It's shit like this that demonstrates how laughably broken our patent system can be. This isn't even a novel concept. Hell, I modified Mario's face in SM64 by direct manipulation. Granted, his face bounced back to normal when you let go of it, but still: you didn't do it first, EA.
Patenting a method
for something like this--be it typing in a number, moving a slider, or direct manipulation--is silly and hopefully a court will eventually rule as such.
Maybe if the character was represented by an actual genome and you modified it by changing sequences of DNA...