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Publication numberUS20040166915 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/370,879
Publication dateAug 26, 2004
Filing dateFeb 20, 2003
Priority dateFeb 20, 2003
Publication number10370879, 370879, US 2004/0166915 A1, US 2004/166915 A1, US 20040166915 A1, US 20040166915A1, US 2004166915 A1, US 2004166915A1, US-A1-20040166915, US-A1-2004166915, US2004/0166915A1, US2004/166915A1, US20040166915 A1, US20040166915A1, US2004166915 A1, US2004166915A1
InventorsJerry Robarge
Original AssigneeJerry Robarge
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Interactive game with visual video interface
US 20040166915 A1
Abstract
A game device and method in which participants receive a question associated with an audio-visual clip and register a response. A score is based on correctness of the response based, at least in part, on information associated with the audio-visual clip.
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Claims(18)
What is claimed:
1. A method for performing a game comprising the steps of:
receiving a question;
registering an answer in response to the received question;
ascertaining correctness of the answer based on review of an associated audio-visual clip; and
awarding a score based, at least partially, on whether the answer was correct, the awarded score derived from information contained in the associated audio-visual clip.
2. The method of claim 1 wherein the received question is contained in the associated audio-visual clip.
3. The method of claim 2 wherein the question includes proposed multiple responses to the received question.
4. The method of claim 3 wherein at least two players record responses to the received question.
5. The method of claim 2 wherein the received question and the recorded answers are maintained in an electronically controllable archive, the electronically controllable archive including a user interface, a device for retaining a received answer and a device for comparing the associated answer against a correct response.
6. The method of claim 5 wherein the question contained in the associated audio-visual clip is randomly presented to the players based on a selection protocol derived by a randomizing device, the randomizing device associated with the electronically controllable archive.
7. The method of claim 6 wherein an associated response is a factor in the selection protocol determining at least one subsequent question presented.
8. A method for performing a game, the method comprising the steps of:
receiving at least one question, the question maintained in a question media the question media being at least one of a real time video segment, a recorded video segment, a recorded audio segment, and a verbal text recording;
registering at least one response to the received question, the response registered in at least one of visual media, video media, audio media, and print media;
ascertaining correlation between the registered answer and data maintained in association with the question media; and
recording a score based, at least partially, on correctness of the registered answer.
9. The method of claim 9 wherein at least two players record responses to the received question.
10. The method of claim 9 wherein an associated response is a factor included in a selection protocol determining at least one subsequent question presented.
11. The method of claim 10 wherein the question is contained in the associated audio-visual clip and is randomly presented to the players based on a selection protocol derived by a randomizing device associated with the question media.
12. The method of claim 9 wherein the received question and the recorded answers are maintained in an electronically controllable archive, the electronically controllable archive including a user interface, and a device for retaining received answers and devices for comparing received answers against a correct response.
13. The method of claim 9 wherein the at least two players interactively communicate through an electronic communications system located distant from at least one player.
14. The method of claim 13 wherein the players are remotely positioned relative to an electronically controllable archive.
15. A device for playing a game comprising:
means for receiving a question;
means for registering an answer to the received question;
means for ascertaining correctness of the registered answer based on review of an associated audio-visual clip; and
means for awarding a score based, at least partially, on whether the answer was correct, the awarded score derived from information contained in the associated audio-visual clip.
16. The device of claim 15 wherein the means for receiving the question includes an audio-visual playback device associated with a randomly accessible audio-visual archive and question database.
17. The device of claim 16 wherein the answer registering means includes a data input device in interactive communication with the audio-visual playback device.
18. The device of claim 17 wherein the means for ascertaining correctness of an answer includes a correlation analysis tool comparing an inputted answer with data associated with the audio-visual clip.
Description
BACKGROUND

[0001] The present invention relates to interactive entertainment and game systems and methods for using such systems with one or more players.

[0002] Various games have been proposed for testing players' knowledge of trivia, information, and the like. Heretofore, such games have included a physical board component with various physical methods for posing questions and retrieving information. Questions and retrieved information can be stored on devices such as papers, playing cards, and other physical media that can be randomly shuffled or arranged. Answers and responses can be recorded using print devices like game boards, printed sheets, and the like. Game progress can be recorded using game boards and moveable indicators. While such traditional games provide significant entertainment value, there exists desire for games and game devices that present information and opportunities for competitive play in a format that is familiar and exciting to individuals living in the digital-information age.

[0003] Accordingly, various games and game methods have been proposed that result in the transfer of trivia and various pieces of information to digital formats which can be accessed and read. Certain games and game methods also permit recording of answers in digital form.

[0004] Typically, these “computer games” provide specifically prepared computer screens with preprogrammed modules which invite or prompt user input through an appropriate interface such as a computer keyboard or application specific game devices. Such application-specific animation and graphic material, though engaging, is perceived as being flat and canned. Heretofore, access and interaction have been limited.

[0005] In the information age, significant amounts of information and knowledge is stored and retained in an audio-visual format(s). Audio-visual formats include, but are not limited to, information stored as motion pictures, videos, sound recordings, and the like. These materials may initially be recorded in analog or digital formats or may be converted to more modern digital formats through various copying or remastering processes. Such audio-visual works generally present knowledge or information in a linear stream for playback and review. Heretofore, few if any games, game methods, or game devices have been proposed which provide for the testing and retrieval of knowledge from audiovisual storage media. Furthermore, few if any games, game methods, or entertainment devices have been proposed which provide an interactive link with such audio-visual based stored knowledge.

[0006] The general public and game players in particular are increasingly familiar with common cultural knowledge that is developed and based upon material contained in audio-visual media. The need and desire for interactive games, game methods and devices that will permit or facilitate the analysis, study, and enjoyment of various aspects of our cultural heritage that are stored as audio-visual information has yet to be met. Such audio-visual collections can include, but are not limited to, historical information, recorded audio-visual scientific and social scientific information, and various aspects of the popular culture including, but not limited to, television and motion picture drama, comedy, and real action productions.

SUMMARY

[0007] Disclosed herein is a game device and method which includes receiving a question associated with an audio-visual clip, registering an answer in response to the received question, and recording a score based, at least partially, on whether the answer was correct. The recorded score is derived from material contained in the audio-visual clip.

DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWING

[0008] The description herein makes reference to the accompanying drawings wherein the reference numerals refer to like parts throughout the several views, and wherein:

[0009]FIG. 1 is a process diagram of a method for performing a game as disclosed herein;

[0010]FIG. 2 is a flow chart for a system for performing a game as disclosed herein; and

[0011]FIG. 3 is a diagram of a printed game board which can be employed in the method as disclosed herein.

DESCRIPTION

[0012] In the following description, certain specific details are set forth in order to provide a thorough understanding of various embodiments of the method and device disclosed herein. However, one skilled in the art will understand that the method and game as disclosed herein is intended to cover various embodiments and equivalent arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the claims appended hereto.

[0013] As broadly construed, the present invention is directed to a method for performing a game in which a question associated with an audio-visual clip is received by a player or players. A response to the question is registered and a score based upon the registered response is recorded. The score is based, at least partially, on whether the answer is correct. The score can be derived from information contained in or associated with the audio-visual clip.

[0014] As used herein, the term “audio-visual clip” is defined as linear sequential information having at least one of an audibly discernable portion and a visually discernable portion. The information may be stored in any suitable permanent or semipermanent format. Nonlimiting examples include magnetic tape, digital video files, compact discs, etc. The audio-visual clip may be a self-contained sequence or a segment of a larger work. Suitable subject matter contained on the audio-visual clip can include, but is not limited to, interesting sequences derived from popular dramas or comedies produced and disseminated on broadcast television, cable television, and the like. It is also contemplated that the audio-visual clips may be historic documentary footage, news footage, or the like. The audio-visual clips in a particular library may be specifically produced for the particular game. Thus, the material may be animation or other recorded live-action information pertaining to various academic subjects or disciplines as desired or required.

[0015] Typically, the question associated with the audio-visual clip will be one which can be answered by a portion of the audio-visual clip presented immediately following the question. In the game method as disclosed herein, it is contemplated that the question can be presented during a pause in playback of the audio-visual clip. The question can be presented as written visual text, audible spoken text, or a combination of the two. The question can be an open-ended question. However, more preferably, the question is in the form of a question which can be answered by one of several multiple-choice answers. Answers can be formulated to enhance learning, develop an appropriate level of difficulty for the game, or simply enhance entertainment value as desired or required.

[0016] The responses from each player can be recorded or registered in a suitable manner. The recordation of responses can be accomplished by paper tokens or the like. However, it is contemplated that responses can be digitally registered and compared to an appropriate answer library which corresponds to the audio-visual clip. The various responses can be assigned various score levels which are based, at least partially, on whether the answer registered and provided is correct. The score can also be based, at least partially, on other factors such as cleverness of the response, entertainment value of a response, or the like. In the method as disclosed herein, it is contemplated that the score for an answer can be derived from informational criteria which are contained in or associated with the audio-visual clip.

[0017] It is contemplated that the data pertaining to recorded answers in the game method and device disclosed herein can be maintained in an electronically controllable archive. In the embodiment disclosed, the electronically controllable archive is accessible through a user interface and can include means for retaining the received responses and means for comparing the received response against a correct answer. The electronically controllable archive can also include appropriate look-up tables or decisional criteria for assigning scores to the response or responses received. It is contemplated that the user interface can be any suitable cueing mechanism which can initiate playback of the audio-visual clip and associated questions. The interface may be a suitable electronic device which can be associated with a television, VCR, DVD player, or other audio-visual playback devices. It is also contemplated that the interface can be an appropriate digital link to remotely contained electronically archives. Such links could include computers, infrared data-receiving devices, web-based interfaces, and the like. In such instances where the electronically controllable archive is maintained remote from the player or players, it is contemplated that associated audio-visual clips can be maintained in a suitable remote location or can be maintained in a storage unit which is capable of interactive communication and interaction with the remote storage archive.

[0018] Where the questions and audio-visual clips are maintained in a remote electronically controllable archive, it is contemplated that the method can include means for interfacing or permitting communication between multiple remotely positioned participants or players. Thus, while players can be located in one central location, the method further contemplates a form of play in which the players are remotely positioned relative to one another and interfaced through a central electronically controllable system. In such instances, it is contemplated that the method will include appropriate controls which will permit the interactive communication of scores and responses between and among the various players. Where desired or required, it is also contemplated that the system will permit and facilitate ancillary player communication from a player to all participants and/or between individual players such as by instant messaging, email communication, voice-link communication, or the like.

[0019] Referring now to FIG. 1, there is schematically depicted a game sequence for a comedy show trivia game. At the outset, player A and player B view a randomly selected audio-visual. After a predetermined interval, the audio-visual playback is paused and a printed question is displayed. The printed question can be one which is relevant to the outcome of the audio-visual clip or is in some way associated with trivia related to the comedy show. It is contemplated, that the question can be presented in such a way that there are multiple possible responses from which the players can choose. The question and multiple responses can either be visually presented, audibly presented, or presented in a combination of audio and visual media. The audio-visual clip remains paused while the players record their response to the presented question. Recordation of responses can be by a suitable electronic interface such as a touch pad or keyboard. Alternately, the responses can be recorded on paper or using physical counters or recorders. After the responses have been recorded, the audio clip playback recommences from the initial cue. Playback continues through to a point where the answer is illustrated. The correct responses can be analyzed and recorded in any suitable manner. Examples of recordation include progress along a game board or electronic tabulation of results. Once the results have been tabulated, an additional audio-visual clip can be randomly selected by any suitable selection criteria to present either a follow-up question or a new question to continue the progress of the game. The game can conclude after a suitable predetermined end point is reached such as the acquisition of a particular score, traversal of a game board, or the like.

[0020]FIG. 1 outlines a basic flow diagram for the method 10 of playing the game. In a basic sense, the game commences presentation of an audio-visual clip as at reference numeral 12 with receipt of a question as at reference numeral 14. The question is received by one or multiple players participating in the game sequence. For exemplary purposes, FIG. 1 represents game play by players A and B as at reference numerals 16 and 18. The audio-visual clips and associated questions received are randomly generated from a library of audio-visual clips and associated questions contained in a suitable data storage medium. In the game method as disclosed, it is contemplated that a library of audio-visual clips and associated questions are compiled around an appropriate subject or subjects. Thus where the audio-visual clips are derived from a subject such as a comedy or drama produced for broadcast television or the like, it is contemplated that a given library will be built around a particular television show, genre personality, or the like.

[0021] The play sequence occurs in a series of rounds in which at least one audio-visual clip is presented in each round. In the basic sequence of play, a portion of an audio-visual clip is presented for the players. At an appropriate place in the audio-visual playback sequence, the audio-visual clip is paused and the relevant question is received. It is contemplated that each question can be received in audio, visual, or permanent print fashion. The question may be superimposed on the audio-visual clip as visual or audio information which can be viewed by the players 16, 18 from a suitable view screen or audio receiver. It is also contemplated that an individual question can be associated with a given audio-visual clip in a one-to-one fashion. Alternately, a plurality of questions may be associated with an appropriate audio-visual clip. These questions can be sequentially presented or, more preferably, can be integrated into the audio-visual presentation by a second selection protocol which will be discussed in greater detail with respect to FIG. 2.

[0022] In the game as disclosed herein, once the question has been presented and received as at reference numeral 14, each player registers a response as at reference numerals 20, 22. Response registration can proceed by any suitable modality. For example, suitable response can be input into a suitable electronic controller for analysis based upon data associated with the audio-visual clip as at reference numeral 24.

[0023] Analysis of responses can be a simple “yes-no” analysis of whether an individual has recorded a response which is deemed correct based on data associated with the audio-visual clip. It is also contemplated that various responses in a multiple choice scenario can be weighted or graded depending upon other evaluation criteria. Thus, the response may receive a partial score based on factors such as humor, previous responses, partial correctness, or the like.

[0024] It is contemplated that the response analysis data will be associated with the audio-visual clip viewed in some manner or fashion. Thus, the data can be accessed based on information regarding which audio-visual clip is being viewed. It is also contemplated that the correct response data could be linearly positioned as a command which follows the question display.

[0025] In the method as disclosed, it is contemplated that the correct answer or answers will be visually displayed to enhance entertainment and/or educational value.

[0026] Either concurrent with response analysis or subsequent to such response analysis, the audio-visual clip can be reviewed by the players 16, 18 as at reference numeral 26. Review of the audio-visual clip can function to enhance entertainment value, and/or reinforce learning potential depending upon the nature of the material access from the data storage library. The audio-visual clip as reviewed will present information which answers the question previously posited and received. Thus, the players 16, 18 receive a positive indication of the accuracy of their registered response. Typically the complete audio-visual will provide the correct answer. An example of such scenarios is an audio-visual clip from a comedy show. Players would view the audio-visual clip to a point prior to the gag or laugh line, and then be asked to correctly recall the laugh line. Once answers are recorded, a second viewing of the audio-visual clip with laugh line provides the answer sought.

[0027] Referring now to FIG. 2, there is depicted a process diagram for performing the game method disclosed herein. To start the game as at reference numeral 110, the appropriate players can be assembled and the appropriate equipment positioned. The various players can be proximate to one another as would be the case in employing a game-board game. Alternately, the players can be remote from one another and placed in contact with one another through an appropriate web-based or electronic-based system.

[0028] As depicted in FIG. 2, the game begins with appropriate user input as at reference numeral 112. This input any suitable introductory activities. Examples of these include, but are not limited to, logging on as in the case of an electronic or electronic web-based systems, manually activating a trigger as may occur in a board-based game or the like. As depicted in FIG. 2, the game initiation or beginning prompts a display opening sequence at reference numeral 114. The opening sequence can include instructions, credits, entertaining vignettes, or the like. The display opening can terminate with an appropriate prompt for user input or can proceed immediately to a command to cue the first audio-visual clip, as at reference numeral 116. The audio-visual clip can be retrieved from a suitable audio-visual library indicated at reference numeral 120. Selection of the audio-visual clip can be mediated by a suitable randomizing program to provide variety in the selection of the audio-visual clip. Randomization of the selection is indicated at reference numeral 118.

[0029] The audio-visual library 120 can include audio-visual clips as well as associated programming information relevant to the various clips. This programming information can include embedded questions that will be presented as part of the game. Alternately, the audio-visual library can include appropriate means for linking to an independent or free-standing question library that is maintained in tandem with the audio-visual library as at reference numeral 124. Where a free-standing or independent question library is utilized, it is contemplated that the audio-visual clips and and questions will have appropriated identifying and associative data to permit associataion of suitable questions with various audio-visual clips. It is contemplated that the audio-visual library will have multiple audio-visual clips organized in any suitable fashion. Thus, the audio-visual clips can be organized by topic/subtopic, or can be organized hierarchically depending upon predetermined levels of difficulty, entertainment value, or the like. Access and selection within the given hierarchy can be executed by any suitable selection protocol including randomization, semi-randomization or the like.

[0030] The audio-visual clip can be displayed as at reference numeral 117 on a suitable audio-visual display device. As indicated previously, the audio-visual display device can be any suitable playback means that can include, but is not limited to, a videocassette recorder, digital recording and playback devices, real time or streaming video reception and the like.

[0031] The audio-visual clip is taken from an appropriate or relevant subject category such as a comedy series or the like. The audio-visual clip is played to a point where a suitable question can be presented. The audio-visual clip is then paused at reference numeral 122. The pause can be a suitable stop action command or any other command which will permit the interjection of a relevant question for purposes of game play. The question can be maintained in a suitable question library as at reference numeral 124. The question library can be a separate database from the audio-visual clips or, alternately, audio-visual clip and associated question can be maintained as a single data packet. Where the audio-visual clip and the associated question are previously associated or linked, the question can be directly displayed on the paused screen. Alternately, it is contemplated that multiple questions could be posed in relation to a given audio-visual clip. These may be posed at different times during the playback of the clip or, alternately, may be cued at the single pause 122. If multiple questions could be presented, it is contemplated that the process will include appropriate programming and mechanisms for accessing the library of questions that are associated with a particular audio-visual clip, randomly selecting the question to be presented, and presenting the question in a display fashion.

[0032] While the discussion has been presented in terms of audio-visual clips, in the broadest sense, the game can utilize display material which is visual, audio, audio-visual, or the like. Furthermore, it is contemplated that the question(s) may be displayed in a fashion overriding the paused audio-visual clip display if desired or required. By overriding the paused video, it is contemplated that the question may be presented as a printed question presented on the on either a blank screen or a screen with the paused image presented. It is also contemplated that the question may be presented as a visual question, as an audible question or as a combination of the two.

[0033] While the audio-visual playback display is in the pause mode, the players can input answers as at reference numeral 132. Answer input can be accomplished by any suitable mechanism or means. It is contemplated that the questions will be presented as a multiple choice option question. The selected answer will have an associated letter that can be entered through a suitable input device such as a keypad, touch sensor, or the like. Once the answers are inputted, the process will include commands to access the question library 124 to develop appropriate templates against which the inputted answers can be compared.

[0034] The game method of the present invention also contemplates the presentation of various multiple choice answer options. The multiple choice answer options can be varied from presentation to presentation to include various incorrect answers which will be can be chosen based on programmed selection criteria which may include humor value and the like. It is contemplated that the wrong answer selections can be varied from presentation to increase humor and/or entertainment value or to alter the difficulty of game play.

[0035] Accessing question library answers as at 134 can occur by any suitable method or device. It is contemplated that the potential and correct answers can be associated with the question and maintained in a fashion invisible to the players during the answer input period.

[0036] Once the players have inputted their chosen answers and the library answers accessed, the comparison of the two can be executed by any suitable comparison program or methodology as at reference numeral 136. The correctness of the answer can be determined as at decision junction 138. If an inputted answer is determined to be correct, the score can be recorded as at reference numeral 140.

[0037] If a player provides an incorrect answer, the answer assessment process can be configured to permit a second try at the answer if the game entertainment value or educational value warrants such, as at reference numeral 142. If a second try is warranted, the process is directed back to the input answers segment as at 132 and repeated.

[0038] After answers have been inputted, the entire audio-visual clip in question can be displayed as at reference numeral 144. Display of the entire audio-visual clip can occur concurrent with or subsequent to the process verifying the correctness of the inputted answer. In the process as depicted in the flow chart of FIG. 2, the audio-visual clip can be displayed followed by a visual, audible and/or audio-visual display of the correct answer, as at reference numeral 142. It is contemplated that the correct answer display can occur immediately upon the display of the audio-visual clip in situations where the correct answer is recorded and no second-try option exists. Alternately, in situations where a second-try option exists, as at reference numeral 142, it is contemplated that the display of correct answer will be delayed until the second-try option has been exhausted.

[0039] Subsequent to the display of correct answer, as at reference numeral 146, a suitable reward clip can be played, as at reference numeral 148. The reward clip can include reinforcement as to the correct answer, information regarding the status of the scores of the various players, etc. It is also contemplated that the reward clip can be any of a number of various entertaining audio-visual features such as audio applause, visual indicators of characters or personalities giving congratulations to the various players, telling a joke, etc. Such clips could be specially recorded for the game method or could be stock footage that is assembled or stored for this purpose.

[0040] The method as disclosed also contemplates tabulation and recording of response scores based upon analysis associated with the audio-visual clip. In its simplest sense, the individual players will assess whether the registered response corresponds with the accurate answer. In more detailed versions of the game method disclosed, the registered responses can be electronically analyzed and the degree of accuracy assessed. Scores can be assigned to the various registered responses based upon an appropriate lookup table or other electronic assessment means.

[0041] It is contemplated that the method as disclosed includes appropriate and accurate means for the individual players 16, 18 to receive and record the scores achieved. In the simplest sense of this method, a correct score will permit the individual to advance a game piece one space on an appropriate game board such as the one depicted in FIG. 3, which will be discussed in greater detail subsequently. In electronically interactive versions of the game method, it is contemplated that the individual will be provided with a suitable electronically tabulated and registered response of correct answers. It is also contemplated that individuals, upon receiving a correct or incorrect answer, can receive appropriate responses which will enhance the enjoyment of and participation in the game as at 30. These encouragement clips can include, but are not limited to, prerecorded applause, sound effects, and the like. Where desired or required, the cued encouragement clip can be correlated to the subject matter of the audio-visual data library. Thus, by way of nonlimiting example, a correct response “reward” could be recorded audio-visual applause from one or more of the characters of the subject comedy show. Where such encouragement clips are employed, it is contemplated that the underlying game or protocol can include appropriate selection criteria for selecting the encouragement clip from an associated library. Alternately, such encouragement clips can be selected based on a randomizing sequence present in the operational protocol.

[0042] The encouragement clip can also be in the form of repeat questions or cueing for additional or different answers if desired or required. Thus, the score may be modified or changed depending upon whether the protocol will permit a re-answer or modified answer.

[0043] Once the score for a particular question has been calculated, physical registration can proceed, for example by moving a game piece on a physical or electronic board or other suitable means. The game board can be either a physical printed board or an appropriate video screen projected from a suitable audio-visual playback device. The board can include a series of marked spaces that progress from a beginning to an end point. It is contemplated that the board can include various rewards or can be configured with phrases or snippets relevant to the subject of the particular game. Thus, a game which is testing players' knowledge about a particular comedy show could include characteristic phrases, gag lines, or the like. Where the board is electronically interactive, it is also contemplated that one or more of the spaces depicted on the board can be capable of generating commands, responses, or suggestions which are either audible or presented on the video playback device. Such commands could include singing a comedy theme song or other issues relating to trivia items. Additionally, it is contemplated that, where the board is electronically interactive, landing on a certain board space could trigger a specified audio-visual clip which is designed to enhance enjoyment of the game-playing experience or provide additional opportunities for a player or players to test relevant knowledge.

[0044] In its most general sense, the game board provides a means for controlling the number of question iterations that occur in the game cycle. The forward movement to an accepted end point can be taken to determine a winner of the game.

[0045] It is also contemplated that the game method as disclosed herein can be utilized in applications which do not require a game board. Such applications include, but are not limited to, multiplayer internet participation and various contests and the like. Turning now to FIG. 1, it is contemplated that once scores are recorded and noted in any appropriate fashion, the question cycle can be repeated. This can include a step to cue a subsequent question according to the process previously outlined as set forth at reference numeral 32. The selection of the subsequent question can be selected by appropriate randomization software and protocols. Alternately, it is considered within the purview of this disclosure to integrate question selection routines that will factor issues such as the number of questions a player answers correctly or the number of players answering a specific question correctly to determine the degree of difficulty for subsequent questions.

[0046] In one embodiment of the method as disclosed, the recorded answers may be maintained in an electronically controllable memory for a suitable interval—for example, the duration of a question cycle, the duration of an individual game, or the like. It is contemplated that the electronically controllable memory can be maintained in a location either proximate to the players, as in a device integral to a game board or dedicated electronic game device, or the electronically controllable memory can be maintained at a location remote from the players as would occur which when a central unit is utilized to provide a game playing experience using electronic communication devices such as the Internet and the like. It is also contemplated that the questions and associated video clips can be maintained in a suitable electronically controllable archive, which may be proximate or remote as desired or required.

[0047] The electronically controllable archive can be configured to be accessible through a suitable user interface. Various archives can be either proximate or remote to the various players. It is contemplated that the archive can be maintained in a suitable physical medium such as a computer program, digital video disk, digital cartridge, videotape, or other suitable medium which will permit access to the various audio-visual clips and any associated questions. Where the archive is maintained proximate to the user, it is contemplated that the archive can be permanently positioned in an appropriate access device or can be insertable into a standard playback device such as a digital videodisc player, personal computer, or the like.

[0048] It is also contemplated that the electronically controllable archive can be at a central location removed from various players. The location can be one accessible by appropriate electronic communication which will permit player access at a predetermined time or on demand as required or desired. Where the electronically controllable archive is remote from the players, it is contemplated that the electronically controllable archive and central location will include appropriate protocol and procedures for interactively transmitting audio-visual clips and associated questions to players and for receiving and recording appropriate responses. Suitable electronic communication includes, but is not limited to, internet communication and the like.

[0049] Turning now to FIG. 2, a flow chart showing an exemplary process of the game method of the present invention is set forth. At the outset, as at reference numeral 110, appropriate triggers and instructions are presented to begin the play sequence. Typically, this can include an appropriate sign-on, start-switch, or the like. This results in an initial display as at reference numeral 112. The initial display can be an appropriate screen or multiple screens suitable to provide introductory information, entertainment instructions, advertiser information, security protocols and appropriate cues for initiating the game sequence. It is contemplated that the initial display will prompt user input to initiate an individual game as at reference numeral 114. User input can include appropriate log-ons to identify the number and individual players as well as an appropriate initiation sequence. Once the initiation sequence has been properly executed, a command can be issued to access audio-visual clips stored in an appropriate electronically controllable archive 116 or other suitable data storage medium. The selection of an individual audio-visual clip can occur by a suitable randomization selection protocol as at reference numeral 118. After execution by the appropriate randomization selection protocol, the selected display can be displayed to the game players as at reference numeral 120.

[0050] As depicted in FIG. 3, the user interface(s) 214 are in electronic communication with microprocessor 210. This, answers which are inputted can be maintained and processed through appropriate software or hardware contained in microprocessor 210. Microprocessor 210 is also in electronic communication with an appropriate interface or jack 216, which permits communication with an appropriate playback device 218. It is contemplated that the playback device 218 can be a suitable independent electronic device such as a television, computer monitor, or the like. It is also contemplated that the playback device can be integral with the play board 210 as desired or required.

[0051] Interface 216 can be any suitable plug, jack, video hookup or the like which would permit interactive communication between the external device 218 and the game board 200.

[0052] The game board 200 as depicted in FIG. 3 also includes a suitable audio-visual playback mechanism 220 such as a compact disc player, DVD player, or the like. The playback device 220 is in electronic communication with the microprocessor as well as in communication with any suitable display device such as the external display device 218.

[0053] It is also contemplated that the game board can be configured to permit the coupling or linking of an external compact disc player as desired or required.

[0054] The playback device 220 can be configured to accept appropriate digital or analog storage material for playback and processing. It is contemplated that the data contained in a suitable storage disc or other device will include audio-visual clips, information regarding the questions and appropriate answers as well as any ancillary material which would be desired or required for playing the game.

[0055] Turning now to FIG. 3, there is depicted an electronically enhanced game board for use with the game method as disclosed herein. The game board 200 as disclosed herein is configured for a maximum of four player inputs. However, it is contemplated that the game board can be suitably configured with appropriate interfaces to permit multiple players.

[0056] The game board is composed of a suitable substrate 202 on which various printed material such as a game path 204 can be displayed. The game board substrate 202 also includes suitable electronic devices which can be permanently imprinted or embedded within the device to facilitate play.

[0057] The game path 204 can be composed of multiple spaces 206, 208, which can include appropriate printed legends and instructions. It is also contemplated that the spaces 206, 208 can be configured to include appropriate sensors, triggers, or the like, electronically embedded in the substrate 202 in underlying relationship to an appropriate game space. Alternately, the game spaces can be composed of each individual trigger or sensor 208. The electronic sensors can be touch pads, proximity sensors, or the like, which will provide a signal that a game piece is moveably positioned thereon.

[0058] The sensors 208 are in electronic communication with a suitable microprocessor 210 that can control various signal input and provide appropriate operational protocol for the game board. The operational protocol can include the illumination or activation of various mechanisms associated with the device or contained therein. Additionally, it is contemplated that the microprocessor can be one which includes decisional logic that can include, but is not limited to, the selection or randomization of audio-visual clips and the like. The control electronics and any associated electronic devices can be operated by a suitable power source 212. In the embodiment as set forth in FIG. 3, power source 212 is integral to the game board 200. However, it is also contemplated that the power source can be external to the device. Suitable onboard power sources include batteries and the like.

[0059] The game board device as depicted in FIG. 3 also includes a suitable user interface 214 for receiving user inputted responses. As depicted in FIG. 3, user interface 214 is a series of designated touch pads that can be employed to record a multiple choice answer. It is also contemplated that the user interface 214 can be configured to receive other various inputted responses of varying degrees of complexity.

[0060] While the invention has been described in connection with what is presently considered to be the most practical and preferred embodiment, it is to be understood that the invention is not limited to the disclosed embodiments but, on the contrary, is intended to cover various modifications and equivalent arrangements included within the spirit and scope of the appended claims, which scope is to be accorded the broadest interpretation so as to encompass all such modifications and equivalent structures as permitted under the law.

Referenced by
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Classifications
U.S. Classification463/9
International ClassificationA63F9/18, A63F3/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63F2003/00126, A63F9/18
European ClassificationA63F9/18