Title:
BOARD GAME FOR TEACHING PRINCIPLES OF ABUNDANCE
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
Disclosed is a highly interactive board game that teaches wealth building principles in the context of business, real estate, and other investments decisions, and that teaches self-improvement through character-strengthening exercises related to integrity, spirituality, cooperation and service to others. The game as disclosed includes four closed loop paths. The first three, inside paths represent the lives of the poor, the middle-class, and the rich. The three inside paths are circumscribed by a fourth closed loop path representing an abundant life of both wealth and happiness. Each of the loops is divided into game spaces which correspond to various game events. The game events include investment opportunities, changes in prevailing market conditions, and events and challenges related to personal growth and character development. Progress between the loops is a function of the player's decisions concerning both character-building and wealth related events.



Inventors:
Broadwater, Brandon J. (Kaysville, UT, US)
Broadwater, Lesly (Kaysville, UT, US)
Application Number:
12/035430
Publication Date:
09/18/2008
Filing Date:
02/21/2008
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A63F3/00
View Patent Images:
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Primary Examiner:
MENDIRATTA, VISHU K
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
BRENT M. BURNINGHAM (FARMINGTON, UT, US)
Claims:
What is claimed is:

1. A game for teaching principles of abundant living, said game comprising: A) Indicia of a set of game events affecting a measure of simulated character of one or more players; B) Means for pseudo-randomly designating, in turn, a particular game event for the player; C) Means for recording the effect of a particular game event on the simulated character of respective affected players.

2. The game of claim 1 wherein the indicia of the set of events comprises indicia of a plurality of selectable subsets of events, each subset associated with a respective category of event.

3. The game of claim 1 wherein the indicia of the set of events comprises at least one set of cards, each card representing an event.

4. The game of claim 3 wherein the indicia of the set of events comprises a plurality of sets of cards, each set of cards associated with a different category of the events, each card in a set of cards representing an event in the associated category.

5. The game of claim 4 wherein the means for pseudo-randomly designating comprises a pseudo-random number generator.

6. The game of claim 5 wherein the pseudo-random number generator comprises at least one die.

7. The game of claim 1 wherein the means of pseudo-randomly designating comprises one or more sequences of event designators, at least some of said designators in said sequences corresponding to the occurrence of one of said set of events.

8. The game of claim 1 wherein the one or more sequences of event designators comprise one or more tracks on a game board, said one or more tracks having sequential spaces, each sequential space carrying indicia of an event.

9. A game for teaching principles of abundant living in the context of personal financial management, said game comprising: A) Indicia of a first set of game events comprising indicia of a stimulus affecting the simulated character of one or more of the player; B) Indicia of a second set of game events comprising indicia of opportunities to participate in specified financial transactions, each of said second set of events potentially affecting as least one of the periodic income, passive income, expenses, assets and liabilities of the player, wherein the nature of the transaction is correlated to the simulated character of the player; C) Means for pseudo-randomly designating, in turn, a particular game event for the player, selected from the first or second set of game events; D) Means for recording the effect of a particular game event to determine the consequence of each game event for the respective affected players.

10. The game of claim 9 wherein the indicia of the first set of events comprises indicia of a plurality of selectable subsets of events, each subset associated with a respective category of event.

11. The game of claim 9 wherein the indicia of the first set of events comprises at least one set of cards, each card representing an event.

12. The game of claim 11 wherein the indicia of the first set of events comprises a plurality of sets of cards, each set of cards associated with a different category of the events, each card in a set of cards representing an event in the associated category.

13. The game of claim 12 wherein the means for pseudo-randomly designating comprises a pseudo-random number generator.

14. The game of claim 13 wherein the pseudo-random number generator comprises at least one die.

15. The game of claim 9 wherein the means of pseudo-randomly designating comprises one or more sequences of event designators, at least some of said designators in said sequences corresponding to the occurrence of one of said first set of events, and at least some of said designators in said sequence corresponding to the occurrence of one of said second set of events.

16. The game of claim 15 wherein the one or more sequences of event designators comprise one or more tracks on a game board, said one or more tracks having sequential spaces, each sequential space carrying indicia of an event.

17. A game for teaching principles of abundant living, said game comprising: A) Indicia of a set of game events affecting the simulated character of one or more players; B) Means for simulating the effect of a live seminar facilitator; C) Means for pseudo-randomly designating, in turn, a particular game event for the player, selected from the first or second set of game events; D) Means for recording the effect of a particular game event to determine the consequence of each game event for the respective affected players.

18. The game of claim 17 wherein the indicia of the set of events comprises at least one set of cards, each card representing an event.

19. The game of claim 17 wherein the means for simulating the effect of a live seminar facilitator comprises an instruction for one or more players to follow.

20. The game of claim 19 wherein the instruction is set forth in the rules of the game.

21. The game of claim 19 wherein the instruction is directed to all players.

22. The game of claim 19 wherein a player that participates is rewarded with simulated character points.

23. The game of claim 19 wherein a player that does not participate is penalized with a reduction in simulated character points.

24. The game of claim 19 wherein the instruction requires self disclosure by one or more players.

25. The game of claim 19 wherein the instruction requires self reflection by one or more players.

26. The game of claim 19 wherein the instruction requires feedback by one or more players.

27. The game of claim 26 wherein the one or more players providing feedback is penalized for rudeness.

28. The game of claim 17 wherein the instruction requires writing down something.

29. The game of claim 28 wherein the thing written down is a lesson learned.

30. The game of claim 28 wherein the thing written down is a goal.

31. The game of claim 28 wherein the thing written down is a plan of action.

32. The game of claim 28 wherein the thing written down is to be applied outside the game.

33. The game of claim 17 wherein the means for pseudo-randomly designating comprises a pseudo-random number generator.

34. The game of claim 33 wherein the pseudo-random number generator comprises at least one die.

35. The game of claim 17 wherein the means of pseudo-randomly designating comprises one or more sequences of event designators, at least some of said designators in said sequences corresponding to the occurrence of one of said first set of events, and at least some of said designators in said sequence corresponding to the occurrence of one of said second set of events.

36. The game of claim 17 wherein the one or more sequences of event designators comprise one or more tracks on a game board, said one or more tracks having sequential spaces, each sequential space carrying indicia of an event.

37. The game of claim 36 wherein the one or more sequential event designators comprise A) Indicia of a first set of spaces comprising indicia of opportunities to participate in a game event, said indicia of a first set of spaces applicable to players possessing no assets; B) Indicia of a second set of spaces comprising indicia of opportunities to participate in a game event, said indicia of a second set of spaces applicable to players possessing at least one asset; C) Indicia of a third set of spaces comprising indicia of opportunities to participate in a game event, said indicia of a third set of events applicable to players possessing assets sufficient to generate a prescribed level of passive income; D) Indicia of a fourth set of spaces comprising indicia of opportunities to participate in a game event, said indicia of a fourth set of events applicable to players sustaining a prescribed level of simulated character in addition to possessing assets sufficient to generate a prescribed level of passive income; E) Means for designating, in turn, a particular game event for the player from the set of spaces corresponding to the respective player's status, said game event affecting the status of one or more players; F) Means for recording the effect of a particular game event to determine the respective consequence of each game event for the respective affected players.

38. A method of playing a game for teaching principles of abundant living to players comprising the steps of: A) Distributing a scorecard to each player at the beginning of a game reflecting simulated character, service rendered, periodic income, passive income, expenses, assets and liabilities of the player and being selectively revisable by the respective player to reflect the results of game events; B) Providing indicia of a first set of events potentially affecting the simulated character of one or more players; C) Providing indicia of a second set of game events potentially affecting as least one of the periodic income, passive income, expenses, assets and liabilities of the player; D) Playing the game in the following manner: i) Pseudo-randomly designating, in turn, a particular game event for the player from the set of events corresponding to the respective player's status, said game event affecting the status of one or more players; ii) Revising the indicia of the scorecard of each player in accordance with the effects of each game event on that player; and iii) Repeating steps (i) and (ii) until at least one player attains a predetermined goal.

39. The method of claim 38 wherein the outcome of the game event of the second set of game events is correlated to the simulated character of the player.

40. The method of claim 38 wherein the predetermined goal comprises a minimum simulated character score and predetermined financial condition.

41. The method of claim 38 wherein the indicia of a first set of events comprises at least one set of cards, each card representing an event.

42. The method of claim 38 wherein the indicia of a first set of events comprises a plurality of sets of cards, each set of cards associated with a different category of the events, each card in a set of cards representing an event in the associated category.

43. The method of claim 42 further comprising: A) Selecting a respective token corresponding to each player, B) Providing a game board having one or more closed tracks each of the one or more closed tracks having sequential spaces, at least some of the spaces corresponding to the occurrence of the respective categories of the events, and C) Wherein the step of pseudo-randomly designating the respective player's exposure to an event from the first and second sets of events comprises the steps of: i) Pseudo-randomly ascribing a number to an individual player; ii) Advancing the token corresponding to the individual player along the track of spaces in accordance with the number; and iii) Distributing to the individual player a card from the set of cards corresponding to the category, if any, associated with the space on which the token lands.

44. The method of claim 38 in which the indicia of the first set of events comprises a set of cards, each card reflecting one event of the first set of events.

45. The method of claim 44 in which the game is played on a game board carrying the one or more closed tracks of sequential spaces, and the step of pseudo-randomly designating comprises the step of rolling at least one die.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

The present application claims the benefit of U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/891,040, filed Feb. 21, 2007, which is incorporated herein by reference.

BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION

1. Field of the Invention

This invention relates to the art of games and, more particularly, to a board game promoting abundant living by teaching principles of wealth accumulation and character development through educational game play involving financial and personal decision making, self exploration and character-building interactive exchanges.

2. Background and Related Art

With financial markets in flux, corporate pensions being curtailed and government sponsored social programs stretched to their limits, the adult population is becoming more interested in learning to become, and in becoming, more self reliant for long term financial security. Many individuals and organizations are taking advantage of this market for services by offering seminars, programs and games directed toward teaching skills and strategies for wealth accumulation and management. However seminars and training programs are expensive. Other games have been introduced to counter this expense. Information relevant to prior attempts to address these problems can be found in U.S. Pat. Nos. 5,826,878 and 6,032,957. However, these references do not provide the player interaction available at live facilitated learning events and, they do not teach more than financial education.

Live seminars, recorded media products, books and existing games are generally informative, but provide little if any attention beyond the techniques and strategies of wealth accumulation. They fail to address the emotional and spiritual changes the student needs to transform himself to maximize the principles and strategies being taught. Consequently, many students struggle to apply the teachings and methods because they apply them from a frame of reference that has not been enlightened to an abundant way of thinking.

For those students that are able to apply them, the wealth strategies and tactics may result in financial gains, but when applied by individuals lacking proper motives or enlightenment, the financial success is often obtained through selfishly one-sided, “win-lose” or “zero-sum” type dealings. Students eager to creatively apply the principles of wealth building may, with a lack of moral or principle-based guidance, engage in practices that are unethical or illegal. These practices often lead to loss of personal integrity, and sometimes even criminal prosecution and incarceration. For example, creative real estate investing practices have at times resulted in fraudulent activity. Specifically, mortgage fraud is at record levels, and is a contributing factor in the present mortgage lending market difficulties. In addition to the negative impact such selfish and predatory practices have a on those that use them, negative consequences also affect those that are victimized by them. Furthermore, they undermine social values and the reputation of other professionals operating in the same or similar markets or industries.

An object of the present invention is to teach universal principles of abundance through financial education which allow players to learn, and in turn align their life with these universal principals. The teaching is accomplished by simulation and modeling wherein the game responds much like life in that internal influences, such as choices a person makes, can have greater influence in the outcome of life and financial situations than external influences do. This process allows players to experience and contrast how opportunities in life have more to do with the person than the opportunity itself.

Another object of the present invention is to counter the prevailing amoral teachings about financial principles and life situations, and the resulting negative outcomes, by teaching principles of abundance comprising personal empowerment, happiness, fulfillment, integrity and spiritual enlightenment, along with fundamental principles of financial education and wealth building. A further object of the present invention is to prevent negative outcomes described above by strengthening the character of the student or player by teaching, facilitating, and modeling cooperation, collaboration, and mentoring in a way that encourages mutually beneficial, integrity-based “win-win” transactions, promotes personal effectiveness, healthy pro-active habits, daily rituals, and self-discipline and leads to greater overall happiness in the student's everyday life.

A yet further object of the present invention is to incorporate into the structure of the game rules and instructional devices that substitute for a live facilitator by controlling the environment of game play and by creating situations for self learning as well as instructional interaction wherein one or more players instruct one or more other players, or wherein one or more players take instruction from resources external to the game.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

The present invention provides a game for teaching principles of abundant living comprising game events that present players with situations that teach character-building life lessons. The object of such game is for a player to progress through stages of game play representing socioeconomic classes, and symbolic of spiritual progression, while simultaneously and necessarily increasing in character, represented by personal effectiveness or potential energy.

Each player is initially pseudo-randomly ascribed a simulated level of character. A player's progress is accelerated by the player's ability to grow in character by developing a greater capacity to serve others. By strengthening his character, the player increases his ability to generate passive income and further progress in the game, which progression in turn enhances his capacity to serve others. Each player's capacity to serve is strengthened during game play through the use of instructions and challenges incorporated into the rules of the game and elements of the game that introduce opportunities for players to actually serve one another during the game.

In one embodiment, each player may arbitrarily select, or semi-randomly determine a periodic earned income and periodic expenses. Either one or both figures could be derived from the player's real life financial situation. In this embodiment, each player encounters financial situations, and the outcomes of the financial situations are dependent on the simulated character of the player.

Embodiments of the present invention demonstrate in the finite realm of game play the adage that you can take the individual out of the environment but you can't take the environment out of the individual; however, if you take the thought processes that are prevalent in an environment out of the individual, the individual can remove themselves from the environment as well as assist others in making the same transformation. In one embodiment of the game, game events are presented in a manner that simulates participation in a live facilitated seminar. In this embodiment, the game is played in such a way that the lessons learned during game play are reinforced in a manner that makes them accessible in, and applicable to daily life experiences.

Tools and devices incorporated into the game include an integral facilitator function built into the game, established by rules of game play and reinforced by various game events. In one embodiment of the facilitator function, rules of the game prohibit use of cell phones or other electronic devices. As a further embodiment of the game, players are penalized for violating game rules. In this manner, the facilitator function controls the environment of game play. In another embodiment of the facilitator, game events may require self disclosure by one player and/or feedback from a second player. In yet another embodiment of the facilitator, comments or criticisms by a player or multiple players may result in certain negative consequences. In one embodiment, a player or players are incented to serve another player or players without any expectation of reward or benefit in return. In another embodiment, a player may sacrifice something of value, such as their turn, in order to uplift and serve others.

An embodiment of the game comprises basic representations of financial statements for each player, indicia of each player's simulated character, a mechanism for exposing each player to game events in turn, and a mechanism for subjecting the respective players to such game events. The game events potentially affect at least the one of the simulated character, income, passive income, expenses, assets, and liabilities of the players. More particularly, the events include opportunities to buy assets that generate passive income, to increase the player's own simulated character and to increase the simulated character of other players. In one embodiment of the game, a dirty deal, the game event may negatively impact the player's simulated character and potential for character development. The game includes a scorecard for each player. The scorecard contains modifiable fields for recording changes in the respective categories of financial interest, a scale for recording changes in the player's character, and an area for recording thoughts and impressions, and lessons learned during game play.

In an embodiment of the game, the players advance along a series of four tracks. The first track is applicable to players that have no assets, a second track is applicable to players with at least one asset, and a third track is applicable to players whose assets generate passive income in excess of an amount specified by the player. The fourth track is applicable to players that have traversed the first three tracks and have achieved a specified level of simulated character and sustained their simulated character at or above the specified level.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

These and other features, aspects, and advantages of the present invention will become better understood with regard to the following description appended claims, and accompanying drawings where:

FIG. 1 shows the layout and general configuration of a game board for use in one embodiment of a game in accordance with the present invention, comprising four tracks and further portraying the respective repositories for the various game event card types;

FIG. 2 shows an exemplary poor or lower social-economic class closed loop representing the starting condition of each player;

FIG. 3 shows an exemplary middle social-economic class closed loop representing the condition of players that have acquired at least one appreciating or income-producing asset;

FIG. 4 shows an exemplary rich or upper social-economic class closed loop representing the condition of players that have accumulated a portfolio of assets sufficient to achieve passive income greater than an amount specified by the respective player;

FIG. 5 shows a segment of the outer track or Life of Abundance track, which track comprises a closed loop representing the condition of players that have acquired both wealth and character;

FIG. 6 shows a scorecard of the preferred embodiment of the present invention;

FIG. 7 shows an exemplary Small Opportunity card;

FIG. 8 shows a second exemplary Small Opportunity card;

FIG. 9 shows an exemplary Big Opportunity card;

FIG. 10 shows an exemplary Market card;

FIG. 11 shows an exemplary Natural Man card;

FIG. 12 shows an exemplary Spiritual Man card;

FIG. 13 shows a first exemplary Spiritual Man card, designed to simulate a facilitator in the game by requiring one or more players to respond to questions on the card related to the game or the players of the game;

FIG. 14 shows a second exemplary Spiritual Man card, designed to simulate a facilitator in the game by requiring one or more players to respond to questions on the card related to people or issues external to the game;

FIG. 15 shows a third exemplary Spiritual Man card, designed to simulate a facilitator in the game by requiring one or more players to verbally share personal information;

FIG. 16 shows a Natural Man card, designed to simulate a facilitator in the game by requiring one or more players to write down their response to the question or prompt given by the card;

FIG. 17 shows a fourth exemplary Spiritual Man card, designed to simulate a facilitator in the game by requiring one or more players to engage in quiet reflection;

FIG. 18 shows a fifth exemplary Spiritual Man card, designed to simulate a facilitator in the game by presenting a teaching message and directing the players to additional resources external to the game;

FIG. 19 shows a sixth exemplary Spiritual Man card, designed to simulate a facilitator in the game by presenting an instructional image viewable by one or more players of the game;

FIG. 20 shows a Small Opportunity card representing a Dirty Deal wherein the player loses integrity and potential simulated character;

FIG. 21 shows a Spiritual Man card representing recovery of potential simulated character from doing a Dirty Deal.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

For purposes of describing the preferred embodiment of the invention, the following definitions are adopted:

Abundance: a condition of fulfillment marked by high personal integrity, character and service to others which leads to happiness and personal prosperity in all aspects of one's life;

Asset: an interest in an income producing property, including a business interest, real estate, intellectual property, stock, bonds, precious metals or other marketable property;

Character: a measure of one's personal effectiveness, also referred to herein as potential energy; and

Facilitator: a feature that evokes thoughtful participation by a player akin to the interactive environment typically created by a live presenter at an educational seminar.

In the following detailed description of the preferred embodiments, reference is made to the accompanying drawings, which form a part hereof, and within which are shown by way of illustration specific embodiments by which the invention may be practiced. It is to be understood that other embodiments may be utilized and structural changes may be made without departing from the scope of the invention.

The game of the preferred embodiment is played in a format that suggests and requires as the object thereof progression of the player symbolically from a less enlightened character to a more enlightened character. The preferred embodiment of the present invention is a multi-track game board to provide discrete and constant visual indications of the players' progress and advancement through the stages of game play to reinforce the teaching aspects of the game.

Attention is first directed to FIG. 1 which is a generalized representation of a game board 102 for two or more players to play the preferred embodiment of the subject game. A fundamental characteristic of the game board 102 is that there are four tracks for the players to move along: a Poor track 103, a Middle Class track 104, a Rich track 105, and a Life of Abundance track 106. Play begins for all players on the Poor track 103. The Poor track 103 is representative of relatively poor financial status and is also symbolic of minimal simulated character as manifest by the physical habits and thinking patterns common among less affluent individuals.

With skill in handling life and finances on the Poor track 103, a player may qualify to move to the Middle Class track 104. The Middle Class track 104 is representative of the middle class life achieved by the player accumulating one or more assets. The Middle Class track 104 is also symbolic of individuals that have a moderate degree of simulated character developed by encountering and adopting principles of abundance. The object of players on the Middle Class track 104 is to accumulate a portfolio of assets sufficient to achieve passive income greater than a player-specified amount. In one embodiment of the game, the player may specify the amount of the player's periodic earned income. In another embodiment of the game, the player may specify the amount of the player's periodic expenses. When the player's passive income from assets exceeds the player-specified amount, the player may advance to the Rich track 105.

The Rich track 105 is representative of individuals that have passive income in excess of their periodic earned income and/or periodic expenses. The Rich track 105 is also symbolic of individuals that have proven moderately successful in applying principles of abundance and increased their simulated character. In the Rich track 105, the players are required to exceed and maintain for a specified minimum period of time a specified level of simulated character. Once the player has demonstrated the ability to maintain its simulated character, and provided it still satisfies the financial requirements of the Rich track 105, the player is eligible to enter the Life of Abundance track 106. The Life of Abundance track 106 is representative of the life possible by individuals that have amassed a certain relative amount of wealth while at the same time developing their simulated character and consistently implementing principles of abundance in their game play. The Life of Abundance track 106 is symbolic of individuals that have developed desirable personal traits of simulated character, such as selflessness, along with the knowledge and skills necessary to accumulate a high amount of wealth.

In addition to the Poor track 103, the Middle Class track 104, the Rich track 105 and the Life of Abundance track 106, the game board 102 of the preferred embodiment includes spaces for five types of cards which may be drawn from time to time by players as they land on various track spaces. The cards comprise generally two types. The first general category of cards is that of cards that impact the simulated character of one or more players. One subset of simulated character cards comprises Natural Man cards disposed on space 110, and another subset of simulated character cards comprises Spiritual Man cards disposed on Space 111. The second general category of cards comprises cards that impact one or more players in a financial way. Small Opportunity cards disposed on space 107, and Big Opportunity cards disposed on space 108 are collectively known as Opportunity cards. Opportunity cards are one subset of the financial card type. Market cards, disposed on Space 109 are another subset of the financial card type.

Each of the spaces shown in FIG. 1 on the Poor Track 103, the Middle Class track 104, the Rich track 105, and the Life of Abundance track 106 has indicia which is too small to show in FIG. 1. However, each such track is more fully depicted herein. In the case of the Life of Abundance track, the portion thereof designed A and further indicated by dashed lines in FIG. 1 shall serve as a representative portion of the Life of Abundance track 106. Thus, it will be understood that the designator A and the dashed lines are not part of the game board.

Referring to FIG. 2 it will be seen that the Poor track 103 includes spaces marked Monthly Cash 113, Market 114, Opportunity 115, Spiritual Man 116, Wild Card 117, Natural Man 118, and Work an Extra Shift 119. The indicia on the spaces of the Poor track 103 are distributed such that Opportunity occurs nearly three times as frequently as most other designations, with the exception of the Work an Extra Shift 119 designation occurs only one time. It will also be noted that outside the Poor track 103, but adjacent a Monthly Cash space, is an oval Transition Button 112a. In one embodiment of the game, this space is marked with the text “Start Here”. This Transition Button 112a designates the adjacent Monthly Cash space is the starting point upon which all players begin the game when entering the Poor track 103. It will further be noted that circumscribed within the Poor track 103 of the present embodiment are the numbers 1 through 12 arranged according to the face of a clock 120 to symbolize that wealth at the level of play represented in the Poor track 103 is largely driven by time spent in one's job. As will be explained more completely below in, this arrangement of a clock face 120 is a teaching tool of the game that functions as a facilitator in the game. Also present on the clock face 120 is a teaching prompt 121 that conveys the facilitator message of the Poor track 103.

FIG. 3 illustrates the Middle Class track 104. Similar to the Poor track 103, the Middle Class track 104 includes Market, Opportunity, Spiritual Man, Natural Man and Wild Card spaces. However, in the Middle Class track 104 the Monthly Cash designations are superimposed upon and share other spaces creating combination spaces 122, thus comprising approximately one quarter of all spaces in the Middle Class track 104. It will also be noted that outside the Middle Class track 104, positioned between the Poor track 103 and the Middle Class track 104, but adjacent one of the combination spaces 122, is a second Transition Button 112b. This space is the transition marker to which a player moves his game piece after satisfying the condition upon which the player becomes eligible to move from Poor track 103 to Middle Class track 104. In one embodiment of the game, a summary of the eligibility requirement may be printed on the Transition Button. It will further be noted that circumscribed within the Middle Class track 104 are the numbers 1 through 12 arranged according to a clock face 120 to symbolize that wealth at the level of play represented in the Middle Class track 104 remains largely driven by time spent on one's job or in one's profession. Situated on the clock face 120 is the teaching prompt 121. In this embodiment of the game, the teaching prompt reads “Your Time=Money”.

FIG. 4 illustrates the Rich track 105. The Rich track 105 includes spaces marked Monthly Cash, Market, Spiritual Man, Natural Man, and Wild Card. It will also be noted that outside the Rich track 104, positioned between the Middle Class track 104 and the Rich track 105, but adjacent one of the Monthly Cash spaces, is a Transition Button 112c. This Transition Button 112c is the transition marker applicable to players that have satisfied the condition upon which each player may move from Middle Class track 104 to Rich track 105. In one embodiment of the game, the condition of eligibility to move from the Middle Class track 104 to Rich track 105 may be written on the Transition Button 112c. It will further be noted that circumscribed within the Rich track 105 is a depiction of a Wealth System 123 comprising the words “Creativity”, “Leverage”, “Insurable Assets”, “Systems”, and “Cash Flow” alternating with arrows between suggesting to the player that wealth at this level is generated through creativity and developing systems to produce cash flow. This figurative representation of a system for generating cash flow 122 is another teaching device of the game forming one aspect of the game facilitator function discussed herein below. It will also be noted that situated within the circle of the Rich track 105 is the teaching prompt 121. In this embodiment of the game, the teaching prompt 121 reads “Your System & Creativity=Money”.

It will be yet further noted that outside the Rich track 105, positioned to be between the Rich track 105 and the Life of Abundance track 106, is an fourth oval Transition Button 112d. This Transition Button 112d is the transition marker applicable to players that have satisfied the condition upon which each player may move from Rich track 105 to the Life of Abundance track 106. In one embodiment of the game, the condition of eligibility to move from the Rich track 105 to the Life of Abundance track 106 may be written on the Transition Button 112d.

The Life of Abundance track 106 comprises spaces including Natural Man, Spiritual Man, Monthly Cash and Wild Card spaces interspersed with Abundant spaces. An Abundant space is a space having written directly thereon one of the following indicia: a description of an abundant life opportunity, a description of an abundant life activity, or a message reinforcing an abundant life principle. FIG. 5 shows a segment A of the Life of Abundance track 106 containing an exemplary Abundant Life Activity 124, an exemplary Abundant Life Opportunity 125, and an exemplary Abundant Life Message 126.

An Abundant Life Activity 124 is an activity that is generally more common among individuals that are not slaves to the time clock nor to idleness, but that pursue leisure activities that enrich themselves and others. An Abundant Life Opportunity 125 is an opportunity of comparatively greater potential than those available to players on the Poor, Middle Class or Rich tracks of the game. In one embodiment, an Abundant Life Opportunity requires little or no down payment and yields very high returns. In another embodiment, an Abundant Life Opportunity involves a much higher deal face value than the values associated with deals of the other tracks. An Abundant Life Message 126 is an inspirational thought or message that reinforces an a principle of abundance. Such Abundant Life spaces are mingled with other spaces such as those encountered on the Poor, Middle Class and Rich tracks of the game comprising Market, Opportunity, Spiritual Man, Natural Man, Monthly Cash and Wild Card spaces.

Colors used in the game are an important literal and psychological instructional feature of the game. On each of the Poor track 103, Middle Class track 104, Rich track 105 and Life of Abundance track 106, the Monthly Cash spaces are preferably green to signify the receipt of income from all sources. The Natural Man cards and corresponding Natural Man spaces are a dark color, preferably red, to provide contrast to the Spiritual Man cards and corresponding Spiritual Man spaces that are a light color, preferably white. The Market and Opportunity cards and corresponding spaces are of contrasting colors, yet complimentary in color to one another and to the other colors used in the game. In addition, the colors of the Natural Man and Spiritual Man spaces directly correspond to the colors used on the scorecard to track the player's simulated character.

The game is played as a continuous progression through certain milestone objectives. Some of the objectives are financial and some of the objectives are character based. The initial milestone objectives of the game are for each player (1) to acquire an asset, and (2) acquire sufficient assets that the cash flow from those assets is adequate to cover a player-specified amount. In one embodiment of the game, the player-specified amount is the player's salary. In the preferred embodiment of the game, the player-specified amount is the player's expenses. These milestones are stated in the rules and in one embodiment of the game these rules are also indicated on Transition Buttons 112b and 112c, respectively. However, by reaching the first objective, acquiring an asset, the player only advances from the first, or poor socioeconomic level of game play represented by the Poor track 103, to the second or middle class socioeconomic level of game play represented by the Middle Class track 104. Then, by reaching the second objective of acquiring sufficient cash flow producing assets to cover expenses, or alternatively sufficient cash flow producing assets to replace salary, the player advances from the middle class level of play, represented by the Middle Class track 104, to the rich socioeconomic level of play, represented by the Rich track 105.

It should be noted that while these first two levels of play correspond to levels of financial prosperity, they are intended in the preferred embodiment of the present game to symbolize the general progression of the player on the metaphysical plane through increasingly higher levels of simulated character to the same extent the subsequent levels of play also symbolize both levels of financial and simulated character progression. In addition, in all levels of play, the opportunities that are available and the severity of impact of market forces may be different to a player depending on the level of the player's simulated character. However, such differences are not a primary factor in a player's advancement in the first two levels of play.

At the third or rich level of game play, represented by the Rich track 105, the objective of the game turns discernibly more toward the character-based theme of the game. To advance from the Rich track 105 to the fourth or abundant level of play, represented by the Life of Abundance track 106, the player must achieve and maintain a certain minimum level of simulated character. Specifically, a player must attained a minimum proscribed simulated character score and subsequently maintain that score for a proscribed minimum number of turns. A player obtains character through acts of service described more fully hereafter. An objective of the game is to serve others. When traversing the Poor, Middle Class and Rich tracks, a player may sacrifice his turn and instead give units of simulated character to one other player. Once on the Life of Abundance track 106, the capacity of the player to render service in this manner is increased. After reaching the Life of Abundance track 106, the player may give units of simulated character to all fellow players. A player renders service through sharing an edifying message. The content of the message can be a personal experience, an inspiring story, self-improvement tips or financial knowledge. These gifts allow fellow players to increase their respective simulated character, thus allowing them to take advantage of opportunities generally available to players with higher character scores. This gift does not alter the character score of the player giving the gift. Each player records the number of simulated character units given in service to other players as a service score. The service score forms the basis of determining the winner of the game. The game ends when all players have advanced to the Life of Abundance. Once all players have advanced to the Life of Abundance, the person who has the highest service score is declared the winner. Notably, the winner is not necessarily the player that first reaches the Life of Abundance track 106, rather it is generally the player that has most consistently given service to other players during the game. It is through that service to others that all players are more rapidly advanced through the stages of financial and character progression which culminates in every player reaching the Life of Abundance and the conclusion of the game.

Each player is provided a personal scorecard and a writing instrument for recording the consequences of both financial and character related events. The scorecard of the present embodiment as depicted in FIG. 6 comprises spaces for recording all essential personal accounting information as well as a scale for denoting the level of the player's simulated character. The character scale 201 is subdivided into character spaces 202, each of which corresponds to a value representing the number of simulated character units a player has. Each player places a token on the character scale 201 at the number quasi-randomly selected by a random number generator, such as by roll of a die.

Each player fills in certain minimum financial information on the scorecard with values determined according to their own choosing. The information may reflect their own financial condition, that of a friend, or it may be purely imaginary. Space is provided on the scorecard for players to record essential personal accounting information comprising an Asset section 203, an Income section 204, a Liability section 205, an Expense section 206, and a Monthly Cash section 207. In addition, it will be noted that the scorecard 200 according to the present embodiment further comprises spaces for recording notes and thoughts 208, investments in personal development 209, and the number of simulated character units given to other players through acts of service 210.

Each player meets their accountant, which accountant is the person on the player's right. Simulated money is arranged as a bank from which to draw or deposit funds as needed in the course of the game. The players also select a player to act as banker to conduct any transaction involving the bank. Each player selects a game piece and a matching colored token. The game piece is used to mark the player's position and progress through the various tracks of the game. Initially, each player rolls two die and places his token on the number on the character scale 201 on the scorecard 200 that corresponds to the highest number on either of the two dice rolled. Each deck of cards is separately shuffled and placed on the respective card repository spaces on the game board. The players place their game pieces on the starting Transition Button 112a.

The players determine who goes first by a roll of the die, and play continues to the left. Players advance according to the roll of the die. Each time a player lands on or passes over a Monthly Cash space, they are paid from the bank. The amount each player is paid is the net amount after deducting the players monthly expenses from his monthly income, each of which adjusts as game play progresses according to game events encountered. Each time a player lands on a space corresponding to a set of event cards, the player draws a card from the set of cards. In the Poor track 103 a player may also land on the space marked Work an Extra Shift 119, in which case the player loses a unit of character and no card is drawn. In the event the game piece lands on a Wild Card space 117, the player may draw a card from a set of cards of his choice.

Upon drawing a card, the player must read the card aloud. All cards contain a game event usually present in the form of a scenario accompanied by a consequence. FIG. 7 illustrates a form of Small Opportunity card with a single scenario presented. The card in FIG. 7 comprises an event category 301, an event descriptor 302, and a body 303. The exemplary card of FIG. 7 further comprises a teaching prompt 121. The teaching prompt 121 of the present embodiment reads “Serve Few”. It is an indicator of the facilitator aspect of the preferred embodiment of the present invention. In the card illustrated in FIG. 7 it is indicative of the principle that when few are served, the financial reward is small. In contrast, when many are served, the financial reward is typically greater. The single scenario contained in the body of the card 303 of FIG. 7 teaches the principle that when inflation is active, tangible assets increase in value whereas paper assets go down in value. This scenario is further use of the facilitator aspect of the present embodiment of the invention. Also evident in FIG. 7 is an All Player notation 304 indicating that the scenario of FIG. 7 is applicable to all players.

Many of the Market cards, Big Opportunity cards and Small Opportunities present the scenarios in triple side-by-side format with each scenario pertaining to a person with a character score in a specified range. FIG. 8 illustrates one such card, a Small Opportunity card with the game event presented in three different scenarios. The event category 301 of the card is clearly stated at the top. The event descriptor 302 of the subject card, comprising in this example intellectual property, is stated immediately below the event category 301. The first scenario 305 applies to players with a character score of zero to three (0-3) simulated character units. The first scenario 305 presents a deal as viewed by the player of low character. In this case the deal is viewed as too risky and no transaction is completed. The second scenario 306 applies to players with a character score of four (4) or higher. This second scenario 306 presents the same deal along with the results achieved by the person of moderate character. The third scenario 307 only applies to players with a character score of seven (7) or higher. The scenario 307 presents the same deal, with slight enhancement made by the player with high character. The required character to participate in any of the three scenarios is indicated in a character heading 308. Each scenario contains a financial consequence 309. It will be noted that the financial consequence 309 of the third scenario viewed from the perspective of a player with high simulated character yields strong results achieved and available only to such a player.

FIG. 9 illustrates an exemplary form of Big Opportunity card presenting multiple character related scenarios. In the card of FIG. 9 there is a “Serve Many” teaching prompt 121 in the event category block 301. The teaching prompt of this embodiment of the game indicates that the opportunity presented in the card will serve many. Consequently, the financial reward associated with the scenario presented in the card is large relative to the financial rewards available with opportunities marked with the Serve Few teaching prompt 121 seen in FIG. 7. The description of each scenario, the low character scenario 305, the moderate character scenario 306, and the high character scenario 307 further comprises a statement of the down payment 314 needed to initiate the transaction, a statement in the body of the key features of the transaction. The financial consequence in this exemplary card is divided into a statement of the return on investment (ROI) 310 of the transaction, the amount of the loan 311 needed to fund the transaction, the cost or investment 312 required to complete the transaction (typically equal to the down payment 314), and the monthly cash flow 313 generated by the transaction. These statements of ROI 110, Loan 111, Cost 112, and Cash Flow 113 are simplified figures showing the net outcome of the transaction. These figures are transferred to appropriate spaces on the player's scorecard 200 and all affected areas of the scorecard are updated upon completion of the transaction.

The card illustrated in FIG. 10 is an exemplary Market card. It contains an event descriptor 302, a body subdivided into a financial scenario 315 and a financial teaching 316, followed by a financial consequence 309. Like opportunity cards, the body 134 may present scenarios that impact players differently based on the character of the player, or based upon whether the player is positioned in the Poor track 103, the Middle Class track 104, or the Rich track 105. In the example of FIG. 10 the principle taught is that owners of businesses and real estate generally pay less in taxes. The embedding of such lessons in Market cards is another example of the facilitator aspect of the game.

The card depicted in FIG. 11 is an exemplary Natural Man card. Similar to other cards, this card contains an event category 301, an event descriptor 302, a body containing a scenario. In this exemplary card, the body comprises a character scenario 317, a character teaching 318 to be learned and a section presenting the character consequence 319 to be recorded on the scorecard 200. In this exemplary card, the character consequence further comprises a statement of cost 312, a summary statement of the lesson to be learned 321, and a statement of simulated character impact. In the case of a Natural Man card, the character impact is a decrease in simulated character that the player records by moving his token down the character scale 201 on the scorecard 200 the number of spaces 202 noted on the Natural Man card.

The card depicted in FIG. 12 is an exemplary Spiritual Man card. The main difference between a Spiritual Man card and Natural Man card is that the character impact of the exemplary Spiritual Man card increases the player's character. The player records the increase in simulated character by moving his token up the character scale 201 the specified number of spaces 202 indicated on the Spiritual Man card.

Players advance as directed by a pseudo-random number generating device. In this preferred embodiment, the random number generating device is a die; however, it could be a spinner, an electronic number generator, or the like.

Each player may transition among the Poor track 103, the Middle Class track 104, and the Rich track 105 according to whether or not the player's financial condition satisfies the transition eligibility requirement indicated on the transition buttons 112(b) and 112(c). For example, if a player in the Rich track 105 loses an asset, and the loss results in his passive income dropping below that level of passive income required to exceed his expenses, or alternatively dropping below that level of passive income to exceed his salary, he would be required to return to the Middle Class track 104. Similarly, if a player in the Rich track 105, or Middle Class track 104 lost all assets, that player would be required to return to the Poor track 103. However, once a player advances to the Life of Abundance track 106, that player will never be required to return to any of the earlier tracks. This is symbolic of the concept that once a person has evolved to a Life of Abundance, they continue to govern their lives according to those principles even in the face of difficult personal or financial challenges.

Simulated Facilitator

The preferred embodiment of the present invention contains numerous devices for teaching a player financial and character building lessons. Such devices serve as the simulated facilitator of the game. A portion of such devices are passive devices that have been identified herein above comprising the discreet representation of distinct stages of progress along the path to the Life of Abundance represented by the Poor track 103, the Middle Class track 104 and the Rich track 105, the clock face 120, the teaching prompts 121, the wealth system representation 123, the Abundant Life message 126, the statements of financial consequence 309 and the statements of character consequence 319. Exemplary devices creating the active facilitator of the present embodiment are discussed below.

The range of financial principles taught comprises how inflation impacts the value of an asset, how owning certain assets have tax benefits, how currency fluctuations affect the market, how the wealthy tend to invest in secure assets whereas the poor tend to purchase assets that easily decline in value, and how creation of intellectual property is a form of investing and wealth creation.

The range of character related lessons that may be incorporated into character related scenarios is also wide and comprises how a player's environment in the form of socioeconomic class may condition his mind and can influence his decision making, how conversely the decisions one makes can alter his character and improve his socioeconomic condition, how the same set of circumstances can have different outcomes depending on the character of the person encountering such circumstances, how communication builds relationships, and how meditation, pondering and prayer can improve character, how education and training can improve character, and how teaching others from a players own experience can improve character.

One example of the game facilitator is illustrated by the event card shown in FIG. 13. This exemplary Spiritual Man card requires the players to participate in a sharing activity described in the card. In the example, the character scenario 317 requires the players, as noted by the all player notation 304 to comment on the manner of dress of the player that drew the card. The facilitator action consists of guiding questions 325 to be answered by each player. This type of facilitator device creates an environment in game play to draw down barriers that would normally prevent such honest feedback, allowing the players to engage in real-life constructive feedback that can assist the players to evaluate their own real-life actions and how those actions reflect their character outside the context of the game. As shown in the character score impact 322, character units are lost by any player that does not participate in the activity. It is a further teaching device of the character consequence of the present example that there is a penalty imposed for rude responses. By imposing a rudeness penalty 326 the facilitator aspect of the game holds the players accountable for their conduct during game participation in that additional character units are lost by any player that is rude to other players during participation. In addition, the player that drew the card is rewarded with character units for listening to the feedback given by the other players.

Another example of the active facilitation provided by the game is shown in FIG. 14. The card of this embodiment of the facilitation function focuses on all player's 304 relationships outside the game. The facilitator scenario in the exemplary card of FIG. 14 requires all players to reflect on a prescribed number of relationships they have outside the game. The scenario further poses a series of guiding questions 325 designed to guide the players in evaluating how those relationships may be impacting their character. In this example, the character impact 322 is that a player that completes the exercise is awarded two units of character, whereas any player that does not participate in the exercise is penalized three character units.

The range of scenarios that can be used to initiate group discussion and feedback is vast. The event card of FIG. 15 illustrates another example of a facilitator scenario that requires player participation. In this case, the player that draws the card is required to freely share something 328 with the other players, in this case a goal or life objective. As a character impact 322, the player that draws the card is awarded two character units for participating. Additionally, all players that provide counsel or feedback to the first player are awarded one character unit for providing constructive feedback. Further, the other players can be penalized by losing character units if they provide rude or negative feedback as shown by the rudeness penalty 326.

FIG. 16 provides a further example of a facilitator event card that encourages learning applicable outside the game. In this example, the character scenario 317 of the card presents a message about procrastination and contains a further written action 329 requirement. The written action 329 directs all players to write down two things they are procrastinating in their real life and commit in writing to a plan to complete those things. This can sometimes include application to events and/or persons that are non-players of the game. As a character impact 322, players that do not participate are penalized two character units.

FIG. 17 provides yet another example of a facilitator event card requiring action regarding the players' real life circumstances. In this exemplary Spiritual Man card, the character scenario requires a quiet reflection 330, wherein the card presents an inspiring message followed by an instruction for each player to pause and reflect on people in their life that may have a need and to write down their inspired thought. As a character consequence 319, each player that participates by writing down their inspired thought is awarded one character unit, those that do not participate are penalized two character units.

In another illustration of the facilitator aspect of the game, the exemplary game event card of FIG. 18 presents an inspirational message and further directs all players to engage in an external activity 331. In the example of FIG. 17, the activity required is that the players temporarily suspend game play and view a video clip residing on the internet. In this example, the character consequence of completing the activity is three character units awarded to each participant.

In another example of the game design to function as a facilitator, a game event card may offer the player an option to purchase character, representing the real-life equivalent of buying and reading a book or attending a seminar. FIG. 19 depicts one such exemplary game event card in which the body of the card contains a lesson for the player that simulates a lesson that could be learned by an investor attending a live real estate seminar. In this instance, the lesson is taught by means of a visual image 332. It is a further aspect of the present exemplary embodiment that the player may share the lesson with other players, but only if they are willing to pay an amount equivalent to tuition as though they themselves had paid to attend the seminar. As a character consequence, each player that pays to attend the seminar is awarded two character units. In addition, by investing in themselves, each player that symbolically attends the seminar by paying their tuition is also instructed to mark a portion of their scorecard 200 in the prepared Mind section 209. In this embodiment of the game, the Prepared Mind section is labeled “Fortune Favors the Prepared Mind”. Players that have this portion of the scorecard checked will be rewarded by favorable outcomes in other game event cards. Consequently, this function of the game event card and the scorecard provides a means for action taken at one point in game play to yield benefits at later points in game play, just as in real-life, investments one makes in one's self frequently yield unanticipated benefits at later points in life.

FIG. 20 depicts a specific form of Opportunity card. The event descriptor identifies the card event as a “Dirty Deal”. The scenario presented in the body of a Dirty Deal card is a highly profitable transaction; however, the deal is tainted such that if the player completes the deal he will permanently lose potential simulated character. This loss is recorded on the scorecard 200 by eliminating four character unit spaces 202 from the character scale 201. The player records this loss by crossing out the highest numbered spaces on the character scale 201 on the scorecard 200. If the players simulated character token was on one of the removed spaces before the transaction, the player will place it on the next highest available space. On the other hand, if the player rejects the deal, the character consequence is an increase in character. This card and others like it in the game, actively teach the principle that some deals that have good financial consequences are detrimental to the parties that participate.

The exemplary game event card of FIG. 21 is a restorative game event card to cure the impairment depicted in FIG. 20. The card of FIG. 21 allows any player that has previously permanently lost character unit spaces 202 from the character scale 201, to recover the lost character unit spaces by reducing their simulated character score to one. This card facilitates the teaching that if a player suffers serious injury to their character by yielding to the temptation to place financial gain over character, they may recover the potential to further develop their character in the long term but only by making significant sacrifice and enduring the consequences in the short-term.

Yet another example of how the preferred embodiment of the game provides a facilitator function is that, according to the instruction manual, the players conduct a debriefing after game play is complete. During the debriefing, each player is expected to respond to a set of questions contained in the game instruction manual that are designed to help solidify the lessons learned during the game.

Although the present invention has been described in considerable detail with reference to certain preferred versions thereof, other versions are possible. Therefore, the spirit and scope of the appended claims should not be limited to the description of the preferred versions contained herein. The reader's attention is directed to all papers and documents which are filed concurrently with this specification and which are open to public inspection with this specification, and the contents of all such papers and documents are incorporated herein by reference. All the features disclosed in this specification (including any accompanying claims, abstract, and drawings) may be replaced by alternative features serving the same, equivalent or similar purpose, unless expressly stated otherwise. Thus, unless expressly stated otherwise, each feature disclosed is one example only of a generic series of equivalent or similar features.