Patent application title: COMMUNICATIONS GAME AND METHOD OF PLAYING THE SAME
George A. Castineiras (Farmington, CT, US)
Caitlin S. Castineiras (Farmington, CT, US)
Castineiras Companies, LLC
IPC8 Class: AA63F102FI
Class name: Amusement devices: games card or tile games, cards or tiles therefor card or tile structure
Publication date: 2011-03-17
Patent application number: 20110062666
A communications game including topic cards for displaying one of a
question or requirement to one or more players; and a plurality of
containers configured to resemble mailboxes, each of the containers
defining an interior area for receiving a written response from one or
more of the players to the question or requirement.
1. A communications game comprising:a plurality of topic cards, at least a
portion of said topic cards displaying one of a question or requirement
to one or more players; anda plurality of containers configured to
resemble mailboxes, each of said containers defining an interior area for
receiving a written response from one or more of said players to said
question or requirement.
2. A communications game of claim 1, further comprising at least a portion of said topic cards remaining blank for player generated questions or requirements.
3. A communications game of claim 1, further comprising a plurality of message materials upon which said written response can be generated.
4. A communications game of claim 3, further comprising postage means for placement on said message materials prior to depositing said message materials into one or more of said containers.
5. A communications game of claim 4, wherein said postage means comprises custom postage having player created artwork displayed thereon.
6. A communications game of claim 5, comprising a kit for creating said custom postage with player created artwork thereon, said kit including at least one of art forms for creating said artwork and an ordering form for ordering said custom postage materials for use on mail.
7. A communications game of claim 3, wherein said plurality of message materials includes at least one of an envelope, a writing substrate, a drawing substrate and an electronic storage device.
8. A communications game of claim 1, wherein said topic cards are manufactured from paper or cardstock.
9. A communications game of claim 8, wherein said paper or cardstock is coated with a material capable of being marked and erased.
10. A communications game of claim 1, wherein said topic cards are stored on an electronic storage device selected from a compact disc or a diskette.
11. A communications game of claim 1, wherein said topic cards are displayed on a handheld electronic device.
12. A communications game of claim 1, comprising player indicia for decorating said plurality of containers and said plurality of message materials.
13. A communications game of claim 11, wherein said player indicia is selected from a group consisting of labels, stamps, stamping devices, a hat, a badge, and combinations thereof.
14. A communications game of claim 1, wherein at least one of said plurality of containers includes mounting means for removably securing said at least one container to a surface in response to a force applied to said mounting means.
15. A communications game of claim 14, wherein said mounting means includes at least one of a suction cup, a hook and loop fastener and an adhesive.
16. A method of playing a communications game including:providing a plurality of topic cards, a plurality of message materials and a plurality of containers for receiving said message materials;displaying one of a question or a requirement on one of said topic cards to one or more players;said players marking a response to said question or requirement on at least one of said plurality of message materials; andaddressing said message material including said response to an intended player.
17. A method of playing a communications game according to claim 16, further comprising:depositing said plurality of message materials into at least one of said plurality of containers.
18. A method of playing a communications game according to claim 16, further comprising:depositing said plurality of message materials into a collection mailbox.
19. A method of playing a communications game according to claim 18, further comprising:collecting said deposited message materials from said collection mailbox; anddistributing said collected message materials to the intended players.
20. A method of playing a communications game according to claim 16, further comprising:providing a kit for creating custom postage materials for use on message materials, said kit including at least one of art forms for creating said artwork and an ordering form for ordering said custom postage materials for use on mail.
This application claims priority to U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 61/242,038, filed on Sep. 14, 2009, which is incorporated by reference in its entirety herein. This application is related to U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/168,651, filed on Jun. 27, 2005, U.S. patent application Ser. No. 11/396,895 filed Apr. 3, 2006 and U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/017,351 filed Dec. 28, 2007, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference in their entirety.
The present disclosure relates generally to a game and more particularly to a game for promoting communication between the players.
Communication, particularly amongst family members and individual-to-individual is an important facet in every day life. A lack of communication can detrimentally affect such things as family unity and the ability to address problems and difficulties in a timely manner and promotes isolationism.
Even when communication occurs, people are sometimes reluctant to directly discuss certain problems or to express certain emotions. This reluctance can vary from person to person. Accordingly, there is a need for a mechanism whereby issues and emotions can be communicated in a non-threatening manner. Furthermore, the development of communication skills, particularly the early development of such skills, is of significant benefit as one progresses through life as well as in business relationships.
According to aspects of the present invention, a communications game is provided that includes a plurality of containers in the form of a mailbox. Materials are also provided upon which messages or images can be created for insertion into the containers. Topic cards having questions written thereon can be provided with players awaiting an answer to each question and placing the answer on message materials that are delivered to a desired container. Alternatively, a player may ask his/her own question and require players to respond with a statement, picture, recording or the like. A player can be designated as the postman and collect and deliver the responses, or the players can deliver their own responses.
BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
Referring now to the Figures, which are exemplary embodiments, and wherein the like elements are numbered alike:
FIG. 1 is a is a schematic view of elements of a communications game; and
FIG. 2 is a view of topic cards of the communications game.
These and other embodiments are described in detail herein.
As shown in FIG. 1, a communications game 10 includes a plurality of containers 12 and message materials 14 upon which messages or images can be created. The message materials 14, with messages and/or images created thereon, may be inserted in or provided to the containers 12. In one example, the containers 12 may be in the form of mailboxes having interior areas defined thereby.
In one example the message materials 14 include envelopes 16 with a writing substrate 18 inserted therein. While an envelope 16 has been shown and described, the present invention is not limited in this regard as the envelope can be omitted without departing from the broader aspects of the invention. The writing substrate 18 can be in the form of paper, greeting cards, note cards, postcards, and the like.
While the message materials 14 have been shown and described as including an envelope and a writing substrate, the communications game 10 is not limited in this regard as drawing substrates, and electronic storage devices such as voice recorders, cassette tapes, compact discs and the like may be substituted or used in addition to envelopes and writing substrates. Where a voice recorder is employed, separate recorders may be employed and once recorded upon, placed in a desired mailbox or the voice recorder could be incorporated into the mailbox.
When the containers 12 are in the form of mailboxes, each mailbox can include a flag 20 thereon, moveable between a raised position to indicate that a message is in the mailbox, and a closed position. Each flag 20 can be of a different color. Although the mailboxes 12 are shown and described as including the flag 20 and the door 22, the present invention is not limited in this regard as other mailbox configurations can be employed including but not limited to those created by one or more of the players.
Each mailbox 12 can also include a door 22 thereon, movable between an open position allowing access to the interior area of the mailbox, and a closed position. Each mailbox 12 can also include a slot 24 shown in the illustrated embodiment as being defined by the door 24. The message materials 14, provided they are of an appropriate size, may be slid through the slot 24 instead of opening the door 22.
While not illustrated in FIG. 1, it is contemplated that each mailbox 12 may also be provided with means for removably mounting the mailbox to a surface. The surface may be vertical such as, but not limited to, a wall or door, or the surface may be horizontal such as a counter top, table top or a desk top. The means for attachment includes, but is not limited to, suction cups, hook and loop fasteners, adhesives, and the like.
While four mailboxes 12 and four sets of message materials 14 are shown in FIG. 1, the communication game 10 is not limited in this regard as any number of mailboxes or message materials may be employed. The number of mailboxes 12 and sets of message materials 14 employed during play of the communication game 10 may be determined by the number of players involved in the game.
Still referring to FIG. 1, the communications game 10 also includes personalization materials such as writing instruments 26. The writing instruments 26 include, but are not limited to, crayons, markers, pencils, paints and brushes and combinations thereof.
Player indicia 28 can also be provided in the game 10 to identify, distinguish and personalize players' message materials 14 and mailboxes 12. Player indicia 28 may include, but is not limited to labels 30 and mock postage stamps 32 having logos, images, fanciful figures and the like printed thereon. Player indicia may also include a stamping device 34, which can be used in decorating the mailboxes 12 and/or message materials 14. A postman's hat and badge, 36 and 38 respectively, may also be included.
While various personalization materials and player indicia have been shown and described, the communications game 10 is not limited in this regard as other items may be included and some items may not be provided. For example, blank stickers that can be used as mock postage stamps can be provided so that the player can create his/her own stamps.
The communications game 10 may also include a kit for the creation of custom postage such as that described in U.S. Provisional Patent Application Ser. No. 61/017,351 and U.S. Non-Provisional patent application Ser. No. 12/344,678 for "Method for Generating Custom Postage". The kit can be customized for particular genders and age groups. Each kit includes at least one, and preferably several, art forms upon which the player can create original artwork. Each art form has an areal portion thereon into which the artwork should be positioned. The kit includes an order form for ordering a quantity of custom postage.
The created custom postage can be utilized as simulated (or "faux") postage on the message materials 14 during the use of the communications game 10. Alternatively, the player can order traditional postage for use on mail by completing the order form in the kit and paying for the resulting custom postage.
Referring to FIG. 2, the communications game 10 includes a plurality of topic cards 58 for displaying one of a question or a requirement to the players involved in the game. Each of the topic cards 58 includes a category field 58A and a description and/or question field 58B, each of which provide information about a communication topic. The topic cards 58 can be color coded according to topic category.
The communications game 10 may include blank topic cards 58 as well as completed topic cards 58. For instance, in one example a certain number of the topic cards 58 have the category field 58A and description field 58B completed, while the remaining topic cards 58 are blank with respect to the category, title and description fields. The players of the communications game 10 can fill-in or complete the blank category, title and description fields if so desired.
The topic cards 58 may be manufactured from paper or cardstock. In one example, the topic cards 58 may be manufactured from paper or cardstock coated with a material capable of being marked on and having such markings erased so that the topic cards can be reused. In another example, the topic cards 58 may be made entirely of a material capable of being marked on and having such markings erased.
While the topic cards 58 are described as being manufactured from or are coated with a material capable of being marked on and having such markings erased, the communications game 10 is not limited in this regard as the topic cards 58 may be manufactured from other materials such as, but not limited to plastic, cardboard, and the like.
Alternatively, the topic cards 58 may be stored on an electronic storage device such as a compact disc, diskette, and the like. In another alternative, a handheld electronic device can be provided for displaying various topic cards 58 upon access by a user. The handheld device can include a video screen and/or an LCD display. The handheld device can also be connectable by known means to the internet where additional communication topics can be downloaded to the device.
The categories included in the category fields 58A on the topic cards 58 category can include but are not limited to topics such as: 1) holiday; 2) literature; 3) current events; 4) personal; 5) comedy; 6) photo; 7) art; 8) three dimensional object; 9) animals and pets; 10) food; 11) adult; 12) adolescent issues; 13) teenager issues; 14) homework and 15) vacation.
The description fields 58B on the topic cards 58 include additional prompts such as information about or questions regarding the category provided in the category field 58A. For example, the description field 58B for the personal category (number 4 listed above) can include prompts such as: 1) tell me a secret; 2) tell me something special; 3) tell me about a dream; 4) what was the best part of your day; and 5) tell me something that you would like me to do differently. In another example, the description field 58B for the literary category can include prompts such as: 1) create a poem about yourself; 2) tell me about your favorite book; and 3) write down three words that are new to you and use each word in a sentence.
The communications game 10 can also include a collections mailbox 40 that can be used to collect the message materials 14 that are addressed to players of the game. The message materials 14 deposited in the collections mailbox 40 are distributed to the appropriate mailboxes 12 by a person designated as the mail carrier. While a collections box 40 and a mail carrier have been described, the communications game 10 is not limited in this regard as a collections box and a mail carrier can be omitted with players delivering their own messages without departing from the broader aspects of the present invention.
During use of the communications game 10 a player is assigned one or more containers 12. A topic card 58 having a question or requirement written thereon, or a question or requirement authored by one of the players, is presented to the players of the game. For example, one or more of the topic cards 58 can be placed in the player's mailbox 12 or in the collection box 40 and then distributed to the respective player's mailboxes. The players then generate a response to the question or requirement presented on the topic card 58. In one example, a player can generate his/her response by utilizing the personalization materials 26 and message materials 14. The player can choose to decorate his/her message materials 14 with player indicia 28.
In one example, the players' responses are distributed to one or more of the other players by placing the message materials 14 with the response in the desired mailboxes 12. The responses can be made anonymously or the player making the response can identify himself/herself. Moreover, the game can be used as a vehicle for players to discretely deliver messages and/or questions to other players by placing such messages and/or questions in the player's mailbox 12.
In another example, where a collections mailbox 40 and a mail carrier are used, once the players' responses are complete, the message materials 14 containing the responses are addressed to the desired recipient and deposited in the collections mailbox 40 and then delivered to the addressee's mailbox. If provided with the game, the mail carrier can be given the above-described postman's hat and badge, 36 and 38 respectively, to wear.
Prior to playing the game, the mailboxes 12 can be distributed to each of the players so they can, if so desired, decorate the mailbox using the above-described player indicia 28 and can locate their mailbox where they wish. Once presented with, or prior to being presented with, a question or requirement, each player can use the personalization materials to decorate their mailboxes 12 and can if they desire either create or select a mock postage stamp to be placed, where appropriate, on their message materials 14.
The communications game 10 is intended for all ages and can be used in a variety of locations and situations, including, but not limited to, homes, day cares, nursery schools, grade schools, colleges, sport teams, hospitals, camps, and the like. By playing and utilizing the communications game 10, players will be given an outlet to express feelings and also be given the opportunity to learn more about their friends, classmates, teammates and family. Moreover, the communications game 10 fosters communication between individuals and/or groups that may have difficulty in such communication. Additionally, the communications game 10 promotes dialogue and discussions between friends, teammates, classmates, families and the like.
While the invention has been described with reference to various exemplary embodiments, it will be understood by those skilled in the art that various changes may be made and equivalents may be substituted for elements thereof without departing from the scope of the invention. In addition, many modifications may be made to adapt a particular situation or material to the teachings of the invention without departing from the essential scope thereof. Therefore, it is intended that the invention not be limited to the particular embodiment disclosed as the best mode contemplated for carrying out this invention, but that the invention will include all embodiments falling within the scope of the appended claims.
Patent applications by George A. Castineiras, Farmington, CT US
Patent applications by Castineiras Companies, LLC
Patent applications in class Card or tile structure
Patent applications in all subclasses Card or tile structure