Title:
Method and apparatus for playing communication game
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A method for playing a communication game between game players during an outing, the method including the steps of selecting a packet of game cards identified by a specific letter of the alphabet printed thereon for playing the game, selecting a venue having a name beginning with the selected letter of the alphabet, placing the packet of game cards face down in a stacked pile, and determining which player initiates play of the game, completing alternately by each player an incomplete unique statement printed on each game card with a response including the reasons therefore, listening to the response provided by a speaking game player to the incomplete unique statement printed on the game card, and scribing entries in a journal by a selected player for recording the location and special facts about that outing, the communication game improving communication and understanding between the game players.



Inventors:
Burns, Gary C. (Valencia, CA, US)
Application Number:
11/787336
Publication Date:
12/06/2007
Filing Date:
04/13/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/20
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
NICONOVICH, ALEXANDER R
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
JOHN S. CHRISTOPHER, ESQ. (SANTA MONICA, CA, US)
Claims:
1. A method for playing a communication game for promoting interpersonal communications and understanding between game players, said method comprising the steps of: selecting a packet of game cards from a plurality of game card packets, said selected game card packet comprising a plurality of game cards each bearing a specific letter of the alphabet for playing a communication game; selecting a venue for a social outing for playing said communication game, the name of said venue beginning with said specific letter of the alphabet printed on said game cards; placing said selected packet of game cards face down in a stacked pile; completing in alternating succession by a pair of game players an incomplete unique statement printed on each of said game cards drawn from said stacked pile; and scribing entries in a journal by one of said game players for recording the location and special facts of said social outing, said communication game for fostering improved interpersonal communications and understanding between said game players.

2. The method of claim 1 further including the step of determining which of said game players initiates play of the communication game.

3. The method of claim 1 wherein said game player scribing entries in said journal is selected by the step of selecting said game player who draws a game card from said stacked pile that is distinguishable from all other game cards in said selected packet of game cards.

4. A method for playing a communication game for promoting interpersonal communications and understanding between game players, said method comprising the steps of: selecting a packet of game cards from a plurality of game card packets, said selected game card packet comprising a plurality of game cards each bearing a specific letter of the alphabet for playing a communication game; selecting a venue for a social outing for playing said communication game, the name of said venue beginning with said specific letter of the alphabet printed on said game cards; completing in alternating succession by a pair of game players an incomplete unique statement printed on each of said game cards; explaining the reasoning of a response provided by said game player to said incomplete unique statement; and scribing entries in a journal by one of said game players for recording the special facts of said social outing, said communication game for fostering improved interpersonal communications and understanding between said game players.

5. The method of claim 4 further including the step of determining which of said game players initiates play of said communication game.

6. The method of claim 4 further including the step of placing said selected packet of game cards face down in a stacked pile wherein each of said game cards is alternatively drawn by one of said game players.

7. The method of claim 4 further including the step of listening to said response provided by said game player to said incomplete unique statement printed on said game card.

8. A communication game for promoting interpersonal communications and understanding between game players comprising: a plurality of packets of game cards housed within a container, each packet of game cards comprising a plurality of game cards for use by a pair of game players for playing a communication game; a journal housed within said container for use by one of said game players for recording and scribing special facts and memories of said communication game; and means housed within said container for determining which of said game players initiates play of said communication game, wherein each of said game cards includes an incomplete unique statement printed thereon and designed to stimulate conversation, said communication game for fostering improved interpersonal communications and understanding between said game players.

9. The communication game of claim 8 wherein said container is comprised of metal.

10. The communication game of claim 8 wherein said container is comprised of plastic.

11. The communication game of claim 8 wherein said container is comprised of cardboard.

12. The communication game of claim 8 wherein said plurality of packets of game cards comprises twenty-six packets of game cards, each packet including fourteen game cards.

13. The communication game of claim 8 further including an instruction card for explaining the rules of said communication game.

14. The communication game of claim 8 further including an alternative methods card for providing guidelines for alternative methods of playing said communication game.

15. The communication game of claim 8 wherein each of said game cards includes an open-ended statement printed thereon for eliciting an explanation of a response provided by said game player to said incomplete unique statement.

16. The communication game of claim 8 wherein said means for determining which of said game players initiates play of said communication game comprises a paper wrapper of a drinking straw.

Description:

This application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/809,372 filed by Gary C. Burns of Valencia, Calif. on May 30, 2006.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Technical Field

The present invention relates to games. More specifically, the present invention relates to methods and apparatus for playing a communication game for use by at least two game players, typically a father and daughter, with the objective of improving communication there between as a result of a series of game events.

2. Background Art

Researchers have searched for methods to assist humans to improve communications there between for decades. This is particularly important in the area of governmental operations within any particular government and between foreign governments. It is the art of communication both speaking and listening that is vitally important in the interpersonal relationships whether in the work place or in inter-governmental negotiations.

Many methods have been utilized to instill this sense of communication in persons. One of the many lessons learned by youngsters who participate in youth activities is the importance of communicating and cooperating. This is the case whether the means of teaching is via youth sports activities, activity clubs where presentations are required, or student government activities as organized in schools. Present day curriculums in modern universities offer study programs in the field of communications which are intended to train students in the art of communications. It should be obvious that modern day industry requires employees schooled in this field for many positions where the job description includes interpersonal relations between management and employees and between companies.

Another example is illustrated in the case where parents attempt to improve their relationship with their children. The parent, typically the father, may be attempting to improve his relationship with his daughter. Fathers typically can more easily relate to their sons since each father was once himself a son. However, it may be more difficult for a father to relate and understand his daughter. Consequently, fathers interested in developing an improved relationship with their daughters have always had to be inventive in ways to interact with their daughters.

One method has been to defer to the mother of his daughter for advice. Another method has been to search for activities that he and his daughter could participate in together for the purpose of building a bond. Notwithstanding, increased interpersonal contact between father and daughter did not necessarily develop the understanding of the daughter that the father was searching for. It is generally agreed upon that developing a close bond between father and daughter while the daughter is relatively young will help ease the tension that often develops between father and daughter when the daughter reaches the teenage years. It is often very difficult for the father and daughter to understand and cooperate with one another during this period of growth that all young people must pass through.

Thus, there is a need in the art for a communication game, the method of playing the communication game being utilized by at least two game players, typically a father and daughter, with the objective of improving communication there between as a result of a series of game events, this objective being achieved by a game player upon answering a question printed on each game card and then supporting the answer to the question with the reasoning utilized by the game player answering the question.

DISCLOSURE OF THE INVENTION

Briefly, and in general terms, the present invention provides a new and improved method and apparatus for playing a communication game typically by two game players which can be, for example, a father and a daughter. It is to be understood that the two game players are not limited to a father and a daughter but can also include a mother and a son or any other combination of an adult and a child. For simplification purposes, the present invention will be directed to a father and a daughter as the game players.

The objective of the communication game is to provide a fun way to improve interpersonal communications and understanding between a father and a daughter while visiting, for example, a restaurant on a regular schedule, such as once a month, for a special father-daughter outing. The communication game includes twenty-six packets of game cards where each packet includes an identifying letter from “A” to “Z”. The game instructions direct the game players to try to find a different restaurant each month in the immediate locality where the name of the restaurant begins with the letter of the alphabet that corresponds to the letter appearing on the packet of game cards to be utilized during the particular father-daughter outing. For example, when planning the outing for the communication game in which the packet of game cards marked with the letter “A” will be utilized, the game players might consider going to Aunt Alice's restaurant for breakfast. During the second month of the communication game, the game players might-plan for and select Biggie's diner which corresponds with the packet of game cards marked with the letter “B”.

Each game card in each packet of game cards contains an incomplete unique statement designed to stimulate conversation between the game players during the father-daughter outing. In most cases, completing the incomplete unique statements is simple. However, each game card also includes the open-ended statement “I say that because . . . ” referring to the game player's response to the incomplete statement. By requiring the game player to complete each incomplete unique statement with an explanation of why the game player responded in a certain manner, real insights about each game player will be discovered. This is the case since requiring the responding game player to respond to the open-ended statement “I say that because” forces the responding game player to reveal more about themselves in order to explain their answer.

The rules of the communication game include choosing a restaurant having a name that begins with the letter of the alphabet corresponding to the identifying letter printed on the packet of game cards to be utilized during the particular father-daughter outing. For each outing, one packet of game cards is placed face down in a stacked pile. The next step is to decide which game player will initiate play of the communication game. This can be accomplished by any of several means including removing a drinking straw from inside a drinking straw wrapper. Thereafter, a knot is tied in the middle of a drinking straw wrapper. Then each game player pulls on one of the opposing ends of the straw wrapper until the straw wrapper separates into two pieces. The game player holding that piece of the separated straw wrapper that includes the knot is selected to initiate play. Play begins when the selected game player completes a separate unique statement printed on one side of the game card and then proceeds on to the open-ended statement. Then, each of the game players alternate turns by selecting another game card.

The listening game player must remain silent when the speaking game player is completing the unique statement printed on the game card. This includes the portion of the answer that explains the reason for the answer, that is, when the speaking game player is responding to the phrase “I say that because . . . ” Another object of the communication game is to teach the daughter that if the listening game player interrupts before the speaking game player is finished, the listening game player has failed at being a good communicator. This is the case since effective communication involves both listening and speaking skills.

Each packet of game cards includes one game card that is distinguishable from the other game cards in the packet. Instead of including the open-ended statement “I say that because . . . ”, the distinguishable game card includes the phonetic phrase “Eyes hay that be cause . . . ” which enables that game card to be easily identified. The game player who selects the game card having the phrase “Eyes hay that be cause . . . ” is deemed to be the journalist who is then selected to make entries in the communication game journal. Entries in the communication game journal include the location and the particulars of the outing such as the incomplete unique statement printed on the face of the distinguishable game card and the answer that was given by the speaking game player who selected the distinguishable game card. Additional facts and feelings concerning the outing may also be recorded. For example, if a game player was surprised about what was said, the reasons as to why the response was a surprise may be recorded. Likewise, any other special facts about the outing and the reasons why the facts were special may also be recorded. The journal is meant to be a keepsake full of memories that will last a lifetime. Upon re-reading the journal in the future, the feelings that are recorded at the time of the outing will be as meaningful at that future time as the facts recorded therein.

In its most fundamental embodiment, the present invention includes a method and apparatus for playing a communication game between two game players during a social outing, the method including the steps of selecting a packet of game cards identified by a specific letter of the alphabet printed on the game cards for playing the communication game, selecting a restaurant venue having a name beginning with the selected letter of the alphabet, placing the packet of game cards face down in a stacked pile, and determining which game player initiates play of the game, completing in alternating succession by each game player an incomplete unique statement printed on each game card with a response including the reasons for the response, listening to the response provided by a speaking game player to the incomplete unique statement printed on the game card, and scribing entries in a journal by a selected game player for recording the location and special facts about that specific outing, the communication game improving interpersonal communications and understanding between the game players.

These and other objects and advantages of the present invention will become apparent from the following more detailed description, taken in conjunction with the accompanying drawings which illustrate the invention, by way of example.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a perspective view of a communication game of the present invention showing a container for housing the communication game, the container having a removable lid.

FIG. 2 is a top plan view of the communication game of FIG. 1 illustrating the container with the lid removed showing the contents therein including a journal book, a plurality of playing card packets, and a drinking straw.

FIG. 3 is a top plan view of a first instruction card supplied with the communication game having the emboldened title “Objective” and “How to Play the Game” printed thereon.

FIG. 4 is a top plan view of a second instruction card supplied with the communication game having the emboldened title “Alternative Ways to Play the Game” printed thereon.

FIG. 5 is a top plan view of game card packets identified as packets A-C and X-Z which include the game cards with questions printed thereon with each game card identified with a corresponding letter and numeral, intervening game card packets D-W being implied by a column of vertical dots and also being identified with a corresponding letter and numeral.

FIG. 6 is a side-by-side comparison of a typical game card with a distinctive game card, each game card type appearing in each of the game card packets A-Z.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

The present invention is a method for playing a communication game 100 as shown in FIGS. 1-6 for use by at least two game players (not shown), typically a father and daughter, with the objective of improving interpersonal communications and understanding there between as a result of a series of game events. This objective is achieved by completing an incomplete unique statement 102 printed on each of a plurality of game cards 104 and then supporting the response to the incomplete unique statement 102 with the reasoning utilized by the game player completing the unique statement 102. It is noted that the game players (not shown) of the communication game 100 are not limited to a father and daughter but can include any two game players whose objective is to improve communication there between such as between a mother and a son. In fact, the game players may be selected in a gender neutral manner since any game player can respond to any of the incomplete unique statements 102 printed on any game card 104.

The communication game 100 is assembled and housed in a container 106 as is clearly shown in FIGS. 1-2. The container 106 can be comprised of any suitable material including metal, plastic or even reinforced cardboard. The container 106 for housing the communication game 100 typically includes twenty-six packets 108 of game cards 104 as shown in FIG. 2 with each packet including fourteen game cards 104. Each of the game cards 104 of the individual twenty-six packets 108 is identified by a letter “A” through “Z” on a front side of the game card 104 to represent one letter of the English alphabet. A number is also included with the letter to provide each game card 104 with a coding. For example, the code might be “A1” indicating the first card of the “A” game card packet 108, or code number “B11” indicating the eleventh card of the “B” game card packet 108. A backside of each game card 104 is identical and illustrates the name of the communication game 100 and the U.S. Registered Trademarks COM-MU′-NI-CA′-TION®and Mindamics® owned by the applicant of this pending patent application of the present invention.

The number of game cards 104 per packet 108, typically fourteen, is selected so that an individual communication game event usually lasts one hour. However, each packet 108 may include any arbitrary number of game cards 104. Each of the fourteen game cards 104 is directed to a different topic which is intended to initiate interpersonal communications and understanding between the game players. Each of the incomplete unique statements 102 printed on the game cards 104 is intended to query the game player such as if the query is a puzzle and the game player provides a response. Generally, the first one-third of the game cards 104 in each packet 108 have incomplete unique statements 102 printed thereon requiring a simple response. The second one-third of the game cards 104 have incomplete unique statements 102 printed thereon that require a response that is more challenging. Finally, the third one-third of the game cards 104 have incomplete unique statements 102 printed thereon are more difficult and require a corresponding response. The difficulty of the response is determined by how much the response requires the responding game player to disclose their inner thoughts and emotions, not necessarily the difficulty of the subject matter. It is emphasized that there is no correct answer to the incomplete unique statement 102. After a response to the incomplete unique statement 102 is provided, the same game player then responds to an open-ended statement 112 best shown on FIG. 5 which recites “I say that because . . . ” This query enables the responding game player to explain their reasoning for answering the incomplete unique statement 102 in the manner that they did.

The container 106 also includes a journal 110 as shown in FIG. 2 for use in recording or scribing entries in the journal 110 by a selected game player. The entries in the journal 110 can include information such as the date, time, location, facts, feelings, and special memories associated with the communication game 100 played during a particular father-daughter outing. It is anticipated that the age range of a typical daughter for which this communication game 100 is designed is age ten or older and particularly between the ages of ten and twelve. Game players may play the communication game 100 as often as desired. The rules of the communication game 100 call for a once-a-month father-daughter outing. Initially, a specific packet of cards 108 being identified by a specific letter of the English alphabet is selected to be used during the father-daughter social outing. Then, the game rules recite that an outing venue such as a restaurant be selected, the name of which begins with or contains the selected specific letter of the English alphabet that is printed on the packet of cards 108 selected for use during the outing. The intent of the communication game 100 is to work through the list of alphabetic entries and to visit a different venue during each father-daughter social outing to initiate interpersonal communications and understanding.

The specifics of the communication game 100 will now be discussed and are disclosed on the instruction card 114 entitled How to Play the Game enclosed within the container 106 and illustrated in FIG. 3 and Appendix “A” appearing on page 18. The objective of the communication game 100 is to provide a fun way to improve interpersonal communications and understanding between game players such as, for example, a father and a daughter. This objective is achieved by visiting, for example, a restaurant on a regular schedule such as once-a-month for a special father-daughter outing. The communication game 100 includes the twenty-six packets 108 of game cards 104 where each packet 108 includes an identifying letter from “A” to “Z”. The game instruction card 114 directs the game players to try to find a different restaurant each month in the immediate locality where the name of the restaurant begins with the letter of the alphabet that corresponds to the letter appearing on the packet 108 of game cards 104 to be utilized during the father-daughter outing. For example, when starting the communication game 100 with the packet 108 of game cards 104 marked with the letter “A”, the game players might consider going to Aunt Alice's restaurant for breakfast. During the second month of the communication game 100, the game players might go to Biggie's diner which corresponds with the packet of game cards marked with the letter “B”.

Each packet 108 of game cards 104 contains the incomplete unique statements 102 designed to stimulate conversation between the game players during the father-daughter outing. In most cases, completing the incomplete unique statements 102 is simple. However, each game card 104 also includes the open-ended statement 112 reading “I say that because . . . ” referring to the game player's response to the incomplete unique statement 102. By requiring the responding game player to complete the incomplete unique statement 102 with an explanation of why the game player responded in a certain manner, real insights about each game player will be discovered. This is the case since requiring the responding game player to respond with the open-ended statement 112 reciting “I say that because” forces the responding game player to reveal more about themselves in order to explain their answer.

The rules of the communication game 100 include choosing a restaurant whose name begins with the letter of the alphabet corresponding to the identifying letter printed on the packet 108 of game cards 104 to be utilized during the father-daughter outing. For each outing, take one packet 108 of game cards 104 and place them face down in a stacked pile. Next, decide which game player will initiate play of the communication game 100. This can be accomplished by any of several means including tying a knot in the middle of a drinking straw wrapper 116 as shown in FIG. 2. Thereafter, each game player pulls on an opposing end of the straw wrapper 116 until the straw wrapper 116 separates into two pieces. The game player holding that piece of the separated straw wrapper 116 that includes the knot is selected to initiate play. Play begins by each of the game players completing a separate incomplete unique statement 102 printed on one of the game cards 104 of the packet 108, in alternating turns.

The listening game player must remain silent when the speaking game player is completing the incomplete unique statement 102 printed on the game card 104. This includes the portion of the answer explaining the reason for the answer, that is, when the speaking game player is responding to the open-ended statement 112 reciting “I say that because . . . ” Another object of the communication game 100 is to teach the daughter, or father, that if the listening game player interrupts before the speaking game player is finished, the listening game player has failed at being a good communicator. This is the case since effective communication involves both listening and speaking skills.

Each packet 108 of game cards 104 includes one game card 118 that is distinguishable from the other game cards 104 in the packet 108. Instead of including the open-ended statement 112 reciting “I say that because . . . ”, the distinguishable game card 118 includes the phonetic phrase “Eyes hay that be cause . . . ” which enables that game card 118 to be easily identified. The game player who selects the game card 118 having the phrase “Eyes hay that be cause . . . ” is deemed to be the journalist who is selected to make entries in the communication game journal 110. Entries in the communication game journal 110 include the location and the particulars of the father-daughter social outing such as the incomplete unique statement 102 printed on the front side of the distinguishable game card 118 and the response that was given by the speaking game player. Additional facts and feelings concerning the social outing may also be recorded. For example, if a game player was surprised about what was said, record the reasons as to why the response was a surprise, or any other special facts about the social outing and the reason why the facts were special. The journal 110 is meant to be a keepsake full of memories that will last a lifetime. Upon re-reading the journal 110 in the future, the feelings that are recorded at the time of the social outing will be as meaningful at that future time as the facts recorded therein.

There are alternative ways to play the communication game 100 to compensate for not being able to satisfy the rules set forth on the instruction card 114. For example, unless the game players live near a large metropolitan area, it may be difficult to find enough restaurants nearby whose name begins with the letters “A” through “Z”. It might be easier to look for the name of a restaurant having the appropriately selected letter anywhere within the name of the restaurant. If preferred, the communication game 100 can be played without always going to a restaurant. One alternative might be to go to a market and buy food that begins with the particular chosen letter. For example, if the next packet 108 of game cards 104 is marked with the letter “B”, you might buy butter, bread and bananas at the market, and then go to the park and make banana sandwiches to eat while playing the communication game 100. For the letter “C”, a meal could be prepared together using chicken, carrots, cornbread and cola with chocolate cake for desert. The important point is that the father and daughter spend time together without any distractions while they play the game. Additionally, if a drinking straw wrapper 116 is not available, the decision on which game player initiates the game can be determined by flipping a coin or playing “rock, paper, scissors.”

The communication game 100 can also be played with only one game player reading and responding to the incomplete unique statements 102 and open-ended statements 112 printed on the game cards 104 drawn from the packet 108. In the alternative, both father and daughter can respond to each of the incomplete unique statements 102 and open-ended statements 112 printed on each game card 104. Either method is consistent with the objective of the communication game 100. However, if both game players are going to respond to the incomplete unique statement 102 and the open-ended statement 112, it is consistent with the objective of the communication game 100 if all the game cards 104 of the entire packet 108 are processed with the father and then the daughter responding to alternative game cards 104. This process is pursued until all of the incomplete unique statements 102 and open-ended statements 112 printed on each of the game cards 104 have been addressed. At this point, the process can be restarted so that the daughter and father alternatively respond to the incomplete unique statements 102 and the open-ended statements 112 printed on the game cards 104 that they individually did not address during the first pass through. This approach enables the listening game player to concentrate on what the speaking game player is saying rather than thinking about how they might respond to the incomplete unique statement 102 and open-ended statement 112. Please see the alternative methods card 120 entitled Alternative Ways to Play the Game enclosed within the container 106 and illustrated in FIG. 4. and Appendix “B” on page 19.

If there is more than one daughter in the family who is old enough to play the communication game 100, the father can either (1) arrange for a separate social outing with each daughter, or (2) the father can play the communication game 100 with all the daughter's together. It is a decision to be made between the father and the daughters on how they wish to play the communication game 100.

In its most fundamental embodiment, the present invention includes a method and apparatus for playing a communication game 100 between two game players during a social outing, the method including the steps of selecting a packet of game cards 108 identified by a specific letter of the alphabet printed on the game cards 104 for playing the communication game 100, selecting a restaurant venue having a name beginning with the selected letter of the alphabet, placing the packet of game cards 108 face down in a stacked pile, and determining which game player initiates play of the game, completing in alternating succession by each game player an incomplete unique statement 102 printed on each game card 104 with a response including the reasons for the response, listening to the response provided by a speaking game player to the incomplete unique statement 102 printed on the game card 104, and scribing entries in a journal 110 by a selected game player for recording the location and special facts about that specific father-daughter outing, the communication game 100 improving interpersonal communications and understanding between the game players.

The present invention directed to a method and apparatus for playing a communication game 100 provides specific advantages over other interpersonal development methods known in the past. Specific advantages of the present invention include (1) the communication game 100 is a fun method to improve communications between the two game players, (2) allows for the changing of the venue of consecutive father-daughter outings, (3) enables the game players to enjoy different cuisines at different restaurants, but most importantly, (4) provides the game players the unique opportunity to respond to a plurality of incomplete unique statements 102 to initiate discussion, and (5) respond to the open-ended statement “I say that because . . . ” which forces the responding game player to reveal their true feelings about a particular subject, which in turn, (6) fosters improved communication between the game players.

While the present invention is described herein with reference to illustrative embodiments for particular applications, it should be understood that the invention is not limited thereto. Those having ordinary skill in the art and access to the teachings provided herein will recognize additional modifications, applications and embodiments within the scope thereof and additional fields in which the present invention would be of significant utility.





 
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