction further comprises:
one or more instructions for providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to change an agreed term of the escrow agreement.
131. The program product of claim 87, wherein the providing an interface to enable a player to use an opportunity in an imaginary environment to participate in an escrow transaction further comprises:
one or more instructions for providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to effect a change in a possession of an item in the escrow transaction.
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146. The program product of claim 87, wherein the providing an interface to enable a player to use an opportunity in an imaginary environment to participate in an escrow transaction further comprises:
one or more instructions for providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to verify an action related to possession of an item in the escrow transaction.
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152. The program product of claim 87, wherein the providing an interface to enable a player to use an opportunity in an imaginary environment to participate in an escrow transaction further comprises:
one or more instructions for providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access a record of the escrow transaction.
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169. The program product of claim 87, wherein the accepting input to the interface further comprises:
one or more instructions for accepting input to the interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to negotiate an agreement to govern the escrow transaction.
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Description
CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application is related to, claims the earliest available effective filing date(s) from (e.g., claims earliest available priority dates for other than provisional patent applications; claims benefits under 35 USC § 119(e) for provisional patent applications), and incorporates by reference in its entirety all subject matter of the following listed application(s) (the “Related Applications”) to the extent such subject matter is not inconsistent herewith; the present application also claims the earliest available effective filing date(s) from, and also incorporates by reference in its entirety all subject matter of any and all parent, grandparent, great-grandparent, etc. applications of the Related Application(s) to the extent such subject matter is not inconsistent herewith. The United States Patent Office (USPTO) has published a notice to the effect that the USPTO's computer programs require that patent applicants reference both a serial number and indicate whether an application is a continuation or continuation in part. Stephen G. Kunin, Benefit of Prior-Filed Application, USPTO Electronic Official Gazette, Mar. 18, 2003 at http://www.uspto.gov/web/offices/com/sol/og/2003/week11/patbene.htm. The present applicant entity has provided below a specific reference to the application(s) from which priority is being claimed as recited by statute. Applicant entity understands that the statute is unambiguous in its specific reference language and does not require either a serial number or any characterization such as “continuation” or “continuation-in-part.” Notwithstanding the foregoing, applicant entity understands that the USPTO's computer programs have certain data entry requirements, and hence applicant entity is designating the present application as a continuation in part of its parent applications, but expressly points out that such designations are not to be construed in any way as any type of commentary and/or admission as to whether or not the present application contains any new matter in addition to the matter of its parent application(s).

RELATED APPLICATIONS

1. For purposes of the USPTO extra-statutory requirements, the present application constitutes a continuation in part of currently co-pending United States patent application entitled VIRTUAL CREDIT IN SIMULATED ENVIRONMENTS, naming Edward K. Y. Jung; Royce A. Levien; Mark A. Malamud and John D. Rinaldo, Jr. as inventors, U.S. application Ser. No. 11/051,514, filed Feb. 4, 2005.

2. For purposes of the USPTO extra-statutory requirements, the present application constitutes a continuation in part of currently co-pending United States patent application entitled FINANCIAL VENTURES BASED ON VIRTUAL CREDIT, naming Edward K. Y. Jung; Royce A. Levien; Mark A. Malamud and John D. Rinaldo, Jr. as inventors, U.S. application Ser. No. 11/069,894, filed Feb. 28, 2005.

3. For purposes of the USPTO extra-statutory requirements, the present application constitutes a continuation in part of currently co-pending United States patent application entitled VIRTUAL WORLD ESCROW ENVIRONMENT, naming Edward K. Y. Jung; Royce A. Levien; Mark A. Malamud and John D. Rinaldo, Jr. as inventors, U.S. application Ser. No. 11/185,446, filed Jul. 19, 2005.

4. For purposes of the USPTO extra-statutory requirements, the present application constitutes a continuation in part of currently co-pending United States patent application entitled VIRTUAL WORLD ESCROW, naming Edward K. Y. Jung; Royce A. Levien; Mark A. Malamud and John D. Rinaldo, Jr. as inventors, U.S. application Ser. No. 11/185,524, filed Jul. 19, 2005.

TECHNICAL FIELD

The present application relates, in general, to conducting virtual world transactions.

SUMMARY

In one aspect, a method of conducting virtual world transactions includes but is not limited to providing an interface to enable a player to use an opportunity in an imaginary environment to participate in an escrow transaction; and accepting input to the interface. In addition to the foregoing, other method aspects are described in the claims, drawings, and text forming a part of the present application.

In one aspect, a system related to virtual world transactions includes but is not limited to circuitry for providing an interface to enable a player to use an opportunity in an imaginary environment to participate in an escrow transaction; and circuitry for accepting input to the interface. In addition to the foregoing, other system aspects are described in the claims, drawings, and text forming a part of the present application.

In one or more various aspects, related systems include but are not limited to circuitry and/or programming and/or electro-mechanical devices and/or optical devices for effecting the herein-referenced method aspects; the circuitry and/or programming and/or electro-mechanical devices and/or optical devices can be virtually any combination of hardware, software, and/or firmware configured to effect the herein-referenced method aspects depending upon the design choices of the system designer skilled in the art.

In one aspect, a program product includes but is not limited to a signal bearing medium bearing one or more instructions for providing an interface to enable a player to use an opportunity in an imaginary environment to participate in an escrow transaction; and one or more instructions for accepting input to the interface. In addition to the foregoing, other program product aspects are described in the claims, drawings, and text forming a part of the present application.

In addition to the foregoing, various other method, system, and/or program product aspects are set forth and described in the teachings such as the text (e.g., claims and/or detailed description) and/or drawings of the present application.

The foregoing is a summary and thus contains, by necessity, simplifications, generalizations and omissions of detail; consequently, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the summary is illustrative only and is NOT intended to be in any way limiting. Other aspects, features, and advantages of the devices and/or processes and/or other subject matter described herein will become apparent in the teachings set forth herein.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE FIGURES

FIG. 1 depicts one implementation of an exemplary environment in which the methods and systems described herein may be represented;

FIG. 2 depicts one implementation of an exemplary environment in which the methods and systems described herein may be represented;

FIG. 3 depicts a high-level logic flowchart of an operational process;

FIG. 4 shows several alternative implementations of the high-level logic flowchart of FIG. 3;

FIG. 5 shows several alternative implementations of the high-level logic flowchart of FIG. 4;

FIG. 6 shows several alternative implementations of the high-level logic flowchart of FIG. 4;

FIG. 7 shows several alternative implementations of the high-level logic flowchart of FIG. 4;

FIG. 8 shows several alternative implementations of the high-level logic flowchart of FIG. 4;

FIG. 9 shows several alternative implementations of the high-level logic flowchart of FIG. 4;

FIG. 10 shows several alternative implementations of the high-level logic flowchart of FIG. 4;

FIG. 11 shows several alternative implementations of the high-level logic flowchart of FIG. 4;

FIG. 12 shows several alternative implementations of the high-level logic flowchart of FIG. 4; and

FIG. 13 shows several alternative implementations of the high-level logic flowchart of FIG. 3.

The use of the same symbols in different drawings typically indicates similar or identical items.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION

With reference to the figures, FIG. 1 depicts one implementation of an exemplary environment 100 in which the methods and systems described herein may be represented. Participant computers 102 are exemplary of any number of computers desirable to permit multiple participants in a simulated world and/or a virtual environment to participate in that simulated world and/or a virtual environment. The participant computers 102 may be laptop computers, desktop computers, handheld wireless devices and/or other computing devices or combinations of computing devices including tactile, visual, mechanical, and/or sonic user interface devices. Intermediate device 104 is exemplary of any and all intermediate devices that may provide paths and/or computational resources, e.g., one or more simulated-world/virtual-environment servers and/or transmission media, to provide the simulated-world/virtual-environment and to mediate the participation or participants via the participant computers 102.

With reference to the figures, FIG. 2 depicts one implementation of an exemplary environment in which the methods and systems described herein may be represented. The virtual reality environment 200 comprises a simulated world 202 wherein a participant 204 is enabled to select a different destination and/or activity and/or event; a user interface communication link 206 that enables the participant 204 to have access to the simulated world 202 and participate in an escrow transaction 208 as a grantor participant, a depository participant, at least one depository item available for deposit pursuant to the escrow transaction 208, and/or a grantee participant; a value system 210 wherein a potential depository value is attributed to the one or more depository items and a potential condition/event value is attributed to a performance of a condition and/or the happening of an event, wherein the one or more depository items is to be delivered by a grantor to a depository prior to the performance of the condition and/or the happening of the event, and wherein the one or more depository items is to be delivered by the depository to a grantee upon the performance of the condition and/or the happening of the event; and a memory device 212 capable of keeping a record of the escrow transaction 208. The simulated world 202 may include simulated locations and simulated features that either do or do not correspond to locations and features in the real world, such as cities, building, roads, and/or vehicles, and may enable the participant 204 to participate in simulated activities and events that either do or do not correspond to activities and events in the real world, such as financial transactions (e.g., sales, licenses, and leases) and barter transactions involving two or more parties. The simulated world 202 may be simulated using one or more computer programs running on one or more computers; the computers may be co-located or may communicate among themselves using hardware or wireless communication links, such as computers and communications links included in the Internet. The user interface communication link 206 may include hardware and/or wireless communications links with other computers involved in the simulated world 202, e.g., over the Internet by which the participant 204 may participate in the simulated world 202.

In the exemplary virtual reality environment 200, the user interface communication link 206 enables the participant to participate in one or more escrow transactions 208 as a grantor participant (e.g., as a seller of a property), a depository participant (e.g., as an escrow agent), at least one depository item available for deposit pursuant to the escrow transaction 208 (e.g., as a slave or other chattel) and/or a grantee participant (e.g., as a buyer of a property).

In the exemplary virtual reality environment 200, the simulated world 202 includes the value system 210 wherein a potential depository value (e.g., in money or in terms or one or more goods and/or service) is attributed to one or more depository items (e.g., title to a property) and a potential condition/event value (e.g., in money or in terms or one or more goods and/or services) is attributed to a performance of a condition (e.g., payment for the property) and/or the happening of an event (e.g., approval of a loan for the purchase of the property), wherein the one or more depository items is to be delivered by a grantor (e.g., the owner of the property) to a depository (e.g., an escrow agent) prior to the performance of the condition and/or the happening of the event, and wherein the one or more depository items is to be delivered by the depository to a grantee (e.g., the buyer of the property) upon the performance of the condition and/or the happening of the event.

The exemplary virtual reality environment 200 includes the memory device 212, which may be co-located with any other computer resources used to simulate the simulated world 202 or located separately from them and in communication with them using hardware and/or wireless communication links.

One skilled in the art will recognize that the herein described components (e.g., steps), devices, and objects and the discussion accompanying them are used as examples for the sake of conceptual clarity and that various configuration modifications are within the skill of those in the art. Consequently, as used herein, the specific exemplars set forth and the accompanying discussion are intended to be representative of their more general classes. In general, use of any specific exemplar herein is also intended to be representative of its class, and the non-inclusion of such specific components (e.g., steps), devices, and objects herein should not be taken as indicating that limitation is desired.

Following are a series of flowcharts depicting implementations of processes. For ease of understanding, the flowcharts are organized such that the initial flowcharts present implementations via an overall “big picture” viewpoint and thereafter the following flowcharts present alternate implementations and/or expansions of the “big picture” flowcharts as either sub-steps or additional steps building on one or more earlier-presented flowcharts. Those having skill in the art will appreciate that the style of presentation utilized herein (e.g., beginning with a presentation of a flowchart(s) presenting an overall view and thereafter providing additions to and/or further details in subsequent flowcharts) generally allows for a rapid and easy understanding of the various process implementations. In addition, those skilled in the art will further appreciate that the style of presentation used herein also lends itself well to modular and/or object-oriented program design paradigms.

FIG. 3 depicts a high-level logic flowchart of an exemplary operational process. Operation 300 shows providing an interface to enable a player to use an opportunity in an imaginary environment to participate in an escrow transaction (e.g., providing a visual and/or sonic and/or mechanical interface, such as a graphic user interface displayed on a computer viewscreen and/or a keyboard and/or a speaker/microphone combination, that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in an escrow transaction 208). Operation 302 illustrates accepting input to the interface (e.g. accepting sonic input via a sonic interface such as a speaker/microphone combination, or mechanical input via a mechanical interface such as a keyboard).

FIG. 4 shows several alternative implementations of the high-level logic flowchart of FIG. 3. Depicted is that operation 300—providing an interface to enable a player to use an opportunity in an imaginary environment to participate in an escrow transaction—may include one or more of the following operations: 400, 402, 404, 406, 408, 410, 412, and/or 414. Operation 400 shows providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access information concerning a candidate grantor and/or a candidate depository and/or a candidate grantee and/or a candidate depository item and/or a candidate agent (e.g., providing an interface to enable a player to use an opportunity in an imaginary environment to access stored performance data on one or more candidates for escrow transaction roles, to inform player decisions regarding player participation, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 402 depicts providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to select an item and/or an entity to serve in a role in the escrow transaction (e.g., providing an interface to enable a player to use an opportunity in an imaginary environment to select a virtual-world character attribute, such as a power to teleport, to serve as a depository item, or to select a real-world entity, such as another player, to serve as a depository, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 404 illustrates providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to verify an identity in the escrow transaction (e.g., providing an interface to enable a player to use an opportunity in an imaginary environment to verify the identity of an item purported to be a depository item or of a character purporting to be a grantee, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 406 shows providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to elect to participate in a role in the escrow transaction (e.g., providing an interface to enable a player to use an opportunity in an imaginary environment to elect to participate as a grantor, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 408 illustrates providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to negotiate an agreement to govern the escrow transaction (e.g., providing an interface to enable a player to use an opportunity in an imaginary environment to communicate with entities involved in an escrow transaction 208 to establish the terms under which the escrow transaction 208 is to be conducted, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208).

Operation 410 shows providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to effect a change in a possession of an item in the escrow transaction (e.g., providing an interface to enable a player to use an opportunity in an imaginary environment to initiate a transfer of an item, such as a depository item, from any participant in the escrow transaction 208 to another such participant, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 412 depicts providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to verify an action related to possession of an item in the escrow transaction (e.g., providing an interface to enable a player to use an opportunity in an imaginary environment to verify the transfer of an item, such as a depository item, from any participant in the escrow transaction 208 to another such participant, has taken place, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 414 illustrates providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access a record of the escrow transaction (e.g., providing an interface to enable a player to use an opportunity in an imaginary environment to access stored data regarding some specific aspect of the escrow transaction 208, such as a participant identity or a change of possession, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208).

FIG. 5 illustrates several alternative implementations of the high-level logic flowchart of FIG. 4. Depicted is that operation 400—providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access information concerning a candidate grantor and/or a candidate depository and/or a candidate grantee and/or a candidate depository item and/or a candidate agent—may include one or more of the following operations: 500, 502, 504, 506, 508, 510, 512, 514, and/or 516. Operation 500 shows providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access information concerning a real-world candidate grantor and/or a real-world candidate depository and/or a real-world candidate grantee and/or a real-world candidate depository item and/or a real-world candidate agent (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access stored information concerning real-world candidates for roles in the escrow transaction 208, such as another player as a candidate for the role of depository or a real-world property deed as a candidate for the role of depository item, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 502 depicts providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access information concerning a virtual-world candidate grantor and/or a virtual-world candidate depository and/or a virtual-world candidate grantee and/or a virtual-world candidate depository item and/or a virtual-world candidate agent, wherein the virtual-world candidate grantor and/or the virtual-world candidate depository and/or the virtual-world candidate grantee and/or the virtual-world candidate depository item and/or the virtual-world candidate agent correspond to respective real-world entities and/or items (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access stored information concerning virtual-world candidates for roles in the escrow transaction 208, such as a virtual-world character as a candidate for the role of depository, where the candidate character corresponds to a real-world character such as another player, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 504 illustrates providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access information concerning a virtual-world candidate grantor and/or a virtual-world candidate depository and/or a virtual-world candidate grantee and/or a virtual-world candidate depository item and/or a virtual-world candidate agent, wherein the virtual-world candidate grantor and/or the virtual-world candidate depository and/or the virtual-world candidate grantee and/or the virtual-world candidate depository item and/or the virtual-world candidate agent correspond to no respective real-world entities and/or items (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access stored information concerning virtual-world candidates for roles in the escrow transaction 208, such as a virtual-world character as a candidate for the role of depository, where the candidate character does not correspond to a real-world character such as another player, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208).

Operation 506 depicts providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access identity information (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access stored data concerning the identity of a participant or of an item, such as a confidential identity alphanumeric code, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 508 shows providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access identity-verification information (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access stored data concerning the identity of a participant or of an item, such as a shared escrow transaction code, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 510 illustrates providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access performance information (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access stored data regarding the performance of an entity in relevant roles, to inform the player's decisions in participation in the escrow transaction 208, such as a candidate participant's past performance as a depository, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 512 shows providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access a complaint (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access a stored item of negative feedback concerning the performance of an entity in relevant roles, to inform the player's decisions in participation in the escrow transaction 208, such as a candidate participant's past performance as an agent, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 514 depicts providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access an endorsement (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access a stored item of positive feedback concerning the performance of an entity in relevant roles, to inform the player's decisions in participation in the escrow transaction 208, such as a candidate participant's past performance as an agent, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 516 depicts providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access self-presented information (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access stored promotional information concerning the performance of an entity in relevant roles such as a candidate participant's past performance as an agent, e.g., a website presented by the candidate entity or on its behalf, to inform the player's decisions in participation in the escrow transaction 208, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208).

FIG. 6 depicts several alternative implementations of the high-level logic flowchart of FIG. 4. Depicted is that operation 402—providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to select an item and/or an entity to serve in a role in the escrow transaction—may include one or more of the following operations: 600, 602, 604, 606, 608, 610, 612, and/or 614. Operation 600 depicts providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to select a real-world entity and/or a real-world item to serve in a role in the escrow transaction (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to select a real-world candidate entity, such as another player, to serve as a grantee in the escrow candidate 208, or a real-world candidate item, such as an automobile, to serve as a depository item in the escrow transaction 208, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 602 depicts providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to select a virtual-world entity and/or a virtual-world item to serve in a role in the escrow transaction, wherein the virtual-world entity and/or the virtual-world item corresponds to a respective real-world entity and/or real-world item (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to select a virtual-world candidate entity, such as a virtual-world character, to serve as a grantee in the escrow candidate 208, or a virtual-world candidate item, such as a property deed, to serve as a depository item in the escrow transaction 208 where the candidate character corresponds to a real-world character such as another player and the candidate property deed corresponds to a real-world property deed, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 604 shows providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to select a virtual-world entity and/or a virtual-world item to serve in a role in the escrow transaction, wherein the virtual-world entity and/or the virtual-world item corresponds to no respective real-world entity and/or real-world item (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to select a virtual-world candidate entity, such as a virtual-world character, to serve as a grantee in the escrow candidate 208, or a virtual-world candidate item, such as a property deed, to serve as a depository item in the escrow transaction 208 where the candidate character does not correspond to a real-world character such as another player and the candidate property deed does not correspond to a real-world property deed, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208).

Operation 606 illustrates providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to select an entity to be a grantor in the escrow transaction (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to select an entity such as another player to be a grantor, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 608 shows providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to select an entity to be a depository in the escrow transaction (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to select an entity such as a virtual-world character to be a depository, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 610 depicts providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to select an entity to be a grantee in the escrow transaction (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to select an entity such as a virtual-world character to be a grantee, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 612 illustrates providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to designate an item and/or an entity to be a depository item in the escrow transaction (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to select an entity such as a real-world character to be a depository item, e.g., as a slave or other chattel, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 614 shows providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to select an entity to be an agent in the escrow transaction (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to select an entity such as a player to be an agent, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208)

FIG. 7 illustrates several alternative implementations of the high-level logic flowchart of FIG. 4. Depicted is that operation 404—providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to verify an identity in the escrow transaction—may include one or more of the following operations: 700, 702, 704, 706, and/or 708. Operation 700 illustrates providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to verify the identity of a grantor (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to verify the identity of a character or of a player serving as a grantor in the escrow transaction 208, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 702 depicts providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to verify the identity of a depository (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to verify the identity of a character or of a player serving as a depository in the escrow transaction 208, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 704 shows providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to verify the identity of a grantee (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to verify the identity of a character or of a player serving as a grantee in the escrow transaction 208, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 706 shows providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to verify the identity of a depository item (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to verify the identity of a character or of a player serving as a depository item in the escrow transaction 208, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 708 illustrates providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to verify the identity of an agent (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to verify the identity of a character or of a player serving as an agent in the escrow transaction 208, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208).

FIG. 8 shows several alternative implementations of the high-level logic flowchart of FIG. 4. Depicted is that operation 406—providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to elect to participate in a role in the escrow transaction—may include one or more of the following operations: 800, 802, 804, 806, 808, 810, 812, 814, 816, and/or 818. Operation 800 shows providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to choose to participate as a grantor in the escrow transaction (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to choose the role of grantor in the escrow transaction 208, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 802 depicts providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to choose to participate as a depository in the escrow transaction (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to choose the role of depository in the escrow transaction 208, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 804 shows providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to choose to participate as a grantee in the escrow transaction (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to choose the role of grantee in the escrow transaction 208, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 806 illustrates providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to choose to participate as a depository item in the escrow transaction (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to choose the role of depository item, e.g., as a slave or other chattel, in the escrow transaction 208, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 808 depicts providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to choose to participate as an agent in the escrow transaction (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to choose the role of agent in the escrow transaction 208, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208).

Operation 810 shows providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to participate as a grantor in the escrow transaction (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to act in the role of grantor in the escrow transaction 208, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 812 depicts providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to participate as a depository in the escrow transaction (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to act in the role of depository in the escrow transaction 208, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 814 shows providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to participate as a grantee in the escrow transaction (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to act in the role of grantee in the escrow transaction 208, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 816 illustrates providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to participate as a depository item in the escrow transaction (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to act in the role of depository item, e.g., as a slave or other chattel in the escrow transaction 208, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 818 depicts providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to participate as an agent in the escrow transaction (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to act in the role of agent in the escrow transaction 208, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208).

FIG. 9 shows several alternative implementations of the high-level logic flowchart of FIG. 4. Depicted is that operation 408—providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to negotiate an agreement to govern the escrow transaction—may include one or more of the following operations: 900, 902, 904, and/or 906. Operation 900 shows providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to propose a term of the escrow agreement (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to propose the length of time the grantee will have to perform a condition in the escrow transaction 208, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 902 illustrates providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to agree to a proposed term of the escrow agreement (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to agree to a proposed length of time the grantee will have to perform a condition in the escrow transaction 208, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 904 illustrates providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to reject a proposed term of the escrow agreement (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to reject a proposed length of time the grantee will have to perform a condition in the escrow transaction 208, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 906 depicts providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to change an agreed term of the escrow agreement (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to change the length of time the grantee will have to perform a condition in the escrow transaction 208, such as when a grantor wishes to grant the grantee an extension, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208).

FIG. 10 depicts several alternative implementations of the high-level logic flowchart of FIG. 4. Depicted is that operation 410—providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to effect a change in a possession of an item in the escrow transaction—may include one or more of the following operations: 1000, 1002, 1004, 1006, 1008, 1010, 1012, 1014, 1016, 1018, 1020, 1022, 1024, and/or 1026. Operation 1000 shows providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to transfer a depository item to a depository (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to transfer, as a grantor, a depository item to a depository under the escrow transaction 208, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 1002 illustrates providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to transfer evidence of a performance of a condition and/or a happening of an event as a depository item to a depository (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to transfer, as a grantor, evidence of approval of a loan as a depository item to a depository under the escrow transaction 208, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 1004 depicts providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to request the return of a depository item from a depository (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to request, as a grantor, the return of depository item from a depository after a grantee fails to perform a condition under the escrow transaction 208, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 1006 shows providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to receive a depository item from a depository (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to receive, as a grantee, a depository item to a depository upon performance of a condition under the escrow transaction 208, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 1008 illustrates providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to transfer a depository item to a grantee (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to transfer, as a depository, a depository item to a grantee upon performance of a condition under the escrow transaction 208, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 1010 shows providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to request a return of a depository item from a grantee (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to request, as a depository, the return of a depository item from a grantee in the event the grantee is found not to have performed a condition under the escrow transaction 208, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208).

Operation 1012 illustrates providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to receive a depository item from a grantee (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to receive, as a depository, a depository item from a grantee upon after a request for the return of the depository item under the escrow transaction 208, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 1014 depicts providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to transfer evidence of a performance of a condition and/or a happening of an event as a grantee item to a depository (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to transfer, as a grantee, evidence of a performance of a condition to a depository under the escrow transaction 208, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 1016 shows providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to transfer a grantee item to a depository (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to transfer, as a grantee, an item to a depository under the escrow transaction 208, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 1018 illustrates providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to transfer a grantee item as a performance of a condition and/or a happening of an event to a depository (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to transfer, as a grantee, an item to a depository as a performance of a condition under the escrow transaction 208, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208).

Operation 1020 depicts providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to request a return of evidence of a performance of a condition and/or a happening of an event from a depository (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to request, as a grantee, the return from a depository of evidence of a performance of a condition under the escrow transaction 208, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 1022 shows providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to request a return of a grantee item from a depository (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to request, as a grantee, the return from a depository of a property deed, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208).

Operation 1024 depicts providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to receive a grantee item from a depository (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to receive, as a grantor, an item from a depository previously transferred to the depository by the grantee under the escrow transaction 208, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 1026 illustrates providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to receive evidence of a performance of a condition and/or a happening of an event as a grantee item from a depository (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to receive, as a grantor, an item of evidence of performance of a condition from a depository previously transferred to the depository by the grantee under the escrow transaction 208, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208).

FIG. 11 illustrates several alternative implementations of the high-level logic flowchart of FIG. 4. Depicted is that operation 412—providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to verify an action related to possession of an item in the escrow transaction—may include one or more of the following operations: 1100, 1102, 1104, 1106, and/or 1108. Operation 1100 depicts providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to verify a transfer (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access data stored as a record of the escrow transaction 208 that reflects completion of a transfer of possession of a depository item from a depository to a grantee, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 1102 illustrates providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to verify a request for a return (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access data stored as a record of the escrow transaction 208 that reflects the making of a request for a return of a depository item from a depository to a grantor, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208).

Operation 1104 depicts providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to verify a receipt of a return (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access data stored as a record of the escrow transaction 208 that reflects a grantor's receipt of a depository item from a depository upon a request for such a return, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 1106 shows providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to receive a notification of a request for a return (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access data stored as a record of the escrow transaction 208 that reflects an email notifying a depository of a grantor's request for the return of a depository item, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 1108 shows providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to receive a notification of a receipt of a return (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access data stored as a record of the escrow transaction 208 that reflects an email notifying a depository of a receipt by a grantor of a depository item upon a grantor's request for such a return, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208).

FIG. 12 illustrates several alternative implementations of the high-level logic flowchart of FIG. 4. Depicted is that operation 414—providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access a record of the escrow transaction—may include one or more of the following operations: 1200, 1202, 1204, 1206, 1208, 1210, 1212, 1214, 1216, 1218, 1220, and/or 1222. Operation 1200 illustrates providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access a record of a player selection of an entity for a role in the escrow transaction (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access data stored as a record of the escrow transaction 208 that reflects the player's selection of another player to serve as a depository in the escrow transaction 208, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 1202 depicts providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access a record of a player election of a participation role in the escrow transaction (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access data stored as a record of the escrow transaction 208 that reflects the player's choice of the role of grantor as her role in the escrow transaction 208, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 1204 shows providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access a record of a transfer (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access data stored as a record of the escrow transaction 208 that reflects the transfer of a depository item from a depository to a grantee in the escrow transaction 208, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 1206 illustrates providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access a record of a request for a return (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access data stored as a record of the escrow transaction 208 that reflects a request for the return of a depository item from a depository to a grantor in the escrow transaction 208, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 1208 depicts providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access a record of a receipt of a return (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access data stored as a record of the escrow transaction 208 that reflects a grantee's receipt of a depository item from a depository in the escrow transaction 208, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 1210 providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access a record of an identity (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access data stored as a record of the escrow transaction 208 that reflects the identity of an agent in the escrow transaction 208, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208).

Operation 1212 depicts providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access a record of a verification of an identity (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access data stored as a record of the escrow transaction 208 that reflects a verification of an identity of an agent by a grantor in the escrow transaction 208, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 1214 illustrates providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access a record of a verification of a transfer (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access data stored as a record of the escrow transaction 208 that reflects a verification of a transfer of a depository item from a depository to a grantee in the escrow transaction 208, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 1216 shows providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access a record of a verification of a request for a return (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access data stored as a record of the escrow transaction 208 that reflects a verification of a request for the return of a depository item from a depository to a grantor in the escrow transaction 208, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 1218 depicts providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access a record of a verification of a receipt of a return (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access data stored as a record of the escrow transaction 208 that reflects a verification of a receipt of a depository item return from a depository to a grantor after a request for such a transfer in the escrow transaction 208, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 1220 shows providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access a record of an action relating to a notification (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access data stored as a record of the escrow transaction 208 that reflects a sending and/or a receipt of a notification of a transfer of a depository item in the escrow transaction 208, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208).

Operation 1222 illustrates providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access a record of content of a notification (e.g., providing an interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access data stored as a record of the escrow transaction 208 that reflects a content of a notification of a transfer of a depository item in the escrow transaction 208, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208).

FIG. 13 shows several alternative implementations of the high-level logic flowchart of FIG. 3. Depicted is that operation 302—accepting input to the interface—may include one or more of the following operations: 1300, 1302, 1304, 1306, 1308, 1310, 1312, and/or 1314. Operation 1300 shows accepting input to the interface to access information concerning a candidate grantor and/or a candidate depository and/or a candidate grantee and/or a candidate depository item and/or a candidate agent (e.g., accepting input to the interface to access stored performance data on one or more candidates for escrow transaction roles, to inform player decisions regarding player participation, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 1302 illustrates accepting input to the interface to select an item and/or an entity to serve in a role in the escrow transaction (e.g., accepting input to the interface to select a virtual-world character attribute, such as a power to teleport, to serve as a depository item, or to select a real-world entity, such as another player, to serve as a depository, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 1304 depicts accepting input to the interface to verify an identity in the escrow transaction (e.g., accepting input to the interface to verify the identity of an item purported to be a depository item or of a character purporting to be a grantee, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 1306 shows accepting input to the interface to elect to participate in a role in the escrow transaction (e.g., accepting input to the interface to elect to participate as a grantor, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 1308 illustrates accepting input to the interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to negotiate an agreement to govern the escrow transaction (e.g., accepting input to the interface to communicate with entities involved in an escrow transaction 208 to establish the terms under which the escrow transaction 208 is to be conducted, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 1310 depicts accepting input to the interface to effect a change in a possession of an item in the escrow transaction (e.g., accepting input to the interface to initiate a transfer of an item, such as a depository item, from any participant in the escrow transaction 208 to another such participant, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 1312 shows accepting input to the interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to verify an action related to possession of an item in the escrow transaction (e.g., accepting input to the interface to verify the transfer of an item, such as a depository item, from any participant in the escrow transaction 208 to another such participant, has taken place, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208). Operation 1314 illustrates accepting input to the interface to enable the player to use an opportunity in the imaginary environment to access a record of the escrow transaction (e.g., accepting input to the interface to access stored data regarding some specific aspect of the escrow transaction 208, such as a participant identity or a change of possession, via a visual and/or a sonic and/or a mechanical interface that uses the user interface communications link 206 to enable a player to participate in the escrow transaction 208).

Those having skill in the art will recognize that the state of the art has progressed to the point where there is little distinction left between hardware and software implementations of aspects of systems; the use of hardware or software is generally (but not always, in that in certain contexts the choice between hardware and software can become significant) a design choice representing cost vs. efficiency tradeoffs. Those having skill in the art will appreciate that there are various vehicles by which processes and/or systems and/or other technologies described herein can be effected (e.g., hardware, software, and/or firmware), and that the preferred vehicle will vary with the context in which the processes and/or systems and/or other technologies are deployed. For example, if an implementer determines that speed and accuracy are paramount, the implementer may opt for a mainly hardware and/or firmware vehicle; alternatively, if flexibility is paramount, the implementer may opt for a mainly software implementation; or, yet again alternatively, the implementer may opt for some combination of hardware, software, and/or firmware. Hence, there are several possible vehicles by which the processes and/or devices and/or other technologies described herein may be effected, none of which is inherently superior to the other in that any vehicle to be utilized is a choice dependent upon the context in which the vehicle will be deployed and the specific concerns (e.g., speed, flexibility, or predictability) of the implementer, any of which may vary. Those skilled in the art will recognize that optical aspects of implementations will typically employ optically-oriented hardware, software, and or firmware.

The foregoing detailed description has set forth various embodiments of the devices and/or processes via the use of block diagrams, flowcharts, and/or examples. Insofar as such block diagrams, flowcharts, and/or examples contain one or more functions and/or operations, it will be understood by those within the art that each function and/or operation within such block diagrams, flowcharts, or examples can be implemented, individually and/or collectively, by a wide range of hardware, software, firmware, or virtually any combination thereof. In one embodiment, several portions of the subject matter described herein may be implemented via Application Specific Integrated Circuits (ASICs), Field Programmable Gate Arrays (FPGAs), digital signal processors (DSPs), or other integrated formats. However, those skilled in the art will recognize that some aspects of the embodiments disclosed herein, in whole or in part, can be equivalently implemented in integrated circuits, as one or more computer programs running on one or more computers (e.g., as one or more programs running on one or more computer systems), as one or more programs running on one or more processors (e.g., as one or more programs running on one or more microprocessors), as firmware, or as virtually any combination thereof, and that designing the circuitry and/or writing the code for the software and or firmware would be well within the skill of one of skill in the art in light of this disclosure. In addition, those skilled in the art will appreciate that the mechanisms of the subject matter described herein are capable of being distributed as a program product in a variety of forms, and that an illustrative embodiment of the subject matter described herein applies equally regardless of the particular type of signal bearing media used to actually carry out the distribution. Examples of a signal bearing media include, but are not limited to, the following: recordable type media such as floppy disks, hard disk drives, CD ROMs, digital tape, and computer memory; and transmission type media such as digital and analog communication links using TDM or IP based communication links (e.g., packet links).

In a general sense, those skilled in the art will recognize that the various aspects described herein which can be implemented, individually and/or collectively, by a wide range of hardware, software, firmware, or any combination thereof can be viewed as being composed of various types of “electrical circuitry.” Consequently, as used herein “electrical circuitry” includes, but is not limited to, electrical circuitry having at least one discrete electrical circuit, electrical circuitry having at least one integrated circuit, electrical circuitry having at least one application specific integrated circuit, electrical circuitry forming a general purpose computing device configured by a computer program (e.g., a general purpose computer configured by a computer program which at least partially carries out processes and/or devices described herein, or a microprocessor configured by a computer program which at least partially carries out processes and/or devices described herein), electrical circuitry forming a memory device (e.g., forms of random access memory), and/or electrical circuitry forming a communications device (e.g., a modem, communications switch, or optical-electrical equipment).

Those skilled in the art will recognize that it is common within the art to describe devices and/or processes in the fashion set forth herein, and thereafter use engineering practices to integrate such described devices and/or processes into image processing systems. That is, at least a portion of the devices and/or processes described herein can be integrated into an image processing system via a reasonable amount of experimentation. Those having skill in the art will recognize that a typical image processing system generally includes one or more of a system unit housing, a video display device, a memory such as volatile and non-volatile memory, processors such as microprocessors and digital signal processors, computational entities such as operating systems, drivers, and applications programs, one or more interaction devices, such as a touch pad or screen, control systems including feedback loops and control motors (e.g., feedback for sensing lens position and/or velocity; control motors for moving/distorting lenses to give desired focuses. A typical image processing system may be implemented utilizing any suitable commercially available components, such as those typically found in digital still systems and/or digital motion systems.

Those skilled in the art will recognize that it is common within the art to describe devices and/or processes in the fashion set forth herein, and thereafter use engineering practices to integrate such described devices and/or processes into data processing systems. That is, at least a portion of the devices and/or processes described herein can be integrated into a data processing system via a reasonable amount of experimentation. Those having skill in the art will recognize that a typical data processing system generally includes one or more of a system unit housing, a video display device, a memory such as volatile and non-volatile memory, processors such as microprocessors and digital signal processors, computational entities such as operating systems, drivers, graphical user interfaces, and applications programs, one or more interaction devices, such as a touch pad or screen, and/or control systems including feedback loops and control motors (e.g., feedback for sensing position and/or velocity; control motors for moving and/or adjusting components and/or quantities). A typical data processing system may be implemented utilizing any suitable commercially available components, such as those typically found in data computing/communication and/or network computing/communication systems.

All of the above U.S. patents, U.S. patent application publications, U.S. patent applications, foreign patents, foreign patent applications and non-patent publications referred to in this specification and/or listed in any Application Data Sheet, are incorporated herein by reference, in their entireties.

The herein described subject matter sometimes illustrates different components contained within, or connected with, different other components. It is to be understood that such depicted architectures are merely exemplary, and that in fact many other architectures can be implemented which achieve the same functionality. In a conceptual sense, any arrangement of components to achieve the same functionality is effectively “associated” such that the desired functionality is achieved. Hence, any two components herein combined to achieve a particular functionality can be seen as “associated with” each other such that the desired functionality is achieved, irrespective of architectures or intermedial components. Likewise, any two components so associated can also be viewed as being “operably connected”, or “operably coupled”, to each other to achieve the desired functionality, and any two components capable of being so associated can also be viewed as being “operably couplable”, to each other to achieve the desired functionality. Specific examples of operably couplable include but are not limited to physically mateable and/or physically interacting components and/or wirelessly interactable and/or wirelessly interacting components and/or logically interacting and/or logically interactable components.

While particular aspects of the present subject matter described herein have been shown and described, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that, based upon the teachings herein, changes and modifications may be made without departing from the subject matter described herein and its broader aspects and, therefore, the appended claims are to encompass within their scope all such changes and modifications as are within the true spirit and scope of this subject matter described herein. Furthermore, it is to be understood that the invention is defined by the appended claims. It will be understood by those within the art that, in general, terms used herein, and especially in the appended claims (e.g., bodies of the appended claims) are generally intended as “open” terms (e.g., the term “including” should be interpreted as “including but not limited to,” the term “having” should be interpreted as “having at least,” the term “includes” should be interpreted as “includes but is not limited to,” etc.). It will be further understood by those within the art that if a specific number of an introduced claim recitation is intended, such an intent will be explicitly recited in the claim, and in the absence of such recitation no such intent is present. For example, as an aid to understanding, the following appended claims may contain usage of the introductory phrases “at least one” and “one or more” to introduce claim recitations. However, the use of such phrases should not be construed to imply that the introduction of a claim recitation by the indefinite articles “a” or “an” limits any particular claim containing such introduced claim recitation to inventions containing only one such recitation, even when the same claim includes the introductory phrases “one or more” or “at least one” and indefinite articles such as “a” or “an” (e.g., “a” and/or “an” should typically be interpreted to mean “at least one” or “one or more”); the same holds true for the use of definite articles used to introduce claim recitations. In addition, even if a specific number of an introduced claim recitation is explicitly recited, those skilled in the art will recognize that such recitation should typically be interpreted to mean at least the recited number (e.g., the bare recitation of “two recitations,” without other modifiers, typically means at least two recitations, or two or more recitations). Furthermore, in those instances where a convention analogous to “at least one of A, B, and C, etc.” is used, in general such a construction is intended in the sense one having skill in the art would understand the convention (e.g., “a system having at least one of A, B, and C” would include but not be limited to systems that have A alone, B alone, C alone, A and B together, A and C together, B and C together, and/or A, B, and C together, etc.). In those instances where a convention analogous to “at least one of A, B, or C, etc.” is used, in general such a construction is intended in the sense one having skill in the art would understand the convention (e.g., “a system having at least one of A, B, or C” would include but not be limited to systems that have A alone, B alone, C alone, A and B together, A and C together, B and C together, and/or A, B, and C together, etc.). It will be further understood by those within the art that virtually any disjunctive word and/or phrase presenting two or more alternative terms, whether in the description, claims, or drawings, should be understood to contemplate the possibilities of including one of the terms, either of the terms, or both terms. For example, the phrase “A or B” will be understood to include the possibilities of “A” or “B” or “A and B.”

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US7645194Sep 27, 2006Jan 12, 2010Leviathan Entertainment, LlcFinancial institutions and instruments in a virtual environment
US7690990May 30, 2006Apr 6, 2010Leviathan Entertainment, LlcFinancial institutions and instruments in a virtual environment
US8073778 *Sep 11, 2008Dec 6, 2011Linden Research, Inc.Scalable distributed transaction manager for multi-host transactions
US8638332 *Aug 28, 2009Jan 28, 2014International Business Machines CorporationTeleport preview provisioning in virtual environments
US20100029371 *Aug 1, 2008Feb 4, 2010Gennady MedvinskyPersonal Game Services Commerce System (PGSCS)
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Classifications
U.S. Classification463/42, 463/9
International ClassificationA63F9/24
Cooperative ClassificationG06Q30/06, G06Q99/00
European ClassificationG06Q30/06, G06Q99/00
Legal Events
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Nov 3, 2005ASAssignment
Owner name: SEARETE LLC, WASHINGTON
Free format text: ASSIGNMENT OF ASSIGNORS INTEREST;ASSIGNORS:JUNG, EDWARD K.Y.;LEVIEN, ROYCE A.;LORD, ROBERT W.;AND OTHERS;REEL/FRAME:017171/0612;SIGNING DATES FROM 20050930 TO 20051021