Title:
Relationship game and method of play
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A relationship game is provided having a plurality of game pieces to be divided equally among all players. The players use the game pieces to pay other players for services provided or to compensate a player for a social transgression committed against the player. Variations of the game include a romantic relationship game in which a romantic couple participate and may use the game pieces to pay each other for romantic favors or kind acts, compensation for relationship faux pas or other favors or transgressions. Other variations include versions for play by siblings, friends or co-workers. The games have the added benefit, in one embodiment, of requiring that the aggrieved party accept an apology with the payment of one or more game pieces offered for a transgression by the transgressor.



Inventors:
Williams-bergemann, Denise E. (Downers Grove, IL, US)
Application Number:
10/039495
Publication Date:
05/08/2003
Filing Date:
11/07/2001
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
273/429, 434/236
International Classes:
A63F3/02; (IPC1-7): A63F3/00; A63F9/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
RADA, ALEX P
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Daniel M. Gurfinkel,Welsh & Katz, Ltd. (22nd Floor, Chicago, IL, 60606, US)
Claims:

What is claimed is:



1. A relationship game, comprising: two or more players; a plurality of game pieces assigned to each player; the game pieces being disbursable from a first player to a second player in response to a good deed by the second player on behalf of the first player.

2. The relationship game of claim 1, wherein an equal number of game pieces are assigned to each player.

3. The relationship game of claim 1, wherein the game is played by only two players.

4. The relationship game of claim 3, wherein both players are part of a romantic relationship.

5. The relationship game of claim 4, wherein the game pieces are heart shaped.

6. The relationship game of claim 4, wherein one half of the game pieces are of one color and the other game pieces are another color.

7. The relationship game of claim 1, wherein a first player pays a second player one or more game piece assigned to the first player in response to an event.

8. The relationship game of claim 7, wherein the event is the commission of a good deed.

9. The relationship game of claim 7, wherein the event is the completion of a task assigned to the first player.

10. The relationship game of claim 1, wherein the players determine the value of the game pieces and determine the number of game pieces to be paid by one player to another in response to an event.

11. A relationship game, comprising: two or more players; a plurality of game pieces assigned to each player; the game pieces being disbursable to a first player from a second player in payment of a transgression by the second player against the first player.

12. The relationship game of claim 11, wherein an equal number of game pieces are assigned to each player.

13. The relationship game of claim 11, wherein the game is played by only two players.

14. The relationship game of claim 13, wherein both players are part of a romantic relationship.

15. The relationship game of claim 14, wherein the game pieces are heart shaped.

16. The relationship game of claim 14, wherein one half of the game pieces are of one color and the other game pieces are another color.

17. The relationship game of claim 11, wherein a first player pays a second player one or more game piece assigned to the first player to a second player in response to an event.

18. The relationship game of claim 17, wherein the event is the commission of a good deed.

19. The relationship game of claim 17, wherein the event is the completion of a task assigned to the first player.

20. The relationship game of claim 11, wherein the players determine the value of the game pieces and determine the number of game pieces to be paid by one player to another in response to an event.

21. A relationship game, comprising: two or more players; a plurality of game pieces, initially assigned to the players in equal numbers, each piece having a value assigned to it by the player to whom the piece was initially assigned; the game pieces being transferable between the players such that one or more pieces can be given by a first player to a second player in payment of a transgression against the second player; and one or more game pieces can be disbursed by a first player to a second player in payment of a deed by the second player on behalf of the first player.

22. The relationship game of claim 21, wherein play continues until ended by the players.

23. A relationship game, comprising: two or more players who are members of a social relationship; a plurality of game pieces, initially assigned to the players in equal numbers, each piece having a value assigned to it by the player to which the piece is initially assigned; the game pieces being transferable between the players such that one or more pieces can be given by a first player to a second player in payment of a social transgression against the second player by the first player; and, the second player subsequently using the one or more pieces given by the first player to purchase relationship related services of said first player.

24. The relationship game of claim 23 wherein the social relationship is a marital relationship.

25. The relationship game of claim 23, wherein relationship related services includes completion of household chores.

26. The relationship game of claim 23, wherein relationship related services includes a sensual massage.

27. The relationship game of claim 23, wherein relationship related services includes a back rub.

28. The relationship game of claim 23, wherein the social relationship is a sibling relationship.

29. The relationship game of claim 28, wherein relationship related services includes completion of household chores.

30. The relationship game of claim 28, wherein relationship related services includes help with homework.

31. The relationship game of claim 28, wherein relationship related services includes surrender of a dessert portion

32. A method of playing a game relating to personal relationships, comprising the steps of: including at least two players; providing a plurality of game pieces and dividing the game pieces equally among the players; allowing each player to assign a value to each game piece; requiring a first player to pay one or more game pieces to another player in response to the commission of a social transgression by the first player or allowing another player to give one or more game pieces to a first player in payment of the performance of a good deed or service by the first player.

33. The method of playing a game of claim 32, including the step of including only two players, each player being a member of a romantic relationship.

34. The method of playing a game of claim 32, including the step of assigning a value to a game piece equal to the value of the performance of a good deed, such that the reward for the performance of a good deed by the first player is the payment of a game piece by another player.

35. The method of playing a game of claim 32, including the step of allowing the players to decorate game pieces.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

[0001] The present invention concerns a novel interpersonal relationship game that will assist couples, family members, other relatives and persons having friendships or business relationships to have better interpersonal relationships. The invention is, further, an entertainment device and method which allows better communications to develop among the players both during the game and then throughout the relationship.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

[0002] Relationships between people are often strained because the manner in which people interact can lead to disagreements and anger. Often times an apology is all that is necessary to alleviate a strained relationship, yet an apology may be the most difficult thing to give or accept. Sometimes when an apology is offered, the person it is offered to will reject it and the strain in the relationship will continue or become exacerbated.

[0003] In some instances, such strains can lead to the break-up of the relationship. In more mature relationships, the participants may realize the strain and seek the help of friends, trained counselors, psychologists or psychiatrists. Professional help, however is often prohibitively costly, and, when not available, allows the strain to fester. Such strain brings stresses that may ultimately lead to a change in or the demise of the relationship.

[0004] Often times all that is needed, to alleviate strain, is a manner or instrument to allow the parties in the relationship to break the ice and begin talking. That which formed the relationship initially is often still present and, if allowed to be recognized over the present strife, will allow the relationship to heal. Further, when one type of strain is relieved in a relationship, the partners often learn and improve the relationship.

[0005] We have developed a device, and a method of using the device, that allows those elements of a relationship, that form the roots of the relationship, to be allowed to emerge from the tense day-to-day struggles between members of relationships. The device and method allow those utilizing the present invention to provide reminders, of the meaning of the relationship, to each other, thus permitting the relationship to continually heal and progress.

[0006] The device and method of the present invention provide a means for members of the relationship to place a value on those elements of a relationship that allow the relationship to grow. The value placed helps members of the relationship assess the feelings of the other member or members such that a quantified realization of the good or harm of certain deeds may be learned and appreciated. Unlike other relationship games, tests or devices, the present invention has no ending point and no chart or other type of built in instrument to study the results of the game. Instead the device and method of the present invention allow the membership partners to grow and gain an understanding of each other.

[0007] Other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent as the description proceeds.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

[0008] In accordance with the present invention, a relationship game, comprising a plurality of game pieces, initially assigned to two or more players, in equal numbers, is provided. In the game, each piece is assigned a value by the player to which the piece was initially assigned. The game pieces of the present invention are transferable between the players such that one or more pieces can be given by a first player to a second player in payment of a social transgression against the second player by the first player. Further, the game pieces are also transferable between the players such that one or more pieces can be given by the first player to the second player in payment of a good deed by the second player directed at the first player. The game pieces may ultimately be used as currency used to pay for favors or other kindnesses from the game pieces' original assignees.

[0009] The preferred embodiment of the LOVE CHIPS game was developed based on the theory that positive reinforcement of pleasantries extended by one party to another can enhance any relationship.

[0010] More specifically, first developed as a game to be played by couples, the game expanded to family relationships including children modified to be named KID CHIPS; and friends as well, modified to be named RELATION CHIPS.

[0011] The preferred embodiment of the LOVE CHIPS game is played by providing each person playing with a set number of chips (see FIG. 1). These chips are personalized by the color and initial placed on them to recognize them as that specific individual's belongings. Kept in a container (see FIG. 2), also personalized and belonging to a specific individual, the chips can be given to another person in appreciation for any act that the owner finds particularly favorable.

[0012] In the game LOVE CHIPS, once paid out, can be later redeemed by the receiver from the giver as follows:

[0013] 1 LOVE CHIP may be redeemed for a kiss, even if angry; 2 LOVE CHIPS may be redeemed for a special favor or chore, or forgiveness for something stupid (extramarital affairs not included); 3 LOVE CHIPS may be redeemed for sexy dancing; 4 LOVE CHIPS may be redeemed for sexual favors (Whoopee).

[0014] The preferred embodiment of the game is meant to be light hearted and fun and to relieve the stress and strife sometimes caused by daily life. Oftentimes we use such stress and/or strife as an excuse to prevent healing emotional distress.

[0015] The preferred embodiment of the child's version is designed so that KID CHIPS are to be redeemed as follows:

[0016] 1 KID CHIP may be redeemed for a big hug, even if angry; 2 KID CHIPS may be redeemed for a chore, or forgiveness for something stupid—with assistance to resolve the issue; 3 KID CHIPS may be redeemed for an outing (kid's choice); 4 KID CHIPS may be redeemed for an outing including two friends (kid's choice).

[0017] Other embodiments of games include RELATION CHIPS™ which can be given to co-workers or to friends as a gift, and which may, in a preferred embodiment have the following redemption values:

[0018] 1 RELATION CHIP may be redeemed for a hug, a kiss, or a handshake, even if angry; 2 RELATION CHIPS may be redeemed for a chore or unfinished job to be completed; 3 RELATION CHIPS may be redeemed for being taken out to lunch or dinner (relationship payer's choice); 4 RELATION CHIPS may be redeemed for a trip, designated by the giver of the chips, affordable to their budget, for the resolution of problems and relaxation of the recipient.

[0019] The preferred embodiment of the game can be played by first requesting that the party participate, then providing them with a set of the chips, their respective redemption values and an explanation of how the chips are rewarded to the giver. The preferred embodiment of the game is generally unending, extending the enjoyment to an unspecified time period.

[0020] In the unfortunate event of an ended relationship, LOVE CHIPS must be returned to the giver, as they are his/her personal possessions. LOVE CHIPS should be stored in a private location known only to the owner.

[0021] In one embodiment of the present invention, the relationship game continues indefinitely, until ended by the players. Further, in this embodiment, a fixed number of game pieces are assigned to each player. Each player can pay between one and four game pieces in return for a good deed or favor and, conversely, must pay a penalty of between one and four game pieces for a transgression or other social wrong committed.

[0022] Variations of the game of the present invention include, a romantic relationship game, to be played by members of a romantic relationship; a sibling game, played by brothers and sisters; a family game, played generally by the immediate family, but extendible to other relatives; a friendship game, played by close friends; and a business associate game, played by coworkers or other colleagues. The principles of all of these games are the same with differences arising from the different values that the various groups place on deeds and transgressions.

[0023] A more detailed explanation of the invention is provided in the following description and claims and is illustrated in the accompanying drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

[0024] FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a game set including game pieces of one embodiment of the present invention.

[0025] FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a single game piece of the embodiment of FIG. 1.

[0026] FIG. 3 is a perspective view of another single game piece of the embodiment of FIG. 1.

[0027] FIG. 4 is a perspective view of the back of one of the pieces of the embodiment of FIG. 1.

[0028] FIG. 5 is a perspective view of a game piece of another embodiment of the game of the present invention.

[0029] FIG. 6 is a perspective view of a storage pouch for game pieces of the game of the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE ILLUSTRATIVE EMBODIMENT

[0030] Referring to the drawings, FIG. 1 shows a game set 5 of the present invention. One embodiment of the game pieces 10 of the present invention is also shown in FIG. 1. Game pieces 10 of one embodiment of the present invention are illustrated as having a heart shape. This embodiment of the game of the present invention is subtitled LoveChips™, which is a trademark of Alpha Investments. of Illinois. It is envisioned that the LoveChips™ game will be played by two people having a romantic relationship. In the illustrative embodiment, one set of game pieces 10p is colored pink and another set of game pieces 10b is colored blue, to distinguish the pieces 10 assigned to each of the two players. It is to be understood that any colors may be used on game pieces 10, or no colors at all, without departing from the novel scope of the present invention. Further, as seen in FIG. 1 game pieces 10 may be decorated further by the players of the game, such as to include the initial 12 of a player or a decorative embellishment 14, such that the ownership of the game pieces 10 is clear and so that artistic talent may be expressed. The embellishments to the game pieces 10 may all be made without departing from the novel scope of the present invention.

[0031] In another embodiment, illustrated in FIG. 5, game pieces 20 having a circular cross-section and a generally coin-like shape are shown. It is to be understood that game pieces of any cross-sectional shape may be used without departing from the novel scope of the present invention. It has been noted, above, that the game pieces 10 shown in FIGS. 1 through 4 have been designed for use in a game to be played by a romantic couple; as such the pieces have been made heart shaped to give a romantic sentiment to the game and to distinguish the pieces 10 from other tokens used in other games, coins or, for example, poker chips.

[0032] Further, the pieces 10 and 20 may be made of wood, as those shown in FIGS. 1 through 4, or may be molded of plastic or steel or any other moldable substance or cut out of or punched from any material, without departing from the novel scope of the present invention. It is to be understood that the ideal game piece is one that is easily carried and is distinguishable from other common objects having similar shapes (such as coins, poker chips or game pieces from other games). The game pieces should generally not be fungible or counterfeitable; however, generally fungible or copyable pieces may be used in one method of the present invention if the pieces 10, 20 are marked and the use is agreed to by all participants.

[0033] Game pieces 20 may be kept in a pouch 22 (FIG. 6) or decorative box 24 (FIG. 1) or any other storage container that allows the pieces to be available for play. Box 24p and box 24g, shown in FIG. 1, may be used to store game pieces 10 of the romantic version of the game of the present invention. It is to be understood that any manner of storage and carrying devices, including pouches 22, boxes 24, sacks, belts, wallets, purses (not shown) and others, that allow the game pieces 10, 20 of the present invention to be stored and/or carried may be used without departing from the novel scope of the present invention.

[0034] In the play of the game of the present invention, a number of game pieces 10, 20 are created or purchased and divided equally among any number of players. The number of players in a particular game will depend on the type of relationship that exists between the players. Generally, a game played between the members of a romantic relationship will be played by only two players. In such a game, the game pieces 10 will be divided in two. As noted above, in a romantic version of the game of the present invention heart shaped game pieces 10 may be used, as shown in FIG. 1. In one embodiment of the romantic game of the present invention, eight heart shaped game pieces 10 are provided to each of two players. In one embodiment of the romantic partnership game the pieces 10p of a female player are colored pink and the pieces 10b of a male player are colored blue. In this manner, as will be described in greater detail below, when one player hold his own pieces 10 and any number of the pieces 10 of the other player, a distinction may be made as to the original ownership of the pieces 10. Conversely, in another embodiment of the game, where all pieces 10 are valued equally, the color of the pieces would be inconsequential, as all of the pieces would be fungible. One embodiment of the game of the present invention, utilizes game pieces 10, 20 of different colors as a study of the number of game pieces 10, 20 of each player that is held by the other(s) and thus the social and romantic progress of the relationship members. Such a review may provide insight into the state of the relationship.

[0035] As play progresses, players are rewarded for performing deed for other players and are charged for non-performance of obligations and/or for the commission of a social transgression. Rewards can be one or more of a player's game pieces 10 paid to the player performing the deed or service. Charges may also be the forfeiture of one or more game pieces 10.

[0036] For example, in a game in which a husband and wife are playing, if the husband unexpectedly buys flowers for his wife, he might be rewarded with one or more of his wife's game pieces 10p. It is to be noted that once several game pieces 10 of one player are collected, payments or charges may be paid with game pieces 10 collected from the player or game pieces 10 originating with the paying player. Therefore, a husband who, for example, buys flowers for his wife, may also be rewarded with the return of one or more of his original game pieces 10b, which he previously paid his wife for some transgression or as a reward, which was paid to his wife, for some deed previously performed. If the husband later commits some social transgression, such as a social faux pas in public, he may then be forced to relinquish one or more of his game pieces 10b (or return one or more of his wife's game pieces 10p, previously paid) in payment of the transgression. In one embodiment of the present invention, the payment of the one or more game pieces in association with the utterance of an apology must result in the acceptance of the apology by the aggrieved party. It is to be understood that a game wherein an apology is not accepted upon the payment of a game piece 10 may be played without departing from the novel scope of the present invention.

[0037] Further, upon the accumulation of a number of game pieces 10, 20 of the other player, one player may request that a service, such as a back rub, or a more intimate service, or the completion of a chore or obligation, be performed by the indebted player in return for some of his own game pieces 10,20. In such a situation, the distinction in the game pieces 10, 20 becomes important.

[0038] In one embodiment of the romantic relationship game of the present invention, the payment for doing a good deed, favor or other favorable act is between one and four game pieces. The formula for payment of game pieces in one embodiment, includes: one game piece 10 if the player presents a bouquet of flowers to the other player or takes the other player to a favorite restaurant for dinner; presenting the first player with a major or expensive gift could earn the other player four game pieces 10; other examples of ways to earn game pieces include doing the laundry, when it is not the player's turn, doing the dishes, cleaning the house or doing other tasks which are generally not assigned to the player, all of which call for one to four game pieces 10. Depending on the type of day a player has had, and other circumstances, any of the above chores or gifts could be rewarded with different numbers of game pieces. It is to be understood that the number of game pieces awarded is variable and can be left to the discretion of the players, without departing from the novel scope of the present invention.

[0039] Further, in one embodiment of the game of the present invention, game pieces are charged against acts which are unpleasant, distasteful or wrong. The more terrible the act, the more game pieces 10 must be rewarded. Examples of acts which could cost one or more, and preferably no more than four, game pieces 10, are: lying about something, breaking something that belongs to the other player, being rude or mean to the other player, or other persons, or misbehaving in the presence of others thus embarrassing the other player. In one embodiment, the aggrieved player must accept an apology from the offending player if the apology is offered with an appropriate number of game pieces.

[0040] In one embodiment of the romantic relationship game, the game pieces 10 may be used as currency by the receiver of a service and must be accepted by the giver of the service. Each player decides how to spend the game pieces 10 that each player has accumulated. Some examples include: asking the other player for a kiss (which in one embodiment, the other player must perform even if he or she is in a bad mood); asking the other player for a favor such as running to a store, washing the car or taking care of the children to allow the paying player time off. Game pieces 10 may also be cashed in for a shopping trip, to buy a specified gift, or a weekend getaway with the other player. In one embodiment the game pieces 10 may also be redeemed for romantic, erotic and/or sexual favors.

[0041] Similarly, in a game of the present invention played by siblings, friends or business associates, an equal number of game pieces are given to each player. In one embodiment pieces given to one player are distinguishable from the pieces given to another, such that it can be determined from whom each piece is received. It is to be understood that the pieces may differ in color or shape without departing from the novel scope of the present invention. While the game may be played with all identical pieces, it will be understood that the use of differing pieces allows the players to keep track of the originator of each game piece such that some measure of a player's progress or social skill may be had. The game pieces 20 of such a game may be made in any desired shape and of any desired color, to help distinguish the game pieces 20 of each player, without departing from the novel scope of the present invention. In one embodiment of the present invention the game begins with the players choosing the shape and color of game pieces desired as a measure of their independence and artistic taste.

[0042] In the play of a non-romantic version of the game of the present invention, pieces are paid for transgressions and may be collected for services performed. Players are allowed to value their pieces in any manner they desire, such that an offer to perform a service for a stated number of pieces may be declined and a counteroffer may be made. Examples of transactions in the play of the present invention include: one brother may complete his sister's daily chores and be rewarded with one or more game pieces. The game pieces may later be exchanged for the sister's silence in the covering up of a small transgression against the home, another sibling or their parents. Further, if a sibling commits a transgression against another sibling, the first sibling may be asked to pay one or more game pieces to the aggrieved sibling. Again, in one embodiment of the game of the present invention, the payment of one or more game pieces in association with an apology for a transgression must result in the acceptance of the apology. It is to be understood that the players may decide, at the beginning of a game, the value of different services and transgressions such that no arguments will result, without departing from the novel scope of the present invention.

[0043] It is envisioned that numerous variations of the above games may be played by different groups. For example, close friends who are not romantic may play a game entitled “RelationChips™”. In one embodiment of RelationChips™ different transactions and redemptions are involved which do not involve romantic interactions. Further, the game comprises two sets of 8 round chips as game pieces (not shown). Another such game is entitled “FriendChips™”, which game comprises at least four sets of 8 round shaped chips (more can be purchased separately to allow for more participants). FriendChips™ could be played by friends at college, neighbors or other single individuals or persons who are friends and wish to explore their relationships further. Another such game is entitled “KidChips™”, which game comprises at least four sets of 8 round shaped chips (more can be purchased separately to allow for more participants). KidChips™ could be played by unrelated children in such places as schools or camps. Both FriendChips™ and KidChips™ could be played for such favors as running an errand for another player, helping complete a work or school assignment, or passing a note to boy or girl whom one friend or kid is too shy to meet. Another such game is entitled “FamilyChips™”, which is designed for play by an entire family. FamilyChips™ is envisioned as having six sets of 8 round chips. The main transactions in FamilyChips™ would include swapping household chores such as mowing the grass, doing dishes and babysitting. It is to be understood that various other variations of the games described and other games may be made and are envisioned as being within the scope of the present invention. The marks noted above as trademarks are trademarks of Alpha Investments. of Illinois. Further, as previously noted, variations in color and shape of game pieces may be made without departing from the novel scope of the present invention.

[0044] In all cases, play of any game of the present invention, may continue for any desired period. Variations of play may include prepayment of one or more game pieces to another player for an unusual privilege; such as “boys night out”. Payment of one or more game pieces might be made for use of another player's favorite toy, sports equipment or vehicle.

[0045] Although illustrative embodiments of various games and permutations of games of the present invention have been shown and described, it is to be understood that various other modifications and substitutions may be made by those skilled in the art without departing from the novel spirit and scope of the invention.