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  • Robert

S.P.E.C.I.A.L - IP in games

2015, action role-playing game Fallout 4 was released. In a post-apocalyptic environment, to level up and increase abilities of their characters players need to acquire experience points. Common to all Fallout games, is a ruleset named "SPECIAL" - an acronym standing for the primary statistics in the system: Strength, Perception, Endurance, Charisma, Intelligence, Agility and Luck.

British rapper Dan Bull, known for writing songs about video games, also released a song about Fallout 4 (click here for the video). Parts of the lyrics deal with our favorite topic: innovation and inventions:

Intelligence! Is idiocy inverted Innate instinct Take information and interpret it The inner intuition and initiative To impliment inventive ideas To be inquisitive It is indicative of ingrained imagination To take an inspiration and create an innovation Insure against injury through investigation Because ignorance induces incapacitation

In the game, the Intelligence stat determines how much Experience Points you gain doing tasks. Putting an idea into reality is a sign of an inventive and intelligent mind. So, this part of the lyrics describes how to improve the "I" in S.P.E.C.I.A.L.

While I wouldn't agree that all inventions are indeed intelligent (see, e.g., US Patent 5,031,161), it is good to see that the generation of intellectual property has been made the subject of video games. The lyrics are quite explicit in saying that innovations can be based on inspiration using interpreted information. Whether or not the line "Insure against injury through investigation" refers to the setup of an efficient patent monitoring to avoid incidental patent infringements, remains to be interpreted.

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