Title:
METHOD OF DIRECTING PERSONAL ACTUALIZATION USING A PLURALITY OF RANDOM WORDS
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A game based method and system is provided for personal actualization in the context of fortune telling or as a means of centering oneself. The game employs a method of personal actualization whereby a user selects a plurality of random words, phrases or numbers and then evaluates the randomly selected information to find patterns within the word combinations that are relevant to them. In one embodiment, a container holds a plurality of cards, wherein each of the cards contains predetermined words, phrases, numbers, figures of speech and blanks. During game play, the user draws cards from the container at random and then intuitively interprets the meaning of the card that is drawn within the context and order that the cards are drawn. Further embodiments are disclosed for implementation of an electronic version of the method and system.



Inventors:
Hindermann, Nancy (Newport, RI, US)
Application Number:
12/166394
Publication Date:
01/15/2009
Filing Date:
07/02/2008
Primary Class:
Other Classes:
463/16
International Classes:
A63F1/00; A63F9/24
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
LAYNO, BENJAMIN
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BARLOW, JOSEPHS & HOLMES, LTD. (101 DYER STREET, 5TH FLOOR, PROVIDENCE, RI, 02903, US)
Claims:
What is claimed:

1. A method of playing an indicia interpretation game comprising: providing a plurality of cards, each of said cards bearing indicia; selecting a card from the plurality of cards; reading the indicia on the selected card; intuitively interpreting the indicia; repeating the selecting, reading and intuitively interpreting steps until a card bearing an end of turn indicia is drawn thereby creating a plurality of selected cards.

2. The method of claim 1, wherein each time the step of intuitively interpreting the indicia is repeated, the indicia is intuitively interpreted in the context of all of the indicia on the previously selected plurality of selected cards.

3. The method of claim 1, wherein the cards are tiles, wherein indicia is printed on each tile.

4. The method of claim 1, wherein said cards are formed from a material selected from a group consisting of: paper, cardboard, plastic, ceramic and metal.

5. The method of claim 1, wherein the indicia are selected from the group consisting of: words, phrases, idiomatic phrases, colloquial phrases, figurative expressions, figures of speech and blanks.

6. The method of claim 1, further comprising: providing a container in which the plurality of cards is retained; and providing a game board on which each card in said plurality of selected cards is sequentially arranged in the order in which they were selected.

7. The method of claim 6, wherein each of said plurality of cards includes an electronic code therein that identifies the indicia on the associated card and the game board includes receivers that are configured to read the electronic code in order to create a record of the indicia on the plurality of selected cards.

8. The method of claim 7, wherein the electronic code is selected from the group consisting of: bar codes, RFID tags and magnetically encoded strips.

9. The method of claim 1, wherein the method is conducted virtually using a computer processor and a display interface.

10. An indicia interpretation game comprising: a plurality of cards, each of said cards bearing indicia; and a container configured and arranged to hold the plurality of cards, wherein a user selects a card from the plurality of cards, reads the indicia on the selected card, intuitively interprets the indicia and repeats the selecting, reading and intuitively interpreting steps until a card bearing an end of turn indicia is drawn thereby creating a plurality of selected cards.

11. The game of claim 11, wherein each time the step of intuitively interpreting the indicia is repeated, the indicia is intuitively interpreted in the context of all of the indicia on the previously selected plurality of selected cards.

12. The game of claim 11, wherein the cards are tiles, wherein indicia is printed on each tile.

13. The game of claim 11, wherein said cards are formed from a material selected from a group consisting of: paper, cardboard, plastic, ceramic and metal.

14. The game of claim 11, wherein the indicia are selected from the group consisting of: words, phrases, idiomatic phrases, colloquial phrases, figurative expressions, figures of speech and blanks.

15. The game of claim 11, further comprising: a game board on which each card in said plurality of selected cards is sequentially arranged in the order in which they were selected.

16. The game of claim 15, wherein each of said plurality of cards includes an electronic code therein that identifies the indicia on the associated card and the game board includes receivers that are configured to read the electronic code in order to create a record of the indicia on the plurality of selected cards.

17. The game of claim 16, wherein the electronic code is selected from the group consisting of: bar codes, RFID tags and magnetically encoded strips.

18. The game of claim 10, wherein the game is conducted virtually using a computer processor and a display interface.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application is related to and claims priority from earlier filed U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/949,519, filed Jul. 13, 2007, the contents of which are incorporated by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates generally to a method of personal actualization in the context of fortune telling, a fortune telling game and/or as a means of centering oneself. More specifically, the present invention relates to a method of personal actualization whereby a user selects a plurality of random words, phrases or numbers and then evaluates the randomly selected information to find patterns within the word combinations that are relevant to them.

Predicting future events has, through the ages, been a popular pastime. A variety of both games and well-developed systems have been developed that profess to provide the user with the ability to obtain guidance with the prediction of the future. Using these tools and systems, many individuals have claimed the ability to tell what has happened, what is happening and what is going to happen in another's life. These tools and systems may include, for example, the reading of cards, palms, weather signs, Ouija boards and the like. Since such readings usually require some sort of experience to understand the patterns that are generated, professionals now typically do them in exchange for money. Often the cost and the need for professional assistance in interpreting the results keep amateurs from participating in activities involving the prediction of future events for fun, entertainment or even self-help.

For example, fortune telling using tea leaves is one of the earliest forms of geomancy, the art of divining fortunes from the patterns made by various objects. The Chinese believed that tea had not only medicinal qualities but also spiritual qualities and that the patterns formed by the leaves in a cup or bowl mirrored similar patterns that existed in the people's lives. The meaning of the patterns formed by the tea leaves was passed on through generations. However, without a knowledge regarding the patterns and their meanings, the average person could not participate in a reading.

Similarly, astrological fortune-telling has been practiced by preparing a birth zodiac in accordance with a first factor of positions of the sun and the nine planets around the earth in relation to the date and time of one's birth and with a second factor of a geographic place of one's birth. In the preparation of the accurate birth zodiac, the first factor in relation to the date and time of one's birth has been determined with use of a celestial almanac to prepare the first zodiac and then the second factor of the geographic place on one's birth has been taken into consideration in order to calculate the actual planetary positions based on the birth place and to correct the first zodiac into the actual birth zodiac. Again, such a fortune-telling technique requires extensive knowledge in order to prepare and interpret.

Another entertaining technique of fortune telling in the form of Tarot card readings has been known for thousands of years. The cards within a Tarot deck each carry images. The deck of cards is shuffled and then exposed to tell a person's fortune in an entertaining manner which may also be informative and raise a person's self-awareness. The Tarot cards also, however, have a strong element of foreboding and are impersonal and vague, with little direct connection between the individual whose fortune is being told, and the images on the cards. Further, the Tarot cards cannot be read and understood until one reads and studies the meaning of the images on all of the cards within the Tarot deck.

What is common to many of the methods and systems that are listed above is the concept of generating meaning that is relevant to the user's current position in life from apparently random patterns in different objects. As a result, the common difficulty found within all of the prior art methods discussed herein is that in order to perform a reading, the participant requires a great deal of specialized knowledge and/or training. Accordingly, these methods are limited to implementation through a professional. However, similar outcomes to those discussed above can be developed using a plurality of randomly selected words wherein the words selected are plain English and do not require a deeper understanding of the overall meaning of the random object, such as the patterns of the tea leaves or the images on the Tarot cards. Such a system may be implemented as a game that employs a plurality of tiles bearing random words.

In this regard, clearly games that employ tiles as playing pieces, such as mahjong, have been played for centuries. Further, a variety of different words games that employ tiles exist. For example, one of the most popular contemporary tile games is Scrabble®, where players are given a plurality of individual tiles, each containing different letters. The players then collect tiles to spell words that are placed onto a game board wherein points are then awarded to the player who creates the word. Over the years, there have been many variations of the general principles related to the Scrabble® game.

In some variations, for example, the tiles contain entire words rather than singular letters. In these games the object of the game is to links various words to form sentences. However, most of the games directed toward sentence making are teaching aids that are intended to teach proper grammar skills. As a result these teachings aids have little play value and such devices cannot be used to play a game with multiple people. However none of the available word games have been previously combined with the concept of recreational fortune telling and/or self-actualization in a fun and easy to play game format.

Accordingly, there is a need for a method of fortune-telling that is self-explanatory. Further, there is a need for a method of fortune telling that can be completed without the need for reference to a separate book or writing to interpret the meaning. Further, there is a need for a method of fortune telling that allows a user to employ the method as a means for entertainment or self-help. Still further there is a need for a method and system of fortune telling and/or self-actualization that is arranged in a game based format.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

In this regard, the present invention provides for a method and system of fortune telling that can be self-directed. More particularly, the present invention relates to a game based method and system for personal actualization in the context of fortune telling or as a means of centering oneself. The game of the present invention provides such a method of personal actualization whereby a user selects a plurality of random words, phrases or numbers and then evaluates the randomly selected information to find patterns within the word combinations that are relevant to them.

In accordance with the teachings of the present invention a method is provided for assisting a user in performing a self-directed fortune reading or a self directed self-actualization process. Generally, the method of the present invention employs a container that holds a plurality of cards, wherein each of the cards contains predetermined words, phrases, numbers, figures of speech and blanks. Further, many of the word phrases are idioms, colloquialisms and figurative expressions. The use of such expressions, therefore, allows a multitude of interpretations and meanings in that such phrases are sometimes interpreted sometimes literally, sometimes with the meaning of the idiom and sometimes with a personal twist related to the idiomatic meaning. During game play, the user draws cards from the container at random and then intuitively interprets the meaning of the card that is drawn within the context and order that the cards are drawn and/or in the context of the question currently on the mind of the user. When the user draws a blank, their turn or the current interpretation strand is ended. Similarly, this process can be done alone, in pairs or in groups wherein one participant draws the cards and another participant interprets the words or phrases on behalf of the participant drawing the cards.

In a first preferred embodiment, a box is provided that contains the plurality of cards bearing the words or phrases. The user then draws these cards from the box for interpretation and game play. In an alternative embodiment, the present method may be implemented using a computer. Rather than storing the words, phrases and numbers on individual cards, the indicia is stored in individual memory locations and the user employs a computer program wherein, by clicking a mouse, the computer program randomly selects one of the stored indicia. In a related alternative embodiment, each of the cards may be provided to include a machine readable code such as a bar code or may include RFID tags therein that serve to uniquely identify the indicia that appears on the face of the card. In this manner, a participant scans the barcode using a particularly configured scanner or places the words onto a board in a manner that keeps a computerized record of those words and phrases that were pulled.

It is therefore an object of the present invention to provide a method and system of fortune telling that is self directed and self-explanatory. Further, it is an object of the present invention to provide a method of fortune telling that can be completed without the need for reference to a separate book or writing to interpret the meaning. It is a further object of the present invention to provide a method of fortune telling that allows a user to employ the method as a means for entertainment or self-help. It is still a further object of the present invention to provide a method and system of fortune telling and/or self-actualization that is arranged in a game based format.

These together with other objects of the invention, along with various features of novelty that characterize the invention, are pointed out with particularity in the claims annexed hereto and forming a part of this disclosure. For a better understanding of the invention, its operating advantages and the specific objects attained by its uses, reference should be had to the accompanying drawings and descriptive matter in which there is illustrated a preferred embodiment of the invention.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

In the drawings which illustrate the best mode presently contemplated for carrying out the present invention:

FIG. 1 is a flow chart depicting a method of self directed fortune telling and/or self actualization as disclosed in the present invention;

FIG. 2 is a perspective view of a first embodiment game as disclosed in the present invention;

FIG. 3 is a second embodiment game as disclosed in the present invention; and

FIG. 4 is a third embodiment game as disclosed in the present invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Turning now to the to the drawings, the method and system of self directed fortune telling and/or self actualization is shown and generally illustrated in the figures. In general terms, the present invention is disclosed as a game based method and system for personal actualization in the context of fortune telling or as a means of centering oneself. The game of the present invention may take many embodiments and is shown herein in the form of a traditional tangible game apparatus, a game apparatus with an electronic interface and a fully virtual game for implementation on a computer processor. In terms of a method of game play, the present invention provides a method of personal actualization whereby a user selects a plurality of random words, phrases or numbers and then evaluates the randomly selected information to find patterns within the word combinations that are relevant to them.

Turning now to FIG. 1, a flowchart 10 depicting a method in accordance with the present invention is provided. The method is employed to assist a user in performing a self-directed fortune reading or a self-directed self-actualization process. Generally, in accordance with the method of the present invention a plurality of cards is provided 12, wherein each of the cards contains indicia thereon. During game play, the user draws a random card from the plurality of cards 14 and then intuitively interprets the meaning of the indicia on the card that is drawn 16. If the user does not draw an end of turn indicator, the user then repeats 18 the steps of drawing a card 14 and intuitively interpreting the indicia on the selected card 16 to create a plurality of user selected cards 20 wherein the indicia on each of the sequentially selected cards is interpreted within the context of the indicia on the previously drawn cards 22. In this manner, the user creates a sequentially drawn string of indicia for intuitive interpretation. As the random drawing process continues there is a great deal of mental stimulation that occurs as the participants seek to draw connections between the indicia on the selected cards and the participant that drew the card. As the participants exercise their minds the interaction between participants begins to develop a great deal of interaction and play on words that in turn makes participation a great deal of fun. Finally, when the user draws a blank or an end of turn indicator, their turn or the current interpretation strand is ended.

It should be appreciated that the step of intuitively interpreting the indicia on the card 16 may be done each time a card is drawn or may be deferred until the plurality of selected cards is gathered and an end of turn indicator is selected. Both variations are intended within the method of the present invention. Similarly, this process can be done alone, in pairs or in groups wherein one participant draws the cards and another participant interprets the words or phrases on behalf of the participant drawing the cards. Further, the process may be used to direct group storytelling actives and creative writing projects.

In the context of the present invention, the indicia found on the cards are preferably in the form of predetermined words, phrases, numbers, figures of speech and blanks. Further, many of the word phrases on the cards are idiomatic phrases, colloquial phrases and figurative expressions. The use of such expressions, therefore, allows a multitude of interpretations and meanings in that such phrases are sometimes interpreted sometimes literally, sometimes with the meaning of the idiom and sometimes with a personal twist related to the idiomatic meaning. Further, indicia in the form of words and phrases, while in English as described herein may be in any language to make the method suitable for any culture in which it is to be used.

Further, one skilled in the relevant art should appreciate that while in the context of the invention, the term card has been employed to describe the medium bearing the indicia, such a card may take many shapes and forms. In this regard, within the scope of the present invention, the cards may be paper, cardboard, plastic, ceramic, metal or any other material suitable for bearing the intended indicia. The only requirement is that each of the indicia in the form of words or phrases must be on an individual piece of material so that they can be drawn individually and at random from the container.

A first preferred embodiment of the game of the present invention is shown at FIG. 2. The game generally includes a plurality of cards 24 bearing indicia 26 in the form of words and/or phrases as described above and a container 28 in the form of a box that contains the plurality of cards 24. It can be appreciated that while a round cardboard container 28 is depicted, this is intended for illustration purposes only as the container 28 used to hold the cards 24 may be any type, material, size or shape capable of holding the plurality of cards 24. During game play, the user draws cards 24, one at a time, from the container 28 for intuitive interpretation of the indicia 26 thereon. After the user intuitively interprets the indicia 26 on the selected card 24, the user repeats the selecting, reading and intuitively interpreting steps until a card 24 bearing an end of turn indicia is drawn thereby creating a plurality of selected cards. As was stated above, as the user selects more cards 24, the indicia 26 on each of the selected cards is interpreted in the context of the indicia on all of the cards that were previously selected.

It is also within the scope of the present invention that the container 28 has a cover 30 that includes an opening 32 in the top thereof. The user reaches into the container 28 via the opening 32 in the cover 30 of the container 28 and randomly draws a card 24 that contains the indicia 26 to be interpreted. In addition, the game play apparatus may employ the cover 30 as a game board during game play. In this manner, the cover 30 includes a grid into which the plurality of selected cards is placed in the order in which they are drawn. By providing such a game board, the user is provided with a convenient surface and structure within which to arrange and interpret the indicia on the plurality of selected cards. Further, the game board 34 may be a separate component or may simply be created on a surface of the cover 30 itself.

In one example of game play, a user begins by reaching into the container and picking cards at random, one at a time until an end of turn indicator is drawn. As an example I pulled cards bearing the following indicia:

    • by all indications, win win situation, wager, what's up?, hot date, Saturday, seventy, head to toe, something smells and smoke screen
      Based on these indicia a user may interpret that something is coming that is a “win win situation” even though it's a wager or a gamble. “What's up?” is apparently as it says, a hot date. Apparently I will have a hot date on Saturday and perhaps the weather will be seventy degrees. Head to toe, something smells, and smoke screen is that I will most likely need to cover myself from head to toe in bug spray as a smoke screen. The next day I received an invitation to attend an outdoor bar-b-q party and a friend who is seventy years old is fixing me up.

Similarly, in another example, a user may pose or think of a question before drawing cards bearing indicia. For example, before drawing cards, I posed the question, “Will I have fun on this date?” I then drew:

    • rebuild, fashion, Hottie, out of line, cutting edge, problem child, when there is a will there is a way and foolproof
      The way I interpreted the indicia is that the date may rebuild the relationship or some relationships. Perhaps I have already dated him and my friend doesn't know it. Hopefully I am a “hottie” or I will look hot and will be dressed fashionably. Interestingly enough it then transitions. The “out of line” I initially think is about the reason the relationship went awry in the first place. However, after giving more thought to the interpretation, and the additional indicia “cutting edge”, “problem child”, “when there is a will there is a way”, I discovered that my extremely willful puppy, who was near my large and luckily locked paper trimmer, was out of line and was into something he knew he shouldn't be as this is his foolproof method of getting my attention. My pets are like my children and yes at that moment he was being a problem child. After the last phrase “foolproof” I pulled a blank. When a blank is drawn, it either means its time to stop, it's the next persons turn, there is a change of subject, there is no answer at this time, or the answer goes without saying. This is up to the person to define and intuit at the time. If you are playing with more than one person a blank will always mean it is the next person's turn.

In an alternate embodiment depicted at FIG. 3, each of the cards 124 may be provided to include an electronic or machine readable code thereon. For example, the electronic code may be a scanable bar code 128, an encoded magnetic strip 130 or an RFID tag 126 affixed to the card 124. In this manner, the electronic code serves to uniquely identify the indicia 26 that appears on the face of the each of the plurality of cards 124. In turn, the game board 134 is configured with a reading device such as an RFID receiver 226, an optical scanner 228 or a magnetic swipe reader 230 that is capable of reading the electronic code on the cards 124 as they are selected. During game play, a participant scans the electronic code of each of the selected cards 124 using the particularly configured scanner or places the cards onto a board 134 that reads the electronic code such that the game board 134 keeps a computerized record of indicia 26 on the cards 124 that were selected. In this context the game board 134 may be interfaced with a display 136 that then displays the indicia 226 from each of the cards 124 selected and may further include memory 138 that allows long term storage of each of the users game play sessions.

In another alternative embodiment depicted at FIG. 4, the present method may be implemented in an entirely virtual manner using a computer processor and a display interface 234. Rather than employing tangible cards that bear indicia on the individual cards, the indicia is stored in individual memory locations within the computer processor 234. To initiate game play, the user employs a computer program wherein, by clicking a mouse 236, striking a key 238 on a keyboard or pressing a button 338 on a customized game play interface 334, the computer program randomly selects one of the stored indicia. The indicia is then presented to the user for interpretation. In all other respects game play proceeds as disclosed above wherein the words, phrases and/or numbers are randomly drawn and interpreted until a blank is reached, except that selection is done using the electronic interface. Another feature related to this embodiment is that the implementation via computer allows the participants to store and/or date and/or print the information and answers for future reflection and comparison.

It can therefore be seen that the present invention provides a method and system of fortune telling that is self directed and self-explanatory such that it eliminates the need for a user to reference a separate book or writing to interpret the meaning. Further the present invention to provides a method of fortune telling that allows a user to employ the method as a means for entertainment or self-help in a fun process that is arranged in a game based format. For these reasons, the instant invention is believed to represent a significant advancement in the art, which has substantial commercial merit.

While there is shown and described herein certain specific structure embodying the invention, it will be manifest to those skilled in the art that various modifications and rearrangements of the parts may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the underlying inventive concept and that the same is not limited to the particular forms herein shown and described except insofar as indicated by the scope of the appended claims.