US 20030052456 A1
A game that includes cards having questions and more than one category of answers, and scorekeeping pieces for tracking scores of respective players. A method of play includes asking players to identify the source of famous quotations; players are awarded scorekeeping pieces, such as magnetized marbles, for identifying the Title of the work, the author or director, and the character that spoke the quote. If a player gives a wrong answer, the next player can request a new question or answer the missed question. In a challenge phase, a player may challenge another player's answer before it is identified as being correct or incorrect. If the challenging player is correct, bonus scorekeeping pieces are awarded. If the challenger is incorrect, the challenger returns scorekeeping pieces. When a player has enough magnetized marbles (scorekeeping pieces) to complete a worm, the player wins the round or the game.
1. A method for playing a game, the method comprising:
asking to a first player, a question having more than one answer category;
the first player responding to the question by attempting to answer each answer category for the question;
determining whether the response by the first player to each answer category is correct; and
awarding the first player a number of scorekeeping pieces proportionate to the answer category for which the first player responded correctly.
2. The method of
3. The method of
4. The method of
5. The method of
6. The method of
allowing a challenge by a second player to the first player's response, the challenge comprising, the second player identifying an answer for the answer category to which the second player believes the first player responded incorrectly.
7. The method of
8. The method of
(i) answering each answer category from the question to the first player that was incorrectly responded to by the first player; or
(ii) having a new question asked to the second player.
9. The method of
10. The method of
11. The method of
12. The method of
13. The method of
14. A game to be played by at least two players, the game comprising:
a plurality of cards each having a question and more than one answer, each answer pertaining to certain categories of the question;
a plurality of scorekeeping pieces that when enough scorekeeping pieces are accumulated by a particular player the combined scorekeeping pieces form a recognizable shape; and
directions comprising steps for asking to a first player, the question on one of the plurality of cards; the first player responding to the question by attempting to provide the answers to the question; determining whether the response by the first player to each answer is correct; and awarding the first player a number of scorekeeping pieces proportionate to the category for which the first player provided a correct answer.
15. The game of
16. The game of
17. The game of
18. The game of
19. A multi-player trivia game implemented as a computer program product including machine-readable code comprising:
code for presenting to a player, a question having more than one answer category;
code for accepting from the player a response to the question comprising answers for each answer category of the question;
code for determining whether the response by the player to each answer category is correct; and
code for awarding the first player a number of scorekeeping pieces proportionate to the answer category for which the player responded correctly.
20. The multi-player trivia game of
21. The multi-player trivia game of
22. The multi-player trivia game of
23. The multi-player trivia game of
24. The multi-player trivia game of
 The invention pertains to a trivia game and method for playing the same. Certain aspects of the invention include player scorekeeping by building a figure with pieces awarded in response to correct answers.
 Educational games and variations are well known in the prior art. For example, U.S. Pat. No. 4, 807,878 to Tripp discloses a trivia game with various spinners; that is, one for question categories, one for challenges, one for player selection, and one for point values and question difficulty.
 U.S. Pat. No. 4, 856, 780 to Begley et al. discloses a sports trivia game that utilizes five colored pairs of game pieces. The first game piece tracks a player's progress around the board and the second game piece keeps score on a scoreboard. A plurality of colored cubes are provided corresponding to colored spaces on the board. A player must answer a question correlating to the colored space landed on and then rolls the corresponding colored cubes.
 U.S. Pat. No. 5,048,842 to Proctor discloses a trivia game system involving recall of trivia information associated with commercial products, commercial slogans, and personalities of characters associated with these products and slogans. Play involves utilizing a board that is divided into individual sectors, with each sector including a movement track for a progress marker that identifies the winner of the game.
 U.S. Pat. No. 5,403,014 to Anema et al. discloses a game including card viewing device, a plurality of category game cards, a plurality of acronym game cards, a die, a timing device, a plurality of score indicating devices of varying color or shape where each color or shape corresponds to a challenge category and a plurality of score indicating holding devices. A player that successfully meets a challenge earns a score indicating means of the appropriate color or shape which is placed in the player's score indicator holding device. The first player to earn two score indicating means for each category is declared the winner.
 U.S. Pat. No. 5,735,522 to Sausa discloses a quote and year trivia question game that includes a game board, die, a plurality of game pieces and a plurality of cards. Each card has a front face with a plurality of quotes and quests relating to various subjects. Each player rolls the dice and moves an associated game piece along the board as governed by whether the player guesses the origin of quotes of famous people.
 Thus, while the foregoing body of prior art indicates that board games testing players knowledge in a variety of areas are well known, the foregoing games require a board of some sort to track progress of its players.
 The trivia games of the prior art also do not appear to enable a player to challenge another players answer to the trivia question and the challenging player be rewarded or penalized based on the correctness of the challenge. Moreover, no game in the prior art discloses scorekeeping by completing a figure or shape from awarded game pieces.
 The foregoing disadvantages are overcome by the unique educational trivia games of the present invention as will become apparent from the following description thereof.
 To achieve the foregoing advantages and others aspects, the present invention, briefly described, provides a new and improved trivia game that includes: (i) a plurality of cards each including a question and an answer to that question; (ii) a plurality of scorekeeping pieces that are used by players to complete a figure; and (iii) directions for play. The inventive trivia game may also include a timing device for limiting an amount of time for responding to questions. A method for playing the game includes: (i) selecting a card from the plurality of cards; (ii) asking a first player the question displayed on the selected card; (iii) the first player providing a response to the question; and (iv) the first player receiving a number of scorekeeping pieces depending on the correctness of the response.
 The method of play may also include: (v) allowing a challenge to the first player's response by another player; and (vi) rewarding or penalizing the challenging player depending on the correctness of the challenge.
 Computer-related embodiments of the invention are disclosed in a similar manner in which the questions/answers, scorekeeping pieces and timer are represented graphically on a screen.
 Additional aspects and advantages of the invention will become apparent from the following detailed description of the invention in reference to the appended drawing in which like reference numerals denote like elements and in which:
FIG. 1 is a block diagram illustrating a trivia game according to a preferred embodiment before play has started;
FIG. 2 is a flow diagram illustrating a method of playing the trivia game according to a preferred embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 3 is a block diagram illustrating the trivia game of FIG. 2 after play has started;
FIGS. 4A and 4B are block diagrams illustrating example trivia cards from the trivia game of the preferred embodiment;
FIG. 5 is a flow diagram illustrating a method of playing the trivia game according to a second embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 6 is a flow diagram illustrating a method of playing the trivia game according to a third embodiment of the invention;
FIG. 7 is a block diagram illustrating a computer-implemented embodiment of the inventive trivia game;
FIG. 8 is a block diagram illustrating a networked version of the computerimplemented trivia game.
 With reference to FIGS. 1-8 of the drawing, a new and improved trivia game embodying the principles and concepts of the present invention will be described.
 The game generally includes: (i) a plurality of trivia cards or deck of trivia cards; (ii) a plurality of scorekeeping pieces and (iii) directions for playing the trivia game.
 The game preferably accommodates between two and twenty-four players, but in the computer related embodiments, a single player may play the game. In the preferred embodiment, up to six players may play as individuals and more than six players are divided into teams of four or less.
 FIGS. 1-4B illustrate the game and method of play for a first exemplary embodiment. In this example, four teams or players will play, including player/teams 1-4. The trivia game 100 is set up for play by placing trivia cards 110 and scorekeeping pieces 120 in a location central to the players as shown in FIG. 1. Each player begins the game with no scorekeeping pieces.
 The game begins by determining which player or team will play first 205 (FIG. 2). Determining which player plays first may be accomplished in any manner for example, flipping a coin, rolling die, spinning a spinner or by color selection (e.g., red always goes first). After initial determination, play may pass to the remaining players in any traditional flow sequence, for example, rotating clockwise, rotating counterclockwise or other type of flow sequence. The player that is determined to go first may choose to be either a question reader (“questioner”) or a question answerer (“responder”). In the example shown in FIG. 2, the first player (e.g., player/team 1) is the question answerer or “responder.”
 An opposing team or player, for example the team or player to the right of the responder (i.e., player/team 4), draws a trivia card 111 from the deck of trivia cards 110 and reads the trivia question on the drawn card 210. The question preferably has two or more categories of answers for which the responder may earn points. For example, in the preferred embodiment, the question relates to quotes taken from books as discussed in greater detail below with reference to FIGS. 4A and 4B. In this case, the responder attempts to provide answers to the question in the following answer categories: (1) name the title of the book from which the quote was selected, (2) name the author of the book, and (3) if appropriate, name of the character that said the quote in the book. Certain quotations come from folk tales where the author is unknown. In this case, identification of the author as “folk tale” would be a proper response.
 Notwithstanding the foregoing, the trivia cards could contain questions relating to any type of trivia. Some examples for alternative trivia include movie trivia, television trivia, music trivia, cartoon trivia, science trivia, news trivia, famous person trivia, geographical trivia, nursery rhyme trivia, poetry trivia, song lyric trivia, etc. An important aspect of the inventive game is that there are varying levels of detailed answers or “answer category” for which points may be awarded (e.g., title, artist, character).
 The responder is awarded a number of scorekeeping pieces corresponding to the responder's selected color in response to correctly identified answers 220. The number of scorekeeping pieces awarded is based on the varying detail provided by the responder. For instance, in the example of the preferred embodiment, a responder may be given one scorekeeping piece for correctly identifying the title of the book containing the quote, two scorekeeping pieces for correctly identifying the author of the book containing the quote, and three scorekeeping pieces if the responder correctly identifies the name of the character in the book that spoke the quote. In this example, if the responder correctly identified all three categories of answers (i.e., title, author, character), the responder would earn a total of six scorekeeping pieces. Using an alternate example of geographical trivia, a statement about an important event or place may serve as the question, whereas a continent, country and city may serve as the varying detailed answers for the answer categories.
 Play passes to the next player/team 230 if all the players have not had their turn for the current round 225 or if no player has acquired a predetermined amount of scorekeeping pieces 235.
 Scorekeeping pieces 120 preferably comprise individual pieces, that when combined together, form a specific figure. For example, in the preferred embodiment, scorekeeping pieces 120 are colored magnetic marbles that attract to each other. When enough marbles have been collected by a player/team, the collective string of magnetic marbles forms a worm-like figure. Combined with the trivia questions related to book quotes, the inventors refers to this preferred embodiment as BOOKWORM™. However, the present invention may use any type of scorekeeping pieces. Examples of such alternative scorekeeping pieces include: blocks that when combined form a predefined 2D or 3D figure (e.g., person, device, animal, building or other structure); mosaic tiles that when combined form a picture; jig saw pieces that when combined form a picture, etc.
 Once a player has enough scorekeeping pieces to complete the predefined figure that player wins either that round of play or the game. In the preferred embodiment, when a player/team accumulates ten marbles the round ends and all the collected marbles are returned to the central location for the next round. A tally is kept for rounds won by each player/team. When one team or player has won six rounds, the game is over and the player/team that won the six rounds is the overall winner.
 An optional modification for team play is that team players rotate each round so that the teams are formed each round by different players. Each player keeps his/her personal tally on rounds won so that the first player(s) to win six rounds is the winner. In rotating team play, it is feasible that more the players on the team that wins the final round are tied (i.e., both players have won six rounds). In this case the game may go into an extra round between the tied players or they may both be declared the winners.
 In another example embodiment of the invention, although not necessary, each team or player may select and maintain a specific scorekeeping color or other indicator identifying the score keeping pieces throughout the game. As shown in FIG. 1, scorekeeping pieces are distinguished by four colors: red 121 for player/team 1; blue 122 for player/team 2; yellow 123 for player/team 3; and purple 124 for player/team 4. While only four colors and player/teams are shown for clarity in FIG. 1, the invention may include six or more varieties of scorekeeping pieces for accommodating six or more players or teams.
 In a yet further embodiment of the invention, a timer 130 may be used to limit a player's/team's time to answer a question. Timer 130 may be any device for tracking an amount of time with or without an alarm, for example, a digital timer, an hour glass sand timer, or an analog timer.
 The skilled artisan will recognize that there are many variations and adaptations that can be made without departing from the scope of the invention. For example, the game may end when a player/team collects a certain amount of scorekeeping pieces (as opposed to separate rounds), the number of marbles eligible to be earned by a player/team could be five or twenty-five, there may be a separate tally device for counting the rounds earned by each player or team, etc.
FIG. 3 illustrates trivia game 100 after each player/team has had the opportunity to be the responder at least once. As shown, player/team 1 has the highest score by accumulating six scorekeeping pieces 120. Player/team 3 and 4 are tied for second place while player/team 2 is in last place. As previously discussed, the preferred embodiment utilizes magnetized marbles for scorekeeping pieces 120. Consequently, the accumulated scorekeeping pieces 120 stick together and form a worm-like shape. The colored magnetized marbles 121-124 may be made in any manner to facilitate the marbles adherence to one another. In one embodiment, the marbles are formed of two hollow spherical halves made of colored plastic that fit together to encapsulate a magnetized piece of metal.
 Example questions and answers that may be present on trivia cards 110 are shown in FIGS. 4A and 4B. FIG. 4A illustrates a trivia card 111 having a question 412 and three answers 413, 414 and 415. Question 412 is a quote taken from a book. The quote states: “Beware the ides of March”
 A responder will be awarded one scorekeeping piece for correctly identifying the answer for the book title 413 as “Julius Caesar.” If the responder also indicates the answer 414 for the book author as William Shakespeare, the responder will receive additional scorekeeping pieces. Lastly, if the responder indicates the answer 415 for the character that generated the quote as “the Soothsayer,” the responder will receive additional scorekeeping pieces. The amount of scorekeeping pieces awarded for each correct answer is trivial but some incentive for answering the more difficult categories of the question should be given to a player/team. In the example embodiment, the Title, Author, and quote generating character are worth one, two and three scorekeeping pieces 120 respectively.
FIG. 4B illustrates a question 416 containing the following book quote: “I never promised anything but blood, tears, toil and sweat.” In this case, since the author is also the character speaking the quote, there is no character category in this question. Consequently, if correct answers 417 and 418 are given by a responder. The maximum number of scorekeeping pieces that can be accumulated is three (i.e., one for the book title “The Second World War” and two for the author and speaker “Winston Churchill”). Once the questioner asks the questions, the drawn trivia card is discarded into a discard pile. If no correct answers are given to the questions, no points or scorekeeping pieces are awarded. It should be noted that the specific depiction of trivia cards shown in FIGS. 4A and 4B are non-limiting in that the design, layout and content of the cards are entirely discretionary.
 In one embodiment of the invention, there are different categories of trivia cards 110 from which a responder answers questions. Example book categories for trivia cards include “Classic,” “Contemporary/Film,” “History/Biography,” “Sci-Fi,” “Mystery” and “?,” where “?” denotes a miscellaneous or potpourri category. The categories may be printed on the backside of the cards and placed randomly in one deck between players where the responder does not have a choice or in respective decks where the responder has a choice. The category alerts the responder to the field of book or other work from which the question is derived.
 A second method 500 for playing the inventive trivia game is illustrated in FIG. 5. The embodiment shown in FIG. 5 is similar to that shown in FIG. 2 except that once play has passed to the next team/player 230, if the previous responder did not answer, or did not correctly answer, all of the items on the drawn trivia card 545, the new responder has the option 550 to: (1) answer the unanswered or incorrectly answered portions of the previous question 215; or (2) have a new trivia card with a new question drawn from the trivia card deck 210.
 Essentially, in this embodiment, the new responder may have the unanswered questions from either the top card of the discard pile or a new question from a new trivia card. The new player is awarded scorekeeping pieces in accordance with the instructions on the trivia card, or if not present on the trivia card, in a fashion similar to that previously discussed. Accordingly, there might be two different players/teams that earn scorekeeping pieces by answering questions from the same trivia card. By way of example, assume the first player (e.g., player/team 1) correctly identified the book title (e.g., “Julius Caesar”) and the book author (e.g., “William Shakespear”), but failed to identify, or incorrectly identified, the character that generated the quote. In this example, the first player would be awarded one point for correctly identifying the book title and two points for correctly identifying the author, for a total of three scorekeeping pieces. The next responder (second player) has the option to either (i) have a new card drawn with a new trivia question, or (ii) attempt to guess the character (or other unanswered question) that the first player was unable to identify. For this example, assume the next or second player chooses option (ii) and identifies “the Soothsayer” as the quote originating character. The second player would then be awarded three scorekeeping pieces and play would pass to the next or “third” player, etc.
 A third method 600 for playing the trivia game 100 is shown in FIG. 6. The embodiment shown in FIG. 6 is similar to that shown in FIG. 5 but additionally includes a challenge phase 616-619. The challenge phase includes the option for opposing players/teams to challenge the answers given by the responder before the responder's answers are confirmed as right or wrong by the questioner. For example, once the responder attempts to identify the book title, author, and quote character 215, and before the questioner confirms the answers given by the responder, opposing players may challenge the answers 616 by stating “challenge” or any other method of notifying the questioner of the challenger (e.g., buzzing, clicking, shouting “Bookworm,” etc.). A successful challenge to a respondent's answer, or answers, preferably includes the challenger identifying which answer provided by the responder is incorrect and the challenger providing the correct answer 617. If the challenger's answer is correct, the challenger may be awarded bonus scorekeeping pieces 618. If the challenger is incorrect, the challenger may be penalized 619 by, for example, having to return a certain amount of previously earned scorekeeping pieces 120 to the pile of unearned scorekeeping pieces 120 (FIGS. 1 and 3). Alternatively, the challenger could be penalized 619 by loosing his or her turn for responding in the round. The method 600 may also be performed without penalizing a challenger for incorrect answers.
 If more than one opposing player/team calls out “challenge,” a sequence of challenges should be used. For example, the player immediately to the left of the responder has the opportunity to challenge first. If that player provides incorrect answers to a challenge, the challenging player/team to his or her immediate left may provide their answer and so on. In the challenging phase, the questioner may not be allowed to challenge since the questioner may have already read the correct answers. However, questioner challenges could be accommodated by, for example, placing the answers on an opposite side of the card.
 In one preferred embodiment, a challenge can only occur for responder's answers to a character (i.e., character speaking the quote). Any player that calls out “challenge” and correctly identifies the character that spoke the quote may earn double (six) scorekeeping pieces. If the challenging player is incorrect, he or she returns three scorekeeping pieces to the pile. In this embodiment, books written in the first person are not eligible for challenges.
 Variations in Play
 An optional modification to the methods of play described herein includes a supplemental answering phase. The supplemental answering phase works as follows: If no challenges have been made by opposing players and if the responder incorrectly identifies the character or other answer, then the player to the immediate left of the responder may have an opportunity to make the correct identification and win the corresponding scorekeeping pieces. If the first opposing player is unable to make a correct identification then the opportunity continues to pass to the left until a correct identification can be made. Play of the game then returns to the player whose turn it would have been after the original responder. A player/team providing an incorrect supplemental answer is preferably not penalized for attempting to answer.
 DOUBLE OR NOTHING is a modification wherein during a specified round or rounds, for example every 3rd round, the responder receives double scorekeeping pieces (e.g., twelve) for answering all of the questions correction. However, if the responder does not answer all of the questions correctly, the responder is awarded no scorekeeping pieces and play resumes.
 EQUALIZER is a variation wherein during a specified round, the responder giving one or more correct answers is awarded scorekeeping pieces from another player's scorekeeping pieces, as opposed to from the central pile of scorekeeping pieces. In this variation, the responder may choose which player has to give up the scorekeeping pieces. Consequently, a player/team in the lead may be “equalized” with the rest of the players/teams.
 PRESSURE ROUND is a specified round or rounds where players/teams, excluding the questioner and responder, may wager scorekeeping pieces with other players/teams that the responder may or may not know the answer or answers. Wagers are preferably made before the question is posed to the responder (but possibly after the category is known) and the amount cannot exceed the number of scorekeeping pieces the player/team making the wager has in their possession.
 The player/team with whom the wager is made has no choice and must accept the wager. If the player/team offering the wager is incorrect (i.e., that the responder did or did not know the answer(s)) they must pay the wagered number of scorekeeping pieces to the player/team that accepted the wager. If the player/team offering the wager is correct (i.e., that the responder did or did not know the answer(s)) the player/team accepting the wager must pay the number of scorekeeping pieces wagered to the player/team that offered the wager. If, for example, the accepting player/team does not have enough scorekeeping pieces to match the wager, all of the scorekeeping pieces in their possession are given to the team offering the wager. The responder neither gains or loses as a result of the wager.
 WILD CARD is a variation wherein during a specified round, a responder may request a particular category of quotation that is specified on the trivia card, i.e., “Classic,” “Biography,” “Humor,” etc. The questioner then draws the first card with the chosen category (either from one of the category decks or a deck having intermingled categories), and presents the question to the responder. This enables the responder to pick from a category of works to suit their strengths.
 LIGHTNING ROUND is a variation wherein in a specified round the responders are given a short or shortened time to provide the answers. For example, the responding player/team is given thirty seconds from the time the questioner finishes the question to provide the answers. This variation requires some timing mechanism such as a watch or timer of the sort previously specified, which preferably the questioner uses and judges whether the time for response has been met. Any responses given or finished by the responder after the questioner calls “times up,” are not awarded any scorekeeping pieces.
 It should be recognized the foregoing variations in play may be “specified” for a round on any basis. For example, the rounds of the games may sequentially alternate between variations, a random selection of variations may be made, for example, using a spinner at the beginning of each round, a player beginning the round may specify what the type of variation that will be implemented for the round, etc.
FIG. 7 illustrates a computer-implemented embodiment of the inventive trivia game 700. The trivia game according to this embodiment of the invention is implemented in machine readable code stored on a storage device (e.g., floppy disk, CDROM, hard drive) and executed by a computer processing device 705. The computer-implemented version of the trivia game 700 is displayed to a user or players on screen 706 of the computer-processing device 705. Player interaction with the trivia game is effected using input devices 708 (e.g., keyboard or mouse).
 As shown in FIG. 7, the elements of trivia game 700 are shown on screen 706 as a freeze-frame after player one has won the round (e.g., completed a worm). In a sequence of a round of play, indicator 711 will appear next to the player who's turn it is to respond. Subsequently, question 715 appears on screen 706 and the responder attempts to provide answers 716 by, for example, typing them on keyboard 708. Alternatively, the computer implemented embodiments, as well as any of the embodiments described herein, may present a list of multiple-choice answers (not shown) to the responder for each category of answers 716. The responder may then select one of the multiple-choice answers by, for example, clicking on the appropriate portion of screen 706 using mouse 708 (Alternatively screen 706 may be a touch-screen and accept input from a user touching the appropriate portion of the screen). A tally of the players scores 730 may be displayed or accessed so that the players may maintain awareness of the number of rounds each player has previously won.
 It should be recognized that the depiction of trivia game 700 on screen 706 is only one of countless possible configurations that may be displayed to a user. Consequently, the specific layout and design of the screen is presented herein solely for purposes of illustration and is not intended to limit the present invention to any specific design or layout.
 While the example shown in FIG. 7, illustrates four players, as few as one or more than four players may play the trivia game 700 on a single computing device 705. With one player, trivia game 700 may display quotations on the screen and include four or five multiple-choice answers for each Title, Author and quoted character category. The player wins points by selecting the correct multiple-choice answer and wins when enough pieces have been earned to complete a figure (e.g., a worm).
 In the computer related embodiments a selection of difficulty levels and/or categories may be made available to the player or players in order to display quotations accommodating their level and area of knowledge.
 As shown in the example embodiment of FIG. 8, users on separate terminals 810 may also play the computer-implemented embodiments of the trivia game over a network 820. Network 820 may be any type of wireless/wired network that facilitates communications between computing devices or terminals 820. In a preferred embodiment, network 820 is a distributed network such as the Internet wherein a computer server 830 is the host or “game master” for a multiplayer trivia game. However network 820 could also be a LAN, serial telephone connection, bus or other type of connection between terminals 820.
 Unless contrary to physical possibility, the inventor envisions the methods and systems described herein: (i) may be performed in any sequence and/or combination; and (ii) the components of respective embodiments combined in any manner.
 Although there have been described preferred embodiments of this novel invention, many variations and modifications are possible without departing from the spirit of the invention. Consequently, the embodiments described herein do not limit the invention by the specific disclosure above, but rather the invention should be limited only by the scope of the appended claims.