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Publication numberUS20020125637 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/060,615
Publication date12 Sep 2002
Filing date30 Jan 2002
Priority date31 Jan 2001
Also published asWO2002060545A2, WO2002060545A3
Publication number060615, 10060615, US 2002/0125637 A1, US 2002/125637 A1, US 20020125637 A1, US 20020125637A1, US 2002125637 A1, US 2002125637A1, US-A1-20020125637, US-A1-2002125637, US2002/0125637A1, US2002/125637A1, US20020125637 A1, US20020125637A1, US2002125637 A1, US2002125637A1
InventorsMark Leis
Original AssigneeCreekview Productions Llc
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Word game and methods for conducting same
US 20020125637 A1
Abstract
This invention provides a game for one or more players that is played as a game show, as an interactive home computer game, as an interactive on-line game and as a board game. The game challenges players to answer clues in various categories by identifying an answer of one or more words to the clue, wherein each word in the answer consists exclusively of two or more syllables from the syllables provided. The game provides both entertainment and educational value to the players and audience, if present. The invention also provides methods for conducting and playing the game.
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Claims(30)
What is claimed is:
1. A word game playable by one or more players comprising:
a game board viewable simultaneously by all players, wherein the game board further comprises (i) at least one category, (ii) at least one value option within each category and (iii) a plurality of syllables in a plurality of syllable text boxes;
a clue associated with each value option, wherein the clue is revealed when the value option is selected; and
an answer for the clue, comprising at least one word, wherein the answer consists entirely of the syllables in the syllable text boxes.
2. The word game of claim 1, further comprising points, cash or prizes awarded to the player who correctly answers the associated clue, and wherein each player's score comprises the accumulated points, cash or prizes.
3. The word game of claim 2, further comprising a penalty for an incorrect answer.
4. The word game of claim 1, further comprising a scoreboard for maintaining each player's score.
5. The word game of claim 1, further comprising a plurality of rounds played by the players.
6. The word game of claim 5, wherein the player with the greatest score at the end of the last round played by the players is the winner.
7. The word game of claim 1, further comprising a prize associated with the at least one value option, wherein when the correct answer is given by a player, a prize board replaces the game board, and wherein the prize board comprises (i) the syllable text boxes forming the correct answer, and (ii) a hidden prize or penalty associated with each syllable text box.
8. The word game of claim 1, wherein the game is played as a game show.
9. The word game of claim 1, wherein the game is played as an interactive home computer game.
10. The word game of claim 1, wherein the game is played as an interactive on-line game via the internet.
11. The word game of claim 1, wherein the game is played as a board game.
12. A method for conducting a word game using a predetermined number of players, comprising the steps of:
providing a game board that is visible by the players, wherein the game board comprises (i) at least one category, (ii) at least one value option within each category and (iii) a plurality of syllables in a plurality of syllables text boxes, from which at least one value option is selected by a player;
providing a clue to the players along with the number of syllables found in the correct one or more word answer, wherein the correct answer to the clue consists of two or more syllables selected exclusively from the syllables on the game board;
providing points, cash or prizes to the player giving a correct answer; and
repeating the preceding steps until the game is ended.
13. The method of claim 12, further comprising removing from the game board each of the syllables combined to form the correct answer after the correct answer has been given.
14. The method of claim 12, further comprising penalizing the player giving an incorrect answer.
15. The method of claim 12, further comprising providing a prize for one or more value options and displaying a prize board when the correct answer is given by a player, wherein a syllable text box is selected by a player from the prize board having (i) the syllable text boxes forming the correct answer, and (ii) a hidden prize or penalty associated with each syllable text box.
16. The method of claim 15, further comprising providing an option to play or pass to the player who provides the correct answer.
17. The method of claim 12, further comprising providing the players from a particular age group, and tailoring the game clues to match the age group of the players.
18. The method of claim 12, further comprising providing the players from a particular interest group, and tailoring the game clues to match the interest group of the players.
19. The method of claim 12, further comprising conducting the game as a game show.
20. The method of claim 12, further comprising conducting the game as an interactive home computer game.
21. The method of claim 12, further comprising conducting the game as an interactive on-line game via the internet.
22. The method of claim 12, further comprising conducting the game as a board game.
23. A method for playing a word game having a plurality of players, wherein the game play by each player comprises the steps of:
reviewing a game board that is visible to the players, wherein the game board comprises (i) at least one category, (ii) at least one value option within each category and (iii) a plurality of syllables in a plurality of syllable text boxes;
selecting a value option;
receiving a clue for the selected value option;
providing a one or more word answer to the clue, wherein the answer consists entirely of two or more syllables from the syllable text boxes on the game board;
receiving points, cash or prizes for a correct answer; and
repeating the preceding steps until the game is ended.
24. The method of claim 23, further comprising receiving a penalty for an incorrect answer.
25. The method of claim 23, further comprising, when a prize for one or more value options is provided and the correct answer is given, selecting a syllable text box from a prize board having (i) the syllable text boxes forming the correct answer, and (ii) a hidden prize or penalty associated with each syllable text box.
26. The method of claim 23, further comprising playing a plurality of rounds.
27. The method of claim 23, further comprising playing the game as a game show.
28. The method of claim 23, further comprising playing the game as an interactive home computer game.
29. The method of claim 23, further comprising playing the game as an interactive on-line game via the internet.
30. The method of claim 23, further comprising playing the game as a board game.
Description
    REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS
  • [0001]
    This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Application No. 60/265,807, filed Jan. 31, 2001.
  • FIELD OF THE INVENTION
  • [0002]
    This invention relates to a game providing both entertainment and educational value that can be played as a game show, as an interactive home computer game, as an interactive on-line game and as a board game. The invention also relates to methods for conducting and playing the game.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0003]
    Games have varied formats, diverse contents, and serve numerous purposes. For instance, games are designed to provide entertainment, education, methods for improving or enhancing skills or any combination thereof. Moreover, the goal of an educational game is to stimulate interest in the subject by re-programming learning into a game format. Likewise, games are designed for individual play, competitive play, group play, team challenges and various combinations of players. Similarly, games often combine several purposes in a competitive, entertaining, and even financially rewarding setting.
  • [0004]
    In addition to the many purposes, games are available in various presentation formats including, for example, TV game shows, interactive electronic games, and board games. Interactive electronic games are played on any number of devices, such as portable devices, e.g., Game Boys® and Palm Pilots, game machines, e.g., Sony PlayStation®, Microsoft X-box, Nintendo GameCube™, and personal computers, and on-line systems, e.g., the internet.
  • [0005]
    Because general skills and interests of contestants and audiences are relatively constant over time, a number of TV game show concepts have been developed loosely based on previous games. For example, TV game shows have originated as board games that have been adapted for players before a television audience. Other concepts have been initially developed as a television based game show, and then adapted to be a board game or electronic game. In these cases, even though loosely based on an existing game, the new game comprises so many new and different features that often a totally new game is created. For example, Wheel of Fortune® is loosely based on the well-known game, HangMan, and Hollywood Squares® is loosely based on the common Tic-Tac-Toe game.
  • [0006]
    Likewise, games may be loosely based on puzzles. A number of puzzles exist that use words broken into syllables or listed syllables that combine to create words. These puzzles are found mainly in print media, such as puzzle magazines, and are usually designed to challenge an individual. An example of a puzzle of this type is “Syllacrostics” by Penny Press. In this puzzle, words are broken into syllables and the syllables are listed alphabetically in a box. A series of crossword puzzle type clues or definitions are listed vertically adjacent to blank spaces representing the corresponding answers. The answers to the clues are a combination of the syllables listed in the box. The number of blank spaces for each answer indicates the number of letters in the answer. The number of syllables for each answer is also provided. The object is to fill in the answers to the clues by using all the syllables in the box.
  • [0007]
    However, although puzzles provide individual challenge, they do not provide competitive play. By comparison, a game format is designed to interest a larger amount of players, and entice more people to be challenged by adding a competitive element. Along with the competitive element, a game provides entertainment and educational elements. Additionally, by letting players earn or be awarded prizes increases interest in playing the game, and also makes the game more interesting to those watching the game. Consequently, a game provides many benefits not available in a simple, one player puzzle. Therefore, a game combining competition, entertainment, and education also advances learning by increasing player participation and expanding the audience.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0008]
    The present invention provides a competitive, entertaining and educational game with broad appeal that generates great interest and leads to increased educational opportunities, e.g., improved knowledge, vocabulary, and spelling. Because the game is competitive and entertaining, it attracts players, and an audience to watch the players.
  • [0009]
    In a preferred embodiment of the present invention, the word game playable by one or more players comprises a game board viewable simultaneously by all players. The game board comprises (i) at least one category, (ii) at least one value option within each category and (iii) a plurality of syllables in a plurality of syllable text boxes. When a value option is selected, a clue associated with the value option is revealed. The answer for the clue, comprising at least one word, consists entirely of the syllables in the syllable text boxes. The game includes points, cash or prizes awarded for a correct answer to a clue and a penalty for an incorrect answer to a clue. A player's score is the accumulated points, cash or prizes. In an alternative embodiment, the game is played in rounds, and the player with the greatest score at the end of the last round played is the winner.
  • [0010]
    In addition, in a preferred embodiment, the game comprises a prize associated with at least one value option, wherein when the correct answer is given by a player, a prize board having the syllable text boxes forming the correct answer and a hidden prize option associated with each syllable text box, replaces the game board. The game can be played as a game show broadcast by a national or local network, as an interactive home computer game, as an interactive on-line game or as a board game
  • [0011]
    In another preferred embodiment, a method is provided for conducting the word game, using a predetermined number of players, comprising: providing a game board visible to the players, wherein the game board comprises (i) at least one category, (ii) at least one value option within each category and (iii) a plurality of syllables in a plurality of syllable text boxes, from which at least one value option is selected by a player. Next, a clue associated with the selected value option is provided to the players, along with the number of syllables found in the correct word answer. The correct word answer consists of syllables selected exclusively from the syllables on the game board. Points, cash or prizes are provided to the player who correctly answers the clue. After a correct answer is given, each of the syllables combined to form the correct answer are removed from the game board. The steps are repeated until the game is ended.
  • [0012]
    In yet another preferred embodiment, the method for conducting the word game also comprises providing a prize for one or more value option, so that when a correct answer is given, a prize board having the syllables of the correct answer and a prize or penalty for each syllable is displayed from which the player selects a syllable and receives the prize or penalty revealed. Additionally, in an alternative embodiment, the player who gives the correct answer is provided an option to pass or play. Further provided is a method for conducting the word game as a game show, as an interactive home computer game, as an interactive on-line game via the internet, and as a board game.
  • [0013]
    In yet another preferred embodiment, the present invention provides a method for playing the word game having a plurality of players, wherein the game play by each player comprises reviewing a game board visible to the players, wherein the game board comprises (i) at least one category, (ii) at least one value option within each category and (iii) a plurality of syllables in a plurality of syllable text boxes. Selecting a value option and receiving a clue associated with the selected value option, along with the number of syllables found in the correct word answer. The correct word answer consists of syllables selected exclusively from the syllables on the game board. Then, receiving points, cash or prizes by correctly answering the clue or receiving a penalty for incorrectly answering the clue, and repeating the steps until the game is ended. Additionally, another preferred embodiment comprises playing the game in a plurality of rounds.
  • [0014]
    Moreover, the method for playing the word game also comprises when a prize for one or more value option is provided and a correct answer is given, selecting a syllable from a prize board having the syllables of the correct answer and a prize or penalty for each syllable, and receiving the prize or penalty revealed.
  • [0015]
    Further provided is a method for playing the word game as a game show, as an interactive home computer game, as an interactive on-line game via the internet, and as a board game.
  • [0016]
    Additional objects, advantages and novel features of the invention will be set forth in part in the description, examples and figures which follow, and in part will become apparent to those skilled in the art upon examination of the following, or may be learned by practice of the invention.
  • DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0017]
    The foregoing summary, as well as the following detailed description of the invention, will be better understood when read in conjunction with the appended drawings. For the purpose of illustrating the invention, there are shown in the drawings, certain embodiment(s), which are presently preferred. It should be understood, however, that the invention is not limited to the precise arrangements and instrumentalities shown.
  • [0018]
    [0018]FIG. 1 shows an exemplary game board according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0019]
    [0019]FIG. 2 shows an exemplary game board of FIG. 1 after a selection is made
  • [0020]
    [0020]FIG. 3 shows an exemplary game board of FIG. 1 with a selection made when the selection has a hidden prize.
  • [0021]
    [0021]FIG. 4 shows an exemplary game board of FIG. 1 wherein syllable text boxes are highlighted.
  • [0022]
    [0022]FIG. 5 shows an exemplary prize board according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention.
  • [0023]
    [0023]FIG. 6 shows an exemplary prize board of FIG. 5 wherein a prize option has been chosen.
  • [0024]
    [0024]FIG. 7 shows an exemplary prize board of FIG. 5 with all the prize options revealed.
  • [0025]
    [0025]FIG. 8 shows an exemplary game board with text boxes cleared.
  • [0026]
    [0026]FIG. 9 shows an exemplary final round game board according to a preferred embodiment of the present invention.
  • DESCRIPTION OF A PREFERRED EMBODIMENT OF THE INVENTION
  • [0027]
    The present invention provides a question and answer game with a clear, concise, tight format. In a preferred embodiment, the game is conducted as a game show to be broadcast by a national or local television network. The game of the present invention is also presented as an interactive home computer game, as an interactive on-line game or as a board game.
  • [0028]
    The ability to participate and win the game is a combination of skill and luck. For instance, even though a player gives the correct answer (skill), the player then wins or looses money or points based on the player's subsequent choices (luck). The game tests a player's general knowledge in a variety of categories and requires a certain amount of language vocabulary and spelling ability. In the preferred embodiment described herein, the game uses the English language, however, in alternative embodiments, the game may be played in any language.
  • [0029]
    In a preferred embodiment of the game, the game has three players. However, the game is easily adapted for play with one player, two players, four or more players, or adapted for players on teams.
  • [0030]
    In a preferred embodiment, questions/clues are anything that can be answered with a one word answer of two or more syllables. In alternative embodiments, the game can be modified to include answers of two or more words. The answers are disguised, but in the complete view of the players and viewers, i.e., syllables of the word answers are displayed on the game board arranged in alphabetical or random order.
  • [0031]
    The invention is further described by example of a preferred embodiment. The exemplified preferred embodiment describes a method for conducting the game as a TV game show. This embodiment, however, is provided for purposes of illustration to those skilled in the art, and is not intended to be limiting. Moreover, this embodiment is not to be construed as limiting the scope of the appended claims. Thus, the invention should in no way be construed as being limited to the following embodiment, but rather, should be construed to encompass any and all variations that become evident as a result of the teaching provided.
  • [0032]
    The game as a TV game show is easy for a viewer to understand and follow. Additionally, in an alternative embodiment, the game may be broadcast using Enhanced Interactive Television technology so that viewers at home may play on-line along with the players as the game is broadcast.
  • [0033]
    The game can be played for any length of time. In the preferred embodiment of the TV game show, the show will typically run for thirty or sixty minutes. Thus, for a thirty minute show, the game fills twenty-one to twenty-two minutes of broadcast time with a quickly moving game. The remainder of the time is allocated to advertisements and announcements. In the preferred embodiment, the time criteria in the game is designed so that a complete game comprising two regular rounds and one final round are completed in the total time allotted for the show. However, in alternative embodiments of the game show, the game has a single regular round or more than two regular rounds. Additionally, in alternative embodiments, the game is not completed in a single time slot, so that the same game is continued in another time slot. Likewise, in alternative embodiments, the game is completed prior to the end of the time allotted, so that another game is played, or at least started, within the time slot.
  • [0034]
    In the preferred embodiment, the TV game show is taped in front of a studio audience for later broadcast. However, in alternative embodiments the TV game show could be live, or could be taped without a studio audience.
  • [0035]
    Grand prizes not won by the players in a specific game may accumulate over subsequent games or broadcasts. Consequently, as prize values build, additional viewer interest is generated.
  • [0036]
    The Game
  • [0037]
    Variations may be made at a number of points in the rules or throughout the progress of the game as embodied below, and the values of the points or cash prizes awarded may vary. Additionally, prizes may be substituted for those proposed in the exemplified embodiment. However, such variations are intended to be within the scope of the invention, so long as the resulting program contains the basic elements of continuity of entertainment and so long as play proceeds through the “rounds” essentially as described below, in which the object remains to be the player to accumulate the highest score. “Score” is used herein to mean the accumulated points, cash or cash equivalents, e.g., prizes.
  • [0038]
    Object of the Game—to Win:
  • [0039]
    The object of the game is to accumulate the highest number of points or cash value by correctly answering questions/clues with a word answer that consists entirely of the syllables provided on the game board for that particular round.
  • [0040]
    The game is played in rounds, wherein a “round” is used herein to mean an interval of play that occupies a specified time, comprises a certain number of plays, or allows each player a turn. The game comprises regular rounds and a final or champion round. In the preferred embodiment, the game comprises two regular rounds, i.e., a first round and a second round, and a final round.
  • [0041]
    The player with the highest number of points, cash or cash value of prizes at the end of the regular rounds becomes the winner and advances to the final round. Only the winner is awarded his/her winnings. The other players receive consolation prizes. In an alternative embodiment, all the players play the final round, and the winner is the player with the highest number of points or cash value of prizes at the end of the final round. The winner also has the opportunity to play in the next game or on the next show against new players, and earn more prizes.
  • [0042]
    In a preferred embodiment, a player may appear in an unlimited number of games until the player looses, but may not appear in more than five consecutive programs in one week. For example, if the player wins four games in one week, he/she may return the following week and win up to five consecutive times in the following week. Additionally, once a player loses a game, he/she cannot play again for at least two years.
  • [0043]
    However, in a special tournament, the rule that limits the number of times a player can win in one week may be waived. In tournament play, the player may continue to win and return to play for the life of the tournament, e.g., five to twenty games. Additionally, participation in special tournaments may waive the rule limiting a player from returning in less than two years. For example, a special tournament may invite the players with the highest winnings to return to compete against each other.
  • [0044]
    Playing the Game:
  • [0045]
    In the preferred embodiment, there are three players, but the number could be varied, as would be recognized by one familiar with game shows and their operation. Additionally, in the preferred embodiment, there is at least one host and at least one announcer. The host facilitates the flow of the game by recognizing which player is next to act, reading the questions/clues to the players and the audience, and providing additional commentary or information about the subjects revealed during the game. The game show announcer provides descriptions of prizes and merchandise awarded in the game show. In the preferred embodiment, the announcer is on-camera, however, alternatively, the announcer may be offcamera and provide audio descriptions. In yet another alternative embodiment, the host and the announcer roles are performed by one individual.
  • [0046]
    Game board 1 is displayed so that it is visible at all times by the host, all the players, the audience and the camera for broadcast to the television audience. In an alternative embodiment, the host also has an individual game board located so that it is easier for the host to read the questions/clues. In the preferred embodiment, game board 1 is computer generated.
  • [0047]
    In the preferred embodiment as shown in FIG. 1, game board 1 comprises header portion 2, syllable text box portion 3 and scoreboard portion 4. Header portion 2 displays four categories 5, with four value options 6 within each category 5. Categories 5 are changed for each round. In a preferred embodiment, value options 6 are cash values and are doubled in each subsequent round. Alternatively, value options 6 may remain the same for the entire game, or may be increased by some other factor in lieu of doubling the values. In alternative embodiments, value options 6 are point values, merchandise, or other prizes. Each value option 6 is associated with a word answer 7. The four categories 5 with four value options 6 in each provide a total of sixteen word answers 7 on game board 1. Alternatively, the number of categories 5 and the number of value options 6 may vary. For instance, the game may comprise one category 5 in which, or for which, there are three or more value options 6.
  • [0048]
    In the preferred embodiment as shown in FIG. 1, the sixteen word answers contain a combined total of forty-eight (48) syllables. In alternative embodiments, the number of syllables comprising the word answers could vary. Syllable text box portion 3 of game board 1, located just below header portion 2, displays the forty-eight syllables in syllable text boxes 8. The syllable text boxes 8 are listed in alphabetical order with six columns and eight rows of syllable text boxes (see FIG. 1). Alternatively, syllable text boxes 8 could be in random order. Similarly, in alternative embodiments, syllable text boxes 8 could be listed in any number of columns and any number of rows. In yet another embodiment, a number of unrelated syllables, i.e., not related to any word answer, may be added to the syllable text box portion 3 of game board 1. The unrelated syllables increase the difficulty of the game by adding more choices the players must review to discover the syllables of the correct word answer 7.
  • [0049]
    In a preferred embodiment of the game show, player's scores are displayed on electronic signs located in front of each player. Alternatively, or in addition, as shown in FIG. 1, scoreboard portion 4 of game board 1 is located at the bottom of game board 1. However, scoreboard portion 4 could be located on the top of game board 1, or alternatively, on a separate screen. Scoreboard portion 4 lists the names of each player and shows the current point or cash value of the cumulative winnings, i.e., score, of each player.
  • [0050]
    Game board 1 is a computer screen image displayed on a video wall preferably at least six feet by eight feet in size. Alternatively, game board 1 may be of any size so long as header portion 2 and all syllable text boxes 8 are all clearly visible to the host, all the players, and the audience at all times. During the play of the game, the viewer at home will either see game board 1 as a full display on his/her TV screen, such as when a question/clue is given, or in the background of set shots.
  • [0051]
    In alternative embodiments, game board 1 may be displayed on various other fixtures such as, but not limited to, player computer screens, TV monitors, and display grids.
  • [0052]
    The goal of the game is for players to combine the syllables text boxes 8 into word answers 7 based on the questions/clues 9 provided.
  • [0053]
    First Round:
  • [0054]
    Each value option 6 on game board 1 is assigned a question/clue 9. The difficulty of the question/clue may or may not increase with increased points or cash values of value option 6. Additionally, one or more prizes are hidden behind one or more value options 6. If value option 6 with a hidden prize is selected by the player, the player has the opportunity to win the points or cash value of the value option 6, win the specified merchandise or prize, or “wipe out.” “Wipe out” means the player looses all the points, cash and prizes accumulated to that point in the game. In an alternative embodiment, a different phrase or word, e.g., “Bankrupt” may be used in lieu of “Wipe Out.” Additionally, in another embodiment, the player may loose only a portion of the accumulated points, cash and prizes.
  • [0055]
    The returning winner or champion is the player who begins the first round. At the start of a new game, where no winner or champion exists, the players draw lots to determine who begins the first round. In alternative embodiments, a preliminary round or preliminary test may determine the player who begins the first round. In yet another embodiment, a coin toss may determine the player who begins the first round. The player selects any one of the available value options 6 within the four categories 5. During the game, the host then directs play by identifying, for the players and the audience, which player makes the next selection.
  • [0056]
    As shown in FIG. 2, after a value option 6 selection is made, by the player, game board 1 header portion 2 changes to a clue header and displays: selected category 5, selected points or cash value, the number of syllables in associated word answer 7, and question/clue 9 associated with selected value option 6. The clue screen is exemplified in FIG. 2 which shows category 5 as “Games and Sports,” selected cash value as “$300,” number of syllables as “2 syllables,” and question/clue 9 as “The Superstar of Basketball.”
  • [0057]
    However, as shown in FIG. 3, if hidden prize 10 is associated with selected value option 6, game board 1 header portion 2 changes to a prize header and displays: selected category 5, the selected points or cash value, type of prize or merchandise, and a note to describe prize 10 to the players. The exemplary prize header shown in FIG. 3 shows selected category 5 as “Child Classics,” selected cash value as “$400,” type of prize or merchandise as “Television,” and the note “Mindie, tell us about the prize.” In the example of FIG. 3, Mindie is the announcer. During a brief description of the prize, provided by the game show announcer, a picture of prize 10 temporarily replaces the computer generated game board 1. After prize 10 is described, game board 1 header portion 2 reverts back to the clue screen and displays category 5, cash value, number of syllables in associated word answer 7, and question/clue 9, similar to the display when a value option 6 without hidden prize 10 is selected.
  • [0058]
    The host then reads question/clue 9. For example, as shown in FIG. 2 the clue may be “The superstar of Basketball.”
  • [0059]
    All the players then have the opportunity to activate an indicator to answer question/clue 9. The indicator may be of any type used in the art, such as a buzzer or a light. The indicators are mutually exclusive, so that activation of the first indicator deactivates all other players' indicators.
  • [0060]
    A specific period of time is allowed to answer question/clue 9, e.g., eight seconds. Other times may be used but less than three seconds makes it very difficult for the players to formulate an answer. More than fifteen or twenty seconds slows the game progress so that fewer rounds are completed and the audience may lose interest. Also advertisers are adverse to sponsoring long periods of dead air time while players are thinking.
  • [0061]
    In a preferred embodiment of the invention, if no player activates an indicator after a specified time, e.g., three seconds, the first syllable of the word answer is highlighted on game board 1 and the point or cash value of selected value option 6 is reduced by 50%. If no player activates an indicator after another specified period of time, e.g., another three seconds, and if the answer is three or more syllables, the second syllable is highlighted on game board 1 and the point or cash value of selected value option 6 is reduced by another 50%, i.e., to 25% of the original amount. In alternative embodiments, the specified times and point or cash value reductions may vary.
  • [0062]
    The first player to activate an indicator is given the opportunity to provide word answer 7 that answers question/clue 9 by combining available syllable text boxes 8. For example, as shown in FIG. 4, the answer combines syllable text box 8, “JOR” and syllable text box 8, “DAN” for a correct answer of “JORDAN.” When a player gives the correct answer, syllable text boxes 8 for word answer 7 are highlighted on game board 1 (see FIG. 4). The full word answer 7 is then displayed in the question/clue area of game board 1, i.e., the answer replaces the clue in header portion 2. For a point or cash value selection, the player is awarded the associated points or cash value. That player's scoreboard portion 3 of game board 1 is then adjusted to add the points or cash value to the player's score.
  • [0063]
    The last player to correctly answer a prior word answer 7 selects the next value option 6.
  • [0064]
    On the other hand, if a player gives an incorrect answer to question/clue 9, the player suffers a penalty, and the points or cash value of the selected value option 6 and assigned question/clue 9 is subtracted from the player's score. If there is any time remaining from the original allowed time, the remaining two players then have an opportunity to answer question/clue 9. If the second player gives an incorrect answer, the second player receives the same penalty. Again, if any time is left, the remaining player then has the opportunity to answer. In alternative embodiments, once an incorrect answer is given, the remaining players do not have the ability to answer the question/clue 9, thus placing even more emphasis on being the first to activate an indicator.
  • [0065]
    When a player gives a correct answer and the selected value option 6 had an associated hidden prize, the screen image of game board 1 is transformed into a prize board 11. As shown in FIG. 5, prize board 11 displays syllable text boxes 8 of the correct word answer 7 and identifies each syllable by number. Each syllable is associated with a prize option 12. Prize options 12 include: the initial point or cash value of the selected value option 6, the previously described prize 10, a “Wipe Out,” and one or more “Try Again.” The “Try Again” selection does not award a prize or penalty. The “Try Again” option permits the player to select another prize option 12. Therefore, if “Try Again,” appears as the player's selection, the player selects another prize option 12. The second selection then determines the prize or penalty that the player receives.
  • [0066]
    In order to exemplify the play of the game, examples provided below use the players, Mike, Beth and Josh as shown in the corresponding Figures.
  • [0067]
    After prize board 11 is displayed, the player who gave the correct word answer 7 has an option to “Pass or Play.” For example, if as shown in FIG. 4, Josh answers the clue with the correct answer “JORDAN,” and if Josh chooses to “Play,” Josh selects one syllable/prize option 12 to determine which prize or penalty he wins. Generally, only word answers 7 comprising three or more syllables have hidden merchandise or prizes, so that, at least one syllable has the merchandise or prize, one syllable has the point or cash award, and the third syllable has a “Wipe Out.” On the other hand, if Josh elects to “Pass,” Josh chooses one of the other players, i.e., Mike or Beth, to play in his place. If Josh chooses Beth, Beth then has the obligation to select a syllable/prize option 12 from the prize board 11. In an alternative embodiment, Beth, may then Play or Pass to yet another player, i.e., Mike.
  • [0068]
    The player who selects a prize option 12 from the prize board 11 also selects the next value option 6. Thus, when a player passes his/her opportunity to select a prize option 12 from the prize board 11 to another player, he/she also passes the opportunity to select the next value option 6. Therefore, contrary to the process described above, when a player passes this opportunity, the player providing the correct word answer 7 does not select the next value option 6.
  • [0069]
    The player selects a syllable number/prize option 12 and acquires the prize or penalty of the associated prize option 12 revealed (see FIG. 6). After the selection is made, the selection is indicated on prize board 11. In the preferred embodiment, syllable text box 8 of selected prize option 12 on prize board 11, is replaced with a larger text box indicating the prize or penalty won (see FIG. 6). In alternative embodiments, the indication may be made in any manner, such as highlighting, coloring, or flashing syllable text box 8 or the like. Accordingly, the player's score shown on game board 1 scoreboard portion 3 are adjusted based on the point or cash value of the prize 10 or penalty.
  • [0070]
    Consequently, the pass/play aspect of the hidden prize adds an additional strategy aspect in playing the game and also increases audience interest because they are also guessing the answer while they watch. Part of the interest for the audience is their speculation that they could do better than the actual players. By passing the opportunity to select a prize option 12, Josh gives Beth the opportunity to earn better or more valuable prizes even though Beth did not answer correctly. On the other hand, by passing the opportunity to select prize option 12, Josh passes the risk of selecting “Wipe out” to Beth. Similarly, the player who passes the opportunity to select prize option 12 gives up the opportunity to select the next value option 6.
  • [0071]
    The remaining syllables/prize options 12 are then displayed to show what the player may have won or lost if a different syllable had been selected (see FIG. 7).
  • [0072]
    After an incorrect word answer is given, or if time expires before word answer 7 is correctly provided, the host gives the answer and no points or prize is awarded.
  • [0073]
    After each correct word answer 7, or when time has expired following an incorrect answer, or no answer is provided by a player for word answer 7, syllable text boxes 8 for the correct word answer 7 are cleared from game board 1 (see FIG. 8). Therefore, each syllable text box 8 has one associated word answer 7, so that no syllable text box 8 is used twice. In alternative embodiments, syllable text boxes 8 may have more than one associated word answer 7 and are not cleared from game board 1.
  • [0074]
    After each word answer 7 is provided, whether by a player or by the host, the game show host may provide some additional comments offering interesting or factual information related to word answer 7.
  • [0075]
    A value option choice is completed when the answer has been provided, either by a player or by the host, and the associated syllable text boxes 8 have been highlighted and cleared from game board 1. The game then continues with the next player's selection of the next value option.
  • [0076]
    Game board 1 is redisplayed and the player then selects the next value option 6.
  • [0077]
    In the preferred embodiment, the round ends when there are two value options 6 remaining. When only two value options 6 remain, there are so few syllable text boxes 8 left that there is little challenge to determine the final answers. Alternatively, the round may end when the time remaining is the time required to play a final round. The value options 6 and associated questions/clues 9 not selected in the round are discarded. In yet another embodiment where unrelated syllables are added to game board 1, the round may continue until all the value options 6 have been selected.
  • [0078]
    Second Round.
  • [0079]
    The second round is played similarly to the first round described above. A new game board 1 is displayed for the second round with four new categories 5 and sixteen new value options 6 with question/clues 9 and the corresponding word answers 7. The points or cash value of value options 6 are doubled for the second round. In alternative embodiments, the value of value options 6 may remain the same for subsequent rounds or may change by a different factor. Similar to the first round described above, in the preferred embodiment, the second round ends when there are two value options 6 remaining or when the time remaining is required to play a final round. Additionally, as described above, in alternative embodiments having unrelated syllables on game board 1, the round may end when all value options 6 have been selected. As with the first round, the question/clues not selected are discarded. At the end of the second round the player with the highest score, i.e., highest points or cash value of prizes, becomes the winner and advances to the final round.
  • [0080]
    If two or more players are tied, there is a “Tie Break Session.” For the Tie Break Session, the remaining syllables are randomly assigned a point or cash value. No two randomly assigned point or cash values are the same. The tied players each select one of the remaining syllables. The point or cash value assigned to the selected syllable is added to the player's score. The player with the highest score after the Tie Break Session is the winner. If two or more players are still tied after the first selection, then the tied players select again.
  • [0081]
    Final Round
  • [0082]
    In the preferred embodiment, the single player with the most cumulative points or cash value, i.e., score, at the end of the second round plays the final round. This round gives the winner of the regular rounds the opportunity to win a grand prize in addition to the cash and prizes won to this point. In an alternative embodiment, all of the players play in the final round.
  • [0083]
    A final round game board 13 replaces game board 1 (see FIG. 9). Header portion 2 of final round game board 13 displays two categories 5 and three value options 6 in each category 5, for a total of six word answers 7. As with the hidden prizes in the regular rounds, a predetermined number of value options 6 have an associated hidden grand prize 14.
  • [0084]
    The six word answers 7 contain a combined total of twenty-four syllables. Syllable text box portion 3 of final round game board 13 displays the twenty-four syllables text boxes 8 in alphabetical or random order listing six syllables across and four rows down.
  • [0085]
    As with the regular rounds, in alternative embodiments, the number of categories, the number of value options, the number of syllables, and the number of hidden grand prizes in the final round may vary. Similarly, in alternative embodiments, the column and row arrangement of the syllable text boxes may vary. Additionally, as in the regular rounds, unrelated syllables may be added to increase the difficulty of the game.
  • [0086]
    Unlike the regular rounds, the value options 6 displayed on the final round game board 13 list numbers and does not list a value. Each value option 6 is assigned a minimum point or cash value amount, e.g., $1,000. In addition to the minimum point or cash value, each value option may have either a grand prize, merchandise prize, or larger cash prize associated with the value option 6. The final round does not include a penalty for an incorrect answer or a “Wipe Out” choice, so that the player does not loose any accumulated awards in the final round.
  • [0087]
    The player selects a value option 6. The final round then proceeds following essentially the same rules as the regular rounds described above.
  • [0088]
    If the player gives the correct answer, syllable text boxes 8 for word answer 7 are highlighted on final round game board 13 screen and the full word is displayed in the question/clue area of header portion 2.
  • [0089]
    Similar to the regular rounds, if a value option 6 with a hidden prize is selected, and the player answers correctly, final round game board 13 is replaced by prize board 11 (see FIG. 5). However, since only one player is playing the final round, the player does not have the ability to Pass. The player selects a syllable/prize option 12 to determine the prize or penalty he/she has won. As in previous rounds, on prize board 11, syllable text box 8 of the selected prize option 12 is replaced with a larger text box indicating the prize or penalty won (see FIG. 6).
  • [0090]
    The player wins the prize or penalty selected. The player's score is adjusted based on the points or cash value of the prize.
  • [0091]
    The prizes for the remaining syllable/prize options 12 are then displayed to show what the player may have won or lost if a different syllable had been selected.
  • [0092]
    For merchandise or prize awards revealed in a selected syllable prize option 12, the announcer provides a brief description of the merchandise or prize. During the description of the merchandise or prize, final round game board 13 is temporarily replaced by an image of the merchandise or prize as the description is read.
  • [0093]
    If the player answers question/clue 9 incorrectly, the game is over.
  • [0094]
    The value options 6 and associated questions/clues 9 not selected in the final round are discarded.
  • [0095]
    As in the regular rounds, the game show host may provide additional comments and interesting factual information related to word answer 7.
  • [0096]
    Whether the player answers question/clue 9 in the final round correctly or incorrectly, the player has the opportunity to play in the next show.
  • [0097]
    End of the Show
  • [0098]
    In the preferred embodiment, a single game, and the associated rounds, are completed in the allotted time frame for the game show. In alternative embodiments, the game may end prior to the allotted time frame and a new game may be started or the game may not be completed within the allotted time frame and may continue to the next broadcast. The show is broadcast on a regularly occurring schedule. In the preferred embodiment, the winner returns to play a new game with new players. However, in alternative embodiments, the winner of each game is retired and all new players play each game, or a champion game or games are played in which each player has been a winner of at least one regular game.
  • [0099]
    Studio Set
  • [0100]
    The studio set layout is of any style as would be recognized by those in the television industry familiar with game show formats. In the preferred embodiment, the game board screen is between the host and the players permitting both the players and the audience to view the progress of the game and status of the players. This format allows the audience to see everything from any seat, facilitates television camera coverage, and allows for creativity in the development of the set.
  • [0101]
    This game show will attract a very large viewing audience because it is a simple format. The game offers a personal and competitive challenge and also provides an educational element.
  • [0102]
    Alternative Embodiments
  • [0103]
    It will be appreciated that, although specific embodiments of the invention have been described herein for purposes of illustration, various modifications may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. For example in a preferred embodiment, the TV show is adapted to younger audiences, e.g., ages 16-22, or even younger, by changing the categories. The winnings could include spring break packages, college tuition, computers, electronics, bikes and other recreational items.
  • [0104]
    In another embodiment of the TV game show, the game is played by celebrity contestants and the prize money or prizes could be directed to one or more charities. A particular show could focus entirely on a charitable purpose, such as the American Red Cross, or each celebrity contestant could have his/her own selected charity to which his/her winnings are directed.
  • [0105]
    In yet another embodiment, the entire show has a theme e.g., without limitation, a college theme, a wedding theme, or a music or sports theme, with contestants selected accordingly. The contestants could even operate in pairs, such as newly married couples answering together on a wedding theme show, or a celebrity paired with a non-celebrity player, or teams could be larger, such as an entire family or members of the cast of a selected TV show, or several players from a sports team.
  • [0106]
    In yet another embodiment, the show may be played by students in a school setting. The game may be played essentially the same as described above using selected student players, selected student teams, or the teacher may present the clues to the entire class. The game could be played as a competition between classes in a school or between teams or players from different schools. The game may be live or taped to be used as an educational tool. Points could be accrued toward a class party or they could be used to determine a portion of a student's grade. The game is particularly useful as an educational tool because of the combined emphasis on language (syllables) and on the subject matter of the game categories, e.g., history, geography, literature and the like. It also enables students to overcome speaking before the class because of the game setting.
  • [0107]
    Along with the televised game show version of the game, another embodiment of the present invention is playing the game as an electronic interactive home computer game. The method of this embodiment can be played on any number of devices, such as, but not limited to, portable devices, e.g., Game Boy® and Palm Pilot, game machines, e.g., Sony PlayStation®, Microsoft X-box, Nintendo GameCube™, and personal computers. In this alternative embodiment, the cash values are replaced with point values, so that the winner is determined by the player with the most points. Likewise, the electronic interactive home version does not award prizes or include a host or announcer as in the TV game show embodiment of the game.
  • [0108]
    Another embodiment of the present invention is playing the game as an interactive on-line game. Similar to the electronic interactive home computer game, in an embodiment of the interactive on-line game, points are awarded in lieu of cash and prizes. In yet another embodiment of the in-line electronic game, prizes and merchandise are available through the internet for players of the game. Players may be selected by on-line competitions, and the TV game show described above can be readily adapted to allow players to join in from home via the internet. The rules are otherwise as disclosed above. However, a particular advantage of participation by game players over the internet is the enhanced market for advertisers, e.g., by banners and promotional opportunities.
  • [0109]
    In another alternative embodiment, the game of the present invention is played as a board game. In this embodiment, the computer generated game board is replaced by a paper, plastic or similar board with a series of pre-printed inserts that are substituted or replaced for each round. The board game may include a set of boards, so that different sets of inserts are placed in different boards representing the game board, the prize board and the final round game board. Similarly, a series of inserts or cards may be used to change the categories and clues. The game board may be designed so that inserts are placed behind cut outs on the game board so that the value options are read through the cutouts and are varied by sliding preprinted inserts in relation to the cutouts. Points are used in the board game in place of cash or prizes, however, the points associated with each value option may vary by varying the inserts. The winner of the game is the player with the highest number of points at the end of the game. The game may be played in a series of rounds. The game may end when a predetermined number of points are reached by a player or when a predetermined number of rounds have been played.
  • [0110]
    As with the embodiments described above, the board game version of the game may be adapted for specific players or specific themes. For example, the board game may be adapted for play by specific age groups, such as young school age, teenagers or college level players. Similarly, the board game may be adapted for specific themes, such as specific school or educational subjects, travel, sports or the like. The board game is available to players without access to computers or the internet.
  • [0111]
    Each and every patent, patent application and publication that is cited in the foregoing specification is herein incorporated by reference in its entirety.
  • [0112]
    While the foregoing specification has been described with regard to certain preferred embodiments, and many details have been set forth for the purpose of illustration, it will be apparent to those skilled in the art that the invention may be subject to various modifications and additional embodiments, and that certain of the details described herein can be varied considerably without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Such modifications, equivalent variations and additional embodiments are also intended to fall within the scope of the appended claims.
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Classifications
U.S. Classification273/272
International ClassificationA63F3/04
Cooperative ClassificationA63F2300/407, A63F9/0098, A63F3/0423, A63F2300/409
European ClassificationA63F9/00W, A63F3/04F