Title:
Video game instruction card holder
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
An instruction card holder system for supporting an instruction card or the like on a video game control device for visual reference during operation of a video game. The instruction card holder system includes a first portion configured to include printed material that provides instructions to a user of a video game and a second portion connected to the first portion and configured for removable attachment to a video game console.



Inventors:
Whitby, David (Salt Lake City, UT, US)
Trevino, David (Bountiful, UT, US)
Application Number:
11/986396
Publication Date:
08/21/2008
Filing Date:
11/21/2007
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F9/24
View Patent Images:
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20020025850Electronic gaming monitoring and reporting systemFebruary, 2002Hafezi
20050176502Game apparatus and storage medium having game program stored thereinAugust, 2005Nishimura et al.
20070167235Variable payout wager gamesJuly, 2007Naicker
20020160833Adapting a game state to be compatible with a new version of a gameOctober, 2002Lloyd et al.



Primary Examiner:
PANDYA, SUNIT
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
Fabian Vancott (SALT LAKE CITY, UT, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. An instruction card holder device for use with a video game console, comprising: a first portion configured to include printed material that provides instructions to a user of a video game; and a second portion connected to the first portion and configured for removable attachment to a video game console.

2. The instruction card holder device of claim 1, wherein the first portion and the second portion are integrally formed from the same construction material.

3. The instruction card holder device of claim 2, wherein the construction material is constructed from the group consisting of cardboard, aluminum and wood.

4. The instruction card holder device of claim 1, wherein the printed material is printed directly on the first portion.

5. The instruction card holder device of claim 1, further comprising an instruction sheet containing instructions to a user of a video game and configured for removable attachment to the first portion.

6. The instruction card holder device of claim 1, wherein the first portion and the second portion are integrally formed from a unitary piece of cardboard stock.

7. The instruction card holder device of claim 1, wherein the second portion comprises a box-like structure configured for insertion into an orifice extending inwardly on a video game console.

8. The instruction card holder device of claim 1, wherein the second portion comprises a box-like structure configured for sliding engagement over a box-like member extending outwardly from a video game console.

9. The instruction card holder of claim 1, wherein the second portion forms a box-like structure.

10. The instruction card holder of claim 1, wherein the second portion forms a tube-like structure.

Description:

RELATED APPLICATIONS

This present application claims priority to U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/656,165, entitled “Video Game Instruction Card Holder,” filed Jan. 22, 2007, which claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/760,643, entitled “Video Game Instruction Card Holder,” filed Jan. 20, 2006.

TECHNICAL FIELD OF THE INVENTION

The present invention relates to holder systems, with specific application to card holder systems for supporting an instruction card or the like on the body or shell of a video game control device for visual reference to the card during operation of the video game.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

Video games have reached a level of complexity where it is helpful for the user to have immediate and convenient reference to game instructions, clues, hints or the like during operation of the game. Toward this end, it is not always convenient, and is oftentimes inconvenient, to look away from the video game monitor or control device during operation of the game in order to refer to an instruction manual or other means for the desired information. The present invention obviates this drawback by providing a means for the user to conveniently refer or otherwise consult the desired information while operating the video game.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An instruction card holder system is removably attachable to a video game control device for supporting a video game instruction card. The system comprises a main body having a first end configured for removable attachment of the main body to the video game control device and a second end configured for removable attachment of the video game instruction card to the main body.

One embodiment of the main body includes a substantially flat structure having a length that is defined by the surface length of the main body between the first end and the second end, with the main body being curved along a portion of the length. Alternative embodiments contemplate the main body being substantially rectangular in cross section along a portion of the length of the main body.

One embodiment of the main body comprises a clip structure proximate the second end for removably attaching the video game instruction card to the main body. The clip structure comprises a first prong located adjacent a first side of the main body proximate the second end, a second prong located adjacent a second side of the main body proximate the second end, and a third prong located intermediate the first prong and the second prong. One embodiment of the clip structure includes each of the first, second and third prongs having a first end that is integrally connected to the main body. Other embodiments include the third prong as being S-shaped along its length.

In one embodiment, the main body comprises an orifice structure proximate the first end for removably attaching the main body to the video game control device. The orifice structure is configured to slidingly connect with correspondingly shaped male structure that extends outwardly from the video game control device. Other embodiments include the male structure positioned on the main body and corresponding female structure positioned on the video game control device. Yet other embodiments contemplate the main body being formed integrally with the video game control device.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates a perspective view of an instruction card holder of the present invention;

FIG. 2 illustrates a side view of an instruction card holder of the present invention;

FIG. 3 illustrates a top view of an instruction card holder of the present invention;

FIG. 4 illustrates a rear view of an instruction card holder of the present invention;

FIG. 5 illustrates a perspective view of an instruction card holder of the present invention attached to a video game control device and having an instruction card attached to the holder;

FIG. 6 illustrates a side cutaway view of a portion of an instruction card holder of the present invention attached to a portion of a video game control device;

FIG. 7 illustrates an embodiment of the present invention laid out on cardboard stock;

FIG. 8 illustrates the embodiment illustrated in FIG. 7 after assembly;

FIG. 9 illustrates the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 7 and 8 attached to a video game console; and

FIG. 10 illustrates a side cutaway view of a portion of an instruction card holder device of the present invention attached to a portion of a video game control device.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE INVENTION

Generally, the present invention relates to an instruction card holder system that is suitable for supporting an instruction card or the like on a video game control device for visual reference during operation of a video game. The instruction card holder system includes a main body having a first end configured for removable attachment of the main body to the video game control device and a second end configured for removable attachment of an instruction card or the like to the main body. Details of various embodiments of the present invention are set forth below.

FIGS. 1-6 illustrate various views of an instruction card holder 10 of the present invention and its mode of use with a video game control device. In general, the instruction card holder 10 comprises a main body 12 having a first end 14 configured for removable attachment of the main body 12 to a video game control device 100, and a second end 16 configured for removable attachment of an instruction card 200 to the main body 12. In one embodiment, the instruction card holder 10 is constructed from molded plastic, but other materials, such as, for example, aluminum may be used in constructing the device.

Referring specifically to FIG. 5, a video game control device 100 is illustrated in generic form, and is shown to include standard input control mechanisms that a user might expect to encounter on such devices—e.g., a series of buttons 102, a finger wheel 104, a joy stick 106, and a directional pad 108. The instruction card 200 contains information informing the user how to play the video game, and may include, for example, information concerning game instructions, cheats, codes and “Easter eggs.” The instruction card may further contain advertising information or similar printed media. Although the instruction card is illustrated as being rectangular in shape, it is contemplated that any size or shape card may be used with the present invention. An alternative to the “static”—i.e., printed matter—instruction card 200 includes a screen that can be battery-powered and configured for “static” or “dynamic” display of information. The “static” non-changing data or “dynamic” data—i.e., words or figures that change over time—appearing on the screen is input to the device by, for example, a memory card, SIM card or a memory chip. Such memory devices would likely be provided along with the video game or sold separately by the video-game maker or third parties.

Referring again to FIGS. 1-4, one embodiment of the main body 12 comprises an upper surface 20, a lower surface 22, a first side 24 and a second side 26. The main body 12 has a length 28 which is defined by the approximate distance along the upper surface 20 or lower surface 22 between the first end 14 and the second end 16. The main body 12 is generally flat on the upper and lower surfaces 20, 22, and includes a degree of curvature sufficient to position the instruction card 200 at a convenient location for the user. The degree of curvature ultimately depends on the size and shape of the video game control device 100 and the point and angle of attachment of the first end 14 of the main body 12 to the shell of the video game control device 100. Although the embodiment illustrated in FIGS. 1-5 is presented with only a small degree of upward curvature, it is contemplated that greater degrees of curvature along the length 28 may be suitable for other video game control devices—e.g., upwards of 90 degrees overall from the first end 14 to the second end 16. In other embodiments, the main body 12 is contemplated as comprising two substantially straight portions that are joined intermediate the first end 14 and the second end 16 to form an angled structure—e.g., the entire curvature of the main body 12 is confined to a small region of the main body 12 intermediate the first end 14 and the second end 16, rather than occurring gradually along the length 28.

Still referring to FIGS. 1-5, one embodiment of the main body 12 includes a second end 16 having a three piece prong structure 30. The three prong structure 30 includes a first prong 32 located on the first side 24 of the main body 12, a second prong 34 located on the second side 26 of the main body 12, and a third prong 36 located intermediate the first prong 32 and the second prong 36. Each of the first, second and third prongs 32, 34, 36 have first ends that are formed integral with the main body 12. In one embodiment, the third prong 36 is slightly S-shaped along its length 40. As illustrated in FIG. 5, the slight S-shape curve of the third prong 36 facilitates secure gripping of the instruction card between the third prong 36 and each of the first and second prongs 32, 34. Other embodiments of the holder 10 contemplate alternative means for gripping or otherwise securing the instruction card to the main body 12, such as, for example, non-permanent glue or Velcro sections that can be used to removably attach the instruction card 200 to a portion of the main body 12 adjacent the second end 16.

Still referring to FIGS. 1-5, one embodiment of the main body 12 includes a first end 14 having an orifice structure 50. The orifice structure 50 has an inner wall 56 that is configured to tightly engage with corresponding male structure that extends from the shell 110 of the video game control device 100. Referring specifically to FIGS. 5 and 6, for example, the first end of the main body 12 is illustrated as being attached to a protruding portion 52 of the shell 110 of the video game control device 100. The protruding portion 52 has an outer wall 54 that is configured to tightly engage with the inner wall 56 of the orifice structure 50. In one embodiment, the protruding portion 52 is formed integrally with the shell 110 of the video game control device 100. Alternative embodiments contemplate the protruding portion 52 being secured to the shell 110 by any suitable means, such as, for example, an adhesive. Still further embodiments contemplate reversal of the orifice structure 50 and the protruding portion 52. More specifically, those skilled in the art should appreciate that the first end 14 of the main body 12 may comprise, alternatively, suitably formed male structure that is configured to tightly engage corresponding female structure positioned at a suitable location on or within the shell 110 of the video game control device 100. In a still further embodiment, the main body 12 can be formed integrally with the shell 110 of the video game control device 100. This latter alternative, of course, would mean that the holder is permanently affixed to the video game control device 100. In certain circumstances, such mode of permanent affixation may be desirable over the above described means of removable attachment.

Further embodiments of the holder 10 include the use of an LCD display, LED indicators or audio speakers incorporated into the main body 12. Such displays, indicators or speakers may be connected by either wire or wireless means to the video game control device or the video game monitor and may be used, for example, as auxiliary score keeping or indicator means, separate and apart from that which is commonly displayed on the video monitor. Further embodiments contemplate incorporation of three dimensional shapes or figures onto the upper or lower surface of the main body 12. Three dimensional likenesses of athletes, celebrities, game characters or the like may, for example, be incorporated into the main body for use as advertising or branding purposes. It should be appreciated, moreover, that such likenesses may also be incorporated into the instruction card for similar purposes.

Referring now to FIGS. 7-8, a further embodiment of an instruction card device 201 is depicted. This embodiment of the instruction card device 201 comprises an instruction card portion 204 secured or attached to a holder portion 202 where, preferably, the instruction card 204 and holder 202 portions are constructed from a unitary section of cardboard stock or the like. More specifically, FIG. 7 depicts a generally square or rectangular sheet of cardboard stock 203 or the like. The cardboard stock 203 is used to form the instruction card device 201, which comprises the instruction card holder portion 202 and the instruction card portion 204. In one embodiment, the cardboard stock 203 is rectangular and includes a first perforated portion 206, a second perforated portion 208 and a third perforated portion 210. The cardboard stock further includes first 211 and second 212 fold lines proximate the first perforated portion 206 and third 213 and fourth 214 fold lines proximate the second perforated portion 208. As described above, the instruction card portion 202 may contain information informing the user how to play the video game, and may include, for example, information concerning game instructions, cheats, codes and “Easter eggs.” The instruction card portion 202 may further contain advertising information or similar printed media. Although the instruction card portion 202 is illustrated as being generally rectangular in shape, it is contemplated that any size or shape instruction card portion may be used with the present invention.

In preparing the instruction card device 201 depicted in FIGS. 7-8, the first 206, second 208 and third 210 perforated portions are perforated along the indicated exemplar perforations or cut along the same using scissors or the like. For example, the first perforated portion 206 is perforated or cut, thereby separating a first corner portion 207 from the cardboard stock 203. Similarly, the second perforated portion 208 is perforated or cut, thereby separating a second corner portion 209 from the cardboard stock 203. Following separation and removal of the first corner portion 207 via perforation or cutting of the first 206 and third 210 perforated portions, a female tab portion 216 remains, the female aspect being defined by an orifice 218 that is formed at the third perforated portion 210 when perforated or cut. Similarly, following separation and removal of the second corner portion 209 via perforation or cutting of the second perforated portion 208, a male tab portion 220 remains, the male aspect being defined by an extension 222 that is formed at the second perforated portion 208 when perforated or cut and configured to engage the orifice 218. Next, the female tab portion 216 is manipulated to fold over toward the male tab portion 220 by folding the cardboard stock 203 approximately ninety degrees each at the first 211 and second 212 fold lines while the male tab portion 220 is manipulated to fold over toward the female tab portion 216 by folding the cardboard stock 203 approximately ninety degrees each at the third 213 and fourth 214 fold lines. Finally, following the manipulation of the female 216 and male 220 tab portions along the indicated fold lines, the female 216 and male 220 tab portions are engaged to form a box-like structure 230.

Referring now to FIGS. 8-10, the box-like structure 230 is dimensioned in height 232 and width 234 to engage an orifice 236 positioned on a video game control device 300. The orifice 236 typically houses a memory device for a video game, but may also be sized and configured for simply positioning a video game instruction card device such as those disclosed herein and above. Referring to FIGS. 9 and 10, for example, the orifice 236 is illustrated positioned within a section of shell or housing 238 of the video game control device 300. The dimensions of the orifice 236 are typically fixed, and the height 232 and width 234 of the box-like structure 230 selected to match those of the orifice such that a tight fit is obtained following insertion of the box-like structure into the orifice 236. On the other hand, were the instruction card device 201 to be formed from molded plastic or the like—which construction is contemplated by the present invention—then the dimensions of both the orifice and the box-like structure would need be made compatible with one another as no adjustment in tolerance, as is the case with cardboard, would be permitted to the box-like structure following molding.

The instruction card device 201 above described may include pre-printed text 250 that is unique to each specific video game. In such a case, each video game may include a cardboard stock 203 that the user may prepare into the instruction card device as above described. Alternatively, the instruction card device may be constructed from molded plastic or metal or the like, and be configured to receive at the instruction holder portion 204 printed text that is unique to a video game. In this latter embodiment, only one instruction device 201 need be obtained, limiting to each specific video game an instruction sheet that can be removably mounted to the instruction holder portion 204 using clips 252 or the like. Alternatively, the instructions may be printed directly onto the molded plastic or metal or the like used to construct the instruction card device.

Variations to the embodiment just disclosed include reversal of the orifice and box-like structure similar to that first described above—i.e., the orifice may be replaced by male structure extending from the shell 238, with the box-like structure 230 sized and configured to extend over the male structure. Further, it will be appreciated by those having skill in the art that geometries other than the rectangular geometries used to describe the instruction card device 201 above may be employed. For example, rather than forming a box-like structure sized for insertion into a box-like orifice, a circular-like structure may be formed and will serve equally as well. The same applies to the instruction card portion 204, which need not be square or rectangular, but may assume any desired shape and size. Other variations will be apparent to those of skill in the art and are included within the scope of the invention disclosed above.

While certain embodiments and details have been included herein and in the attached invention disclosure for purposes of illustrating the invention, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that various changes in the methods and apparatuses disclosed herein may be made without departing form the scope of the invention, which is defined in the appended claims.