Title:
Board Game about Principles of Democracy and Politics
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A game apparatus and method for playing an educational and recreational game about principles of democracy and politics is disclosed. The game includes a board, member certificates as well as a first set of cards about key aspects necessary for the function of a democratic society, which bear instructions to be enacted by the players and a second set of cards elated to spaces in which players will create political organizations and support democracy pillars, these cards also bear specific instructions to be enacted by the players. The game includes moving a player piece along a path of movement on the game board. A booklet including topical questions for educational purpose may also be provided.



Inventors:
Garcia, Orlando David (Toronto, CA)
Application Number:
11/695117
Publication Date:
10/02/2008
Filing Date:
04/02/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F3/00
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Primary Examiner:
MENDIRATTA, VISHU K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Orlando, Dr. Garcia D. (28 Chapman Rd, Toronto, ON, M9P 1E5, CA)
Claims:
1. A game apparatus comprising a game board displaying a path of movement including spaces showing the following: steps for establishing political organizations, democracy pillars, and a series of spaces that indicate players either to take specific actions or obtain cards with instructions related to key aspects for the function of a democratic society; and member certificates; and “the public” as the source of members certificates; and a first set of cards about key aspects necessary for the function of democratic society; and a second set of cards related to the creation of political organizations and support of democracy pillars; said game includes moving a player piece along a path of movement on the game board.

2. The game apparatus of claim 1, each card of said set of playing cards further displaying text indicating aspects related to the function of a democratic society including the following subset of cards: civil society, economy, the media, branches of power, and judicial process outcome.

3. The game apparatus of claim 1, further comprising: a set of cards related to the spaces in which players take steps to either create political organizations and support democracy pillars, these cards bear specific instructions to be enacted by the players.

4. The game apparatus of claim 1, wherein said game board further displays numbers identifying groups of spaces in which players take steps to create political organizations.

5. The game apparatus of claim 1, wherein said member certificates show different numbers of members.

6. The game apparatus of claim 1, further comprising a plurality of game pieces with traditional party colors used by players to indicate the creation of political organizations.

7. The game apparatus of claim 1, further comprising set of game pieces to represent on the game board the election of party candidates, elected leaders, and main party leaders.

8. A method of playing a board game comprising: a game kit including a game board displaying spaces showing steps for the creation of political organizations and the support of democracy pillars, said spaces showing group identifying numbers, said game board showing democracy pillars, said game board also indicating when players should draw cards with specific instructions, said cards including a subset of cards related to civil society, economy, the media, branches of power, and judicial process outcome; said game kit providing additional cards, said additional cards comprising one card for each number-group and for democracy pillars, each card of said set of cards providing details related to the development of political parties and the support of democracy pillars and the subsequent implications; said game kit including “the public”, which contains member certificates, group cards, democracy pillar cards, as well as party candidates, elected leaders, and main party leaders when not used by the players, said “the public” provides a respective hand of certificates with a number of members for each of a plurality of players, and passing play among the players, each player in turn, committing members to the control of spaces required for the formation and support of political institutions represented by said political organizations and democracy pillars, creating political parties, and establishing party candidates and leaders; and drawing a card from said subset of cards when landing on related spaces; and returning said card face down to the bottom of the same pile; when a player does not have enough members to fulfill commitments entailed by the game the player abandons the game, said player must yield all resources to the public, and retire from the game being the winner the last player left in the game.

9. The game board apparatus of claim 1, further comprising printed instructions including text describing play of a game in accordance with the method of claim 8.

Description:

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to board games, and more particularly to an educational and entertaining board game for teaching principles of democracy and politics and providing an overview of fundamental factors that interact in a democratic society.

DISCUSSION OF THE RELATED ART

Political strategy games and presidential election games are known in the art. Generally, these games are electronic games with a complex internal model that may represent the population of specific states or countries; these games are directed toward young adults with specific interest in politics, making them unsuitable for younger students. Due to the complexity of these games they fail to engage players in a manner that focus on the basic principles of democracy, thus failing to make the understanding and retention of such principles both easy and entertaining.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An embodiment of the present invention provides a game-board based apparatus for teaching principles of democracy and politics and providing an overview of the main factors that interact in a democratic society, teaching concepts related to civil society, economy, the media, the branches of power that provide balance to democratic governments, the development and support of political institutions, and a number of typical outcomes of judicial processes in democratic societies. The game is suitable for inclusion in teaching students in classroom environments. The game can be used as a teaching tool or played as entertainment by individuals with various levels of knowledge and skills.

The game is specially configured to help players learn and perceive the unity and interconnection of the fundamental principles and institutions necessary for the function of a democratic society. It encourages players to further inquire about political, economic, and societal concepts.

The game rewards attitudes compatible with democratic principles and values and penalizes those amply perceived as anti-democratic. It promotes concepts related to civic and political participation in the democratic process and promotes principles of tolerance, solidarity, creativity, justice, and public good interests among others.

A workbook comprising concepts and questions for stimulating thought and furthering learning about civic participation in the political democratic process of modern societies may also be provided.

A method of playing a game in accordance with the present invention involves: creating organizations and developing them following the rules and principles of democracy. Players form political parties and support organizations that constitute democracy pillars. The goal of the game is to gain as many members as possible. To form a party requires players to dedicate members to have control of number-groups divided into three areas: Platform, Registration and Convention. Once a player has control of these three areas from a given group, the player chooses a set of pieces that identify said group as a particular party, which is determined by the player. Subsequently the player can evenly establish up to three candidates on each area. Once a player has established three candidates on each area, these candidates may become elected leaders, one on each space. As a next step, the candidate on the convention area can be nominated as the main party leader. The main way to gain members is by controlling available spaces and creating and developing organizations and receiving new members whenever players land on these controlled spaces. The goal of controlling spaces is to gain members from opponents landing on said spaces. The number of members gained is substantially increased by the election of party candidates, elected leaders, and a main party leader. As a result, one of the main goals is to establish first, party candidates, and next elected leaders and a main party leader in some of the exclusively controlled groups or through alliances. When necessary, a player may increase the number of members by giving up control of spaces back to the public. Civil Society, The Media, Economy, and Branches of Powers spaces give the opportunity to draw a corresponding card. Player must enact instructions on the card. Players may enter a Judicial Process when they land on Enter Judicial Process, as instructed by a card, or as a result of throwing doubles three times in a row. The content on the cards represent a diverse and interesting interplay of events and actions that take place in the life of a democratic society. When a player does not have enough members to fulfill commitments entailed by the game the player becomes politically “bankrupt”. When this happens the player must yield all resources to The Public according to the rules, and retire from the game. The Winner is the last player left in the game.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

The present invention will now be described by way of example with reference to the following drawings in which:

FIG. 1 is a plan view of a game board in accordance with an exemplary embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 2A-2D is a plan view of exemplary playing cards of a type used related to Branches of Powers spaces, Civil Society, The Media, and Economy;

FIG. 3 is a plan view of an exemplary card of a type used for Judicial Process outcome;

FIGS. 4A-4C are plan views of exemplary playing cards of a type used in relation to Number-Groups divided into three areas: Platform, Registration and Convention.

FIGS. 5A-5E are plan views of Member Certificates for different quantities;

FIG. 6 is a plan view of an exemplary game piece of the type used to indicate when a political organizations is created;

FIG. 7 is a plan view of an exemplary game piece of the type used when political candidates and party leaders are established;

FIG. 8-9 is a plan view of an exemplary player piece and six sided dice.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENTS

An embodiment of the present invention may allow for variations in the rules of play.

Referring now to FIG. 1, a preferred embodiment of the game board apparatus includes a game board with a path of movement on said game board displaying number-group spaces each one representing three steps related to the creation of a political organization (platform, registration, convention); democracy pillar spaces (rule of law & human right protection, free press and free elections, economic freedom, and civic capital & social support networks); spaces related to a subset of cards that includes: civic society, the media, the economy, branches of power, and judicial process outcome; spaces related to the judicial system (enter judicial process, judicial process, prison term), and additional spaces that include: nonviolent protest, volunteer, reward for the defense of democratic principles, and new ideas.

The game apparatus also includes one set of cards for piles on the board center related to said spaces on the path of movement: civic society, the media, the economy, branches of power, and judicial process outcome. Each subset includes cards with specific instructions corresponding to each one of said groups. More than one set of cards with instruction may be provided for use according to player's preference.

The game apparatus also include number-groups cards, members certificates, tokens, pieces representing political organizations, game pieces of different colors representing candidates, party leaders, and elected leaders, a set of two six sided dice, and instructions is also provided.

Exemplary Game Play Overview

The plan of the game is to create organizations and develop them following the rules and principles of democracy. Players form political parties and support institutions recognized as democracy pillars. The goal of the game is to gain as many members as possible. To form a party requires players to dedicate members to have control of number-groups divided into three areas: platform, registration and convention. Once a player has control of these three areas from a given number-group, the player chooses a set of pieces that identify the group as a particular political organization or party, which is determined by the player. Subsequently the player can evenly establish up to three candidates on each area. Once a player has three candidates on each area, these candidates may become elected leaders, one on each space. Next, the candidate on the convention area may be nominated as the main party leader. The main way to gain members is by creating and developing organizations and receiving new members whenever players land on these controlled spaces.

Beginning from “Go” players move tokens clockwise around the board according to throw of dice and specific instructions. When a player's token lands on a space not already controlled, the player may dedicate members to gain control of it by committing to “the public” the amount of members shown on the board. The goal of controlling a space is to gain members from opponents landing on said space. The number of members gained is substantially increased by the election of party candidates, elected leaders, and a main party leader. As a result, one of the main goals is to establish first, party candidates, and then elected leaders and next a main party leader in some of the exclusively controlled groups or through Alliances. When necessary, a player may increase the number of members by giving up control of spaces back to “the public”. However, the player only receives in return half the amount of members that were initially committed to “the public”.

Civil society, the media, economy, and branches of powers spaces give the opportunity to draw a corresponding card. Players must enact instructions on the card. Players may enter a judicial process when they land on “enter judicial process”, as instructed by a card, or as a result of throwing doubles three times in a row. The content on the cards represent a diverse group of events, new, and statements with significant social and political implications, which take place in the life of a democratic society.

When a player does not have enough members to fulfill commitments entailed by the game the player becomes politically “bankrupt”. When this happens the player must yield all resources to “the public” according to the rules, and retire from the game. The winner is the last player left in the game.

A Party can only have one representation on the board, in one of the number-groups. However, a player can found more than one party. The group of two or more parties controlled by a player form a coalition. When another player lands on a space controlled by a coalition and said coalition does not have established party candidates or elected leaders, said player must contribute twice the number of members normally required when landing on said space, as shown on the group card. However, once candidates are established there is no different between a single party and a coalition concerning the contribution required for landing on said spaces.

A coalition may also include an alliance. Two or more players may agree to form an alliance within any number-group in which they have complete control between them. Each player participating in the alliance may then dedicate members to raise candidates and leaders for the group they control in common as long as they follow rules for doing so evenly. An alliance cannot be created without establishing candidates. A player may leave the Alliance between dice rolls, forcing all players in the alliance to resign to all of their candidates or leaders. They receive in return from “the public” half the members originally committed to establishing said candidates.

Players put the civil society, the media, economy, branches of powers, and judicial process outcome cards face down on their specified spaces on the board. Each player receives one token that will move clockwise around the board as each player throws the dice on each turn. Each player receives a hand of members from “the public”. “The public” controls the rest of the elements required for the game. One of the players is elected as public representative. The public representative must keep his own member certificates and cards separate from those of “the public”.

“The public” contains member certificates, group cards, democracy pillar cards, as well as party candidates, elected leaders, and the main party leaders when not used by the players.

“The public” receives from the players the members they commit to the foundation and support of organizations and those required as result of various penalties. “The public” is also a source of new members, party candidates, elected leaders, and main party leaders. It regulates the different social “transactions” that take place during the game. At any time a player can give up control of candidates, leaders, and spaces. “The public” will at any time receive back leaders, candidates, and cards and return to the player half the number of members the player had originally committed to those elements. “The public” is entitled to receive members from the players as a result of commitments and penalties. “The public” contains a number of members sufficient for all necessary actions that take place during the course of the game.

Following the rules of the game a player is entitled to take control of a particular space where the player's token lands. In case another player already controls it, members are lost to that player as shown on the number-group or democracy pillar card.

Each time a token lands on or passes over “go” the player receives new members as a result of completing a cycle of social and political activities, as specified in the rules.

When a player lands on a Space that is not controlled by another player; the player has the option of controlling said space. In order to control a space a player has to commit to “the public” the number of members shown on the board. “The public” provides a card as proof. This card contains information regarding the number of members gained when another player lands on said space. The player shows the group card or democracy pillar card face-up, indicating a visible public commitment.

When a Player declines taking control of a space, a vote takes places and “the public” offers players the opportunity to commit members and obtain control of the space. The player who commits the highest number of members obtains control. All votes are done by players writing down a number of members and then showing in unison. Any player, including the one who initially declined the option of taking control based on the number printed on the board, may participate in the vote. Players can offer any number of members as allowed by member certificate numbers.

When a player lands on a space controlled by other player the player who controls it receives members in agreement with the list printed on the card. The number of members received depends of how developed the organization is.

The more democracy pillars the player is committed to the more members the player receives when other players land on said spaces.

A player enters a judicial process by: (a) landing on space designated as “enter judicial process”; (b) drawing a specific card; (c) throwing doubles three times in a row.

Visiting judicial system: if a player does not fulfill the criteria established in [035] but in the course of the play reaches the “judicial process” space, the player is just visiting and the player continues the game normally.

A Player that enters a judicial process must take a card from the “judicial process outcome” pile and follow instructions. While going through a judicial process a player may establish party candidates and leaders, receive new members from other players, etc.

A player may only go the serve “prison term” as a result of a judicial process. When sent to serve “prison term” a player misses the next turn. After missing a turn, the player then throws the dice and continues the game but not without losing 1000 members. This penalty does not apply when throwing doubles. A player may not establish candidates and leaders or gain new members while serving prison term. A player may no form an alliance while serving prison term.

Party candidates come only from “the public”, not from other players. Party candidates can only be established on spaces of a complete number-group, which the player controls, or through an alliance with another player or players.

A Player must have three candidates on each space from a number-group before he can establish an elected leader. Said player can establish one elected leader per space for a total of three. Establishing each elected leader requires committing to “the public” the number of members shown on the group-card. At the same time, candidates are returned to “the public”. It is advantageous to have candidates and even more elected leaders, as a more developed organization will attract more members according to the rules of the game.

One of the elected leaders, always the one at the convention space, can become the main party leader. The party leader attracts the larger number of members, which number is shown on the corresponding group-card.

Controlled number-group spaces can be exchanged between players for other number-group spaces, for member or for members and spaces, without intervention from “the public”. Party candidates, elected leaders, and the main party leader cannot be exchanged. Spaces from a given umber-group cannot be exchanged if party candidates or leaders have already been established. Said spaces would have to be released back to “the public” before spaces can be exchanged.

Party candidates and leaders, including the main party leader can be released back to “the public” at any time. Players receive half the number of members that were initially committed to establish said party candidates and leaders.

A player who does not have enough members to fulfill the game requirements becomes politically “ruined”. As a result, the player must yield all resources to “the public” and to any “creditors”, and retire from the game. If the player has an organization with party candidates or leaders said party candidates or leaders are returned to “the public in exchange for members to the extent of half the amount previously committed to develop the organization. “The public” returns said members to the “creditor”. When a player does not have enough members to give as required by “creditor”, the player may give up a combination of members plus group-cards or democracy pillars cards. When a player cannot fulfill the game obligations even by releasing back to “the public” his party candidates, leaders, group-cards, and democracy pillar cards, “the public” takes over all his political assets and the layer retires from the game. The winner is the last player left in the game.

Further, it will be noted that the game play of the present invention may be implemented as a computer game. Said computer game may be played on a general-purpose computer. As an example, the computer programming code may be embodied in computer readable media capable of configuring a computer to implement some of all of the game play methodology described above. In one embodiment, a human may play against a computer, which will play the game in substitute for one or more other human players, as generally known in the art. The computer game may also be configured to be played by multiple human players. Said players may use computers communicating via a communications network, as generally known in the art.

While there have been described herein the principles of the invention, it is to be understood by those skilled in the art that this depiction is made only by way of example and not as a limitation to the scope of the invention. Consequently, it is intended by the appended claims, to cover all modifications of the invention, which fall within the true spirit, and scope of the invention.