theodp writes: In the '80s, Bill Gates and his then-girlfriend went on 'Virtual Dates' by viewing the same movie at the same time in different cities and discussing it on their cell phones. On Tuesday, Gates and 15 co-inventors were awarded U.S. Patent No. 8,012,023 for 'Virtual Entertainment', which Microsoft explains thusly: 'The subject innovation provides for systems and methods that supply immersive entertainment, and create a sensation for a user(s) that is similar to having guests (who are in remote locations), to be presented as virtual guests to the user during performance of an event (e.g., a live sporting event, spectator game, television shows, games and the like).' And that silly Audre Lorde said there are no new ideas!
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