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Publication numberUS20040183252 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 10/393,415
Publication dateSep 23, 2004
Filing dateMar 21, 2003
Priority dateMar 21, 2003
Publication number10393415, 393415, US 2004/0183252 A1, US 2004/183252 A1, US 20040183252 A1, US 20040183252A1, US 2004183252 A1, US 2004183252A1, US-A1-20040183252, US-A1-2004183252, US2004/0183252A1, US2004/183252A1, US20040183252 A1, US20040183252A1, US2004183252 A1, US2004183252A1
InventorsBrent Robinson
Original AssigneeRobinson Brent A.
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Likelihood game
US 20040183252 A1
Abstract
A likelihood game requires players to estimate the likelihood of other players, or non-present persons known to all of the players, of fitting a statement described on one of a number of cards included with the game. A game board, player position markers, paper and pen or the like, and a single die are provided, with players noting the name of a player or non-present person they feel most likely to fit the randomly selected likelihood statement. Advancement of the player position markers along the path of the board is determined by agreement or non-agreement between players as to the likelihood of persons fitting the likelihood statement on the card. The die provides for the selection of one of a plurality of likelihood actions on each card, as well as serving as a chance device for determining the quantity of the players' moves according to certain rules of the game.
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Claims(20)
I claim:
1. A likelihood game for a plurality of players, comprising:
a game board having a playing surface;
a playing path disposed upon said game board;
a plurality of playing positions disposed along said playing path;
a plurality of selectively positionable player position markers;
a starting position and a finishing position disposed upon said playing path;
a plurality of hypothetical likelihood statements; and
a single cubical die, for selecting one of said likelihood statements from said plurality thereof.
2. The likelihood game according to claim 1, further including:
a periphery disposed about said game board;
wherein said playing path comprises a continuous, closed loop configuration about said periphery of said game board; and
wherein said starting position and said finishing position are jointly located upon a single one of said playing positions of said playing path.
3. The likelihood game according to claim 1, further including a plurality of reverse likelihood playing positions disposed upon said playing path.
4. The likelihood game according to claim 1, further including:
a plurality of likelihood cards, said plurality of hypothetical likelihood statements being disposed upon said likelihood cards.
5. The likelihood game according to claim 1, further including a plurality of conditional statements.
6. The likelihood game according to claim 5, further including:
a plurality of likelihood cards, said conditional statements being disposed upon at least some of said likelihood cards.
7. The likelihood game according to claim 1, further including a writing surface and a writing implement for each of the players.
8. A method of playing a likelihood game by a plurality of players, comprising the steps of:
(a) providing a game board having a playing surface, a playing path being disposed upon the game board, a plurality of playing positions being disposed along the playing path;
(b) providing a plurality of selectively positionable player position markers;
(c) placing a starting position and a finishing position upon the playing path;
(d) providing a plurality of hypothetical likelihood statements;
(e) providing a single cubical die;
(f) determining the players,
(g) selecting a first acting player from the players, and determining the order of play of other players following the first acting player;
(h) assigning one of the player position markers to each of the players;
(i) randomly selecting one of the hypothetical likelihood statements and reading the selected likelihood statement to the other players, by the first acting player;
(j) selecting the person considered most likely to fit the selected likelihood statement by the acting and other players, independently of one another;
(j) comparing the respective persons selected by the other players in response to the selected likelihood statement, to the person selected by the first acting player;
(k) moving the player position markers of the players along the playing path of the game board, in accordance with any agreement of the selections of each of the players in comparison to the selection of the first acting player; and
(m) continuing in the above manner with each of the other players serving as acting player in sequence until one of the player position markers reaches the finishing position of the playing path of the game board, thereby winning the game for the corresponding player.
9. The method of playing a likelihood game according to claim 8, wherein the step of selecting the person considered most likely to fit the selected likelihood statement further comprises the steps of:
(a) providing a writing surface and a corresponding writing implement to each of the players; and
(b) writing the name of the selected person on the writing surface of the corresponding players, by each of the players.
10. The method of playing a likelihood game according to claim 8, further including the steps of:
(a) determining a minimum number of persons involved in the game;
(b) determining the number of players of the game to be less than the predetermined minimum number of persons involved in the game;
(c) selecting at least one non-present person known to all of the players; and
(d) adding the at least one non-present person to the players to reach at least the predetermined minimum number of persons involved in the game.
11. The method of playing a likelihood game according to claim 8, further including the steps of:
(a) providing a plurality of reverse likelihood positions disposed upon the playing path of the game board;
(b) designating any player whose position marker terminates a move onto one of the reverse likelihood positions, as a reverse likelihood player distinct from the acting player for the turn of play;
(c) selecting one of the hypothetical likelihood statements and selecting the person considered most likely to fit the selected likelihood statement, by the reverse likelihood player;
(d) reading the selected likelihood statement to the other players, by the reverse likelihood player;
(e) selecting the person considered most likely to fit the selected likelihood statement by players other than the reverse likelihood player, independently of one another;
(f) comparing the respective persons selected by players other than the reverse likelihood player in response to the selected likelihood statement, to the person selected by the reverse likelihood player;
(g) moving the player position marker of the reverse likelihood player, in accordance with a predetermined agreement of the selections of the players other than the reverse likelihood player in comparison to the selection of the reverse likelihood player; and
(h) returning play to the acting player.
12. The method of playing a likelihood game according to claim 8, further including the steps of:
(a) providing a plurality of likelihood cards; and
(b) placing the plurality of hypothetical likelihood statements upon the likelihood cards.
13. The method of playing a likelihood game according to claim 8, further including the steps of:
(a) providing a plurality of conditional statements;
(b) randomly selecting one of the conditional statements from time to time during the play of the game; and
(c) moving the player position markers of any players who meet the condition of the randomly selected conditional statement, in accordance with the instruction of the conditional statement.
14. The method of playing a likelihood game according to claim 13, further including the step of:
providing a plurality of likelihood cards, the plurality of conditional statements being disposed upon the likelihood cards.
15. The method of playing a likelihood game according to claim 8, further including the step of advancing the player position marker of any player selecting the same person as the acting player.
16. The method of playing a likelihood game according to claim 8, further including the steps of:
(a) selecting the same person by a predetermined number of players, as selected by the acting player;
(b) determining the quantity of movement along the playing path by each player, by tossing the die; and
(c) moving each of the player position markers along the playing path in accordance with the number resulting from the die toss of the corresponding player.
17. The method of playing a likelihood game according to claim 8, further including the steps of:
(a) selecting the same person as selected by the acting player, by only one other player; and
(b) advancing the player position marker of the one other player selecting the same person as the acting player, at least one position along the playing path of the game board.
18. The method of playing a likelihood game according to claim 8, further including the steps of:
(a) selecting a person other than the person selected by the acting player, by only one other player; and
(b) setting back the player position marker of the one other player selecting a different person than the acting player.
19. The method of playing a likelihood game according to claim 8, further including the steps of:
(a) making a unique selection by at least one player, of a person who is different from the selections of persons made by all other players and by the acting player;
(b) setting back the position marker of each player making a unique selection; and
(c) advancing the player position marker of the acting player a number of playing positions corresponding to the number of unique selections by other players.
20. The method of playing a likelihood game according to claim 8, further including the steps of:
(a) making a unique selection by the acting player, of a person who is different from the selections of persons made by all other players; and
(b) setting back the player position marker of the acting player at least one playing position.
Description
    BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • [0001]
    1. Field of the Invention
  • [0002]
    The present invention relates generally to board games, and more specifically to a game in which players consider the likelihood of other players (or other persons known to all players) performing some behavior in accordance with a series of hypothetical behaviors listed on a series of cards provided with the game.
  • [0003]
    2. Description of the Related Art
  • [0004]
    Innumerable board games and similar pastimes have been developed over the years, with many such games being directed to at least an approximate simulation of an occupation, travel, a physical game or sport, or other situation or environment. For example, the present inventor is aware of such games as Monopoly®, which simulate competitive financial transactions in urban real estate, among players. Still other board games relate to the measurement of the knowledge of the players in various fields, with players competing to answer a series of questions relating to popular culture, current events, history, science and technology, etc. The game of Trivial Pursuit® is an example of such board games.
  • [0005]
    However, little has been accomplished in the field of board games which relate to character judgment and estimations of the psychology and characteristics of others, particularly other players involved in the game. The vast majority of board games and similar pastimes are directed to external factors, rather than dealing with the psychological characteristics of the players, or of other persons known to the players. Where games relating to characteristics of the players have been developed in the past, such games are more closely related to the game of Trivial Pursuit®, with players being asked questions relating to the personal history of other players, rather than being required to make judgments about their actions in various hypothetical circumstances. Yet, such a game could be a valuable tool in developing character judgment in the players, as well as providing an enjoyable pastime.
  • [0006]
    The present likelihood game responds to this need for such a game, by providing a board game in which players make character judgments about their opposing players, and/or other persons who are known to all of the players of the game. A game board is provided, with advancement along the playing path of the board being determined according to the success of the players in responding to various hypothetical situations or scenarios relating to other players or persons known to the players. A series of cards listing a relatively large number of such situations is provided with the game, with players selecting exemplary scenarios or questions either randomly or as desired, depending upon the rules.
  • [0007]
    A discussion of the related art of which the present inventor is aware, and its differences and distinctions from the present invention, is provided below.
  • [0008]
    U.S. Pat. No. 4,395,044 issued on Jul. 26, 1983 to Carl J. Hula, titled “Space Board Game Apparatus,” describes a game which loosely simulates space travel. A series of cards is provided, with the cards containing various instructions which benefit or penalize the player, according to random chance. The only similarity between the game of Hula and the present likelihood game is the use of a game board, a series of cards, and chance means. Hula does not require players to select or choose among other players or persons, as to which is more likely act in a certain way regarding a hypothetical situation listed on a card.
  • [0009]
    U.S. Pat. No. 4,565,373 issued on Jan. 21, 1986 to Bracha B. Ungar, titled “Numerical Guessing Game,” describes a game in which players are required to deduce a series of specific numbers selected randomly by a dealer. Players are given numerical clues for assistance. No board game having a playing path requiring the winning player to reach the end of the path is provided by Ungar, nor is there any requirement in the Ungar game for players to make any determination of the likelihood of another player's actions to a given hypothetical situation or scenario, as is the case with the present likelihood game.
  • [0010]
    U.S. Pat. No. 4,822,043 issued on Apr. 18, 1989 to Lewis S. Carter, titled “Baseball Card Game,” describes a simulated baseball game in which nearly all of the various factors which are a part of the game, are contained on a series of cards. Dice are used to determine which of the characteristics on the cards, are used for each play of the game. However, no game board is provided by Carter, nor is there any determination of the likelihood of a player's or person's response or actions to a given hypothetical scenario, as is the case in the present likelihood game.
  • [0011]
    U.S. Pat. No. 4,840,382 issued on Jun. 20, 1989 to Kenneth L. Rubin, titled “Electronic Card Reader And Financial Asset Games,” describes a board game having an electronic device for reading cards which are used in the game. The card reader includes means for changing the characteristics of the game, depending upon the information contained on the cards which are read by the machine. The Rubin game is directed primarily to a financial simulation, but may be used to play a musical identification game as well. Rubin does not include any requirement for players to make determinations about the likelihood of other players' or persons' reactions to given hypothetical situations.
  • [0012]
    U.S. Pat. No. 5,217,229 issued on Jun. 8, 1993 to Francisco Jaime, titled “Football Board Game,” describes a game having a game board resembling a football field. A series of specially marked dice are provided, for randomly selecting the type of play and outcome, the yardage gained or lost, etc. The only cards used in the Jaime football board game, are for noting the score of the game. Jaime does not disclose any requirement for players to make judgments as to the likelihood of other players' or persons' reactions to various situations as listed on a series of cards.
  • [0013]
    U.S. Pat. No. 5,280,914 issued on Jan. 25, 1994 to Clifton B. Selby et al., titled “Educational Board Game,” describes a trivia type game in which cards are provided with pictures of famous persons on one side thereof, and a series of facts relating to that person on the opposite side. Players are shown the picture, and the facts relating to the person are read. The object is to guess the name of the person on the card, with the player making the correct determination, collecting the card for the duration of the game. The first player to collect a predetermined number of cards, wins the game. Selby et al. do not disclose any requirement for players to make any determination as to the likelihood of one of their number acting or reacting in a certain manner, to a hypothetical situation.
  • [0014]
    U.S. Pat. No. 5,308,077 issued on May 3, 1994 to Jeffrey J. Caggiano, titled “Board Game,” describes a game in which players use markers to travel along the playing path of the game board, in accordance with the successful solving of a series of puzzles or problems listed on a series of cards provided with the game. The puzzles or problems comprise anagrams and Rebus type puzzles. No disclosure is made of any requirement for players to make guesses as to the likelihood of another person's reactions to a situation or scenario described on a card, as is the case with the present likelihood game.
  • [0015]
    U.S. Pat. No. 5,480,157 issued on Jan. 2, 1996 to Donna M. Plummer, titled “Fact Game And Method Of Playing The Same,” describes a game in which each player in turn is presented with a series of facts from the other players, and must guess as to which fact corresponds with which player. The Plummer game is a wagering game, with correct responses from the guessing player resulting in the guessing player winning the wager from the player whose identity was guessed correctly from the fact card, and with the fact card player winning the wager from the guessing player if the guessing player guesses incorrectly. While wagers may be placed upon the outcome of the present game, it is not geared to such play, as is the Plummer game. More importantly, Plummer states that the cards used in her game contain factual responses from the players, relating to their lives (column 1, lines 51-53). In contrast, the present game does not ask players to provide factual statements about their lives, but rather presents a series of hypothetical situations and asks each player to make a guess as to which of the players (or other persons known to the players) would most likely fit the given situation. Also, the present game includes a game board with a playing path, with responses which agree with the response of the acting player resulting in the advance of that player's position marker (with certain randomized exceptions). The object is to be the first player to reach the finish position on the board. Plummer states that her game board is optional (col. 3, lines 1 and 2), and no playing path is disclosed on her game board configuration.
  • [0016]
    U.S. Pat. No. 5,735,522 issued on Apr. 7, 1998 to Damien Sausa, titled “Quote And Year Trivia Question Game,” describes a trivia type game having a series of cards with only two types of questions, i.e., the personage responsible for a well known quote, and the year in which a well known event occurred. A game board having a playing path is provided, with movement along the path determined by dice. Successfully answering the question, as determined by the character of the board position where the player's marker is placed according to the dice toss, allows that player to play again. No listing of hypothetical situations, nor requirement that players guess which of their number (or other persons) would be most likely to fit the given hypothetical situation, is provided by Sausa in his game.
  • [0017]
    U.S. Pat. No. 5,899,456 issued on May 4, 1999 to Andrew D. Weinstock et al., titled “Progressive Trivia Game,” describes a game having a board with a series of playing positions forming a path thereon. Player advancement is determined by dice or other chance means. The positions are broadly differentiated into four different types, which relate to different genres of movies. A series of cards are provided, with each having the names of actors associated with the various movie genres on one side, and the name of the corresponding movies on the opposite side. The object is to guess the name of the movie in the shortest time, i.e., after hearing a minimal number of the actors' names associated with the movie. No guesses as to the responses of players or others to a hypothetical situation, are disclosed by Weinstock et al.
  • [0018]
    U.S. Pat. No. 5,913,518 issued on Jun. 22, 1999 to Durand K. Demlow, titled “Method Of Playing A Learning Game,” describes a game having a board with a rectangular matrix of positions thereon, over which the player position markers are advanced. A series of trivia cards contain subjects relating to various sports and games. No requirement for players to determine the most likely of their group, or of other persons, to fit a predetermined hypothetical scenario as described on a card, is provided by Demlow.
  • [0019]
    U.S. Pat. No. 6,116,601 issued on Sep. 12, 2000 to Stanley E. Kornafel, Jr., titled “Board Game Apparatus,” describes a game which loosely simulates travel. The series of cards provided include instructions which directly affect the advance or setback of the position marker of the player drawing the card, rather than describing hypothetical situations, as in the case of the cards of the present game. Kornafel, Jr. does not provide for the players of his game to guess the likelihood of the response of others to hypothetical scenarios, as in the present game.
  • [0020]
    U.S. Pat. No. 6,164,650 issued on Dec. 26, 2000 to Robert F. Wilkins et al., titled “Board Game,” describes a game having a board configured to fit within the playing path of the Monopoly® game board. The cards provided with the Wilkins et al. game affect the advance or setback of the player position markers about the board, rather than containing a series of hypothetical situations, as in the cards of the present game. No requirement for players to guess the likelihood of the reactions of others to hypothetical situations, is disclosed by Wilkins et al.
  • [0021]
    U.S. Pat. No. 6,328,308 issued on Dec. 11, 2001 to Matthew A. Kirby, titled “Creative Comparison Card-Game W/Board-Game Variant,” describes a game having two groups of cards, with one generally containing nouns (or phrases containing the names of things), and another listing adjectives (or other descriptive terms). The object is to match the most likely combination of one of the cards from each group. In one embodiment, players play against a “judge,” with players winning the round if they select differently from the judge. While the present likelihood game contains certain elements of the Kirby game, Kirby does not provide any hypothetical situations in which players must consider the likelihood of others' reactions to such situations.
  • [0022]
    British Patent Publication No. 2,220,146 published on Jan. 4, 1990 to Rodney H. R. Hayward et al., titled “Wine Tasting Game,” describes an activity involving the tasting and comparison of wines. Successfully identifying the wines in a blind taste test, results in advance about a game board. No hypothetical scenarios are presented in the Hayward et al. game.
  • [0023]
    Finally, Canadian Patent Publication No. 2,321,477 published on Mar. 29, 2001 to Vanessa E. Grundy, titled “Board Game,” describes a game simulating space travel on a game board depicting actual and fictional areas of space. No cards describing hypothetical situations, nor any requirement for players to guess the reactions of others to such situations, are disclosed by Grundy.
  • [0024]
    None of the above inventions and patents, either singly or in combination, is seen to describe the instant invention as claimed.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • [0025]
    The present invention is a likelihood game, in which players take turns in guessing the likelihood that a player (or another non-present party known to all of the players) would or would not engage in an activity described upon a series of cards provided with the game. A game board, a player position marker for each player, and a conventional cubical die are also provided. At least eight persons are involved in the play of the present game. If fewer than eight persons are present as players, then one or more non-present persons (e.g., mutual friends and acquaintances, relatives, well known personalities or public figures, etc.) are mutually agreed upon to provide a base list of at least eight persons. More persons may be placed upon this base list, if so desired. Where eight or more players are present, the naming of additional non-present persons is optional.
  • [0026]
    Movement of the position markers is accomplished in accordance with guesses as to the likelihood of one of the persons on the base list engaging in a given activity or performing a given act, as described upon a randomly selected card. Each card has a series of statements thereon, i.e., “Most likely to . . . ”, with the die being used to select the statement on the card drawn, which is to be used by the players for that round. Advancement is dependent upon several factors, including agreement or disagreement with other players, the roll of the die where agreement occurs among the players, and agreement or non-agreement with the player who drew the card containing the likelihood statement being acted upon. Some of the cards may contain an additional statement which allows players to advance their position markers a predetermined number of positions on the board, if they fit the conditions of the statement (e.g., “If you own two or more dogs, advance two spaces.”) The first player to advance his or her position marker completely about one lap of the playing path of the game board, wins the game.
  • [0027]
    Accordingly, it is a principal object of the invention to provide a board game in which players advance position markers about a game board in accordance with the players' considerations as to the likelihood of other players (or non-present persons) engaging in or performing a given act.
  • [0028]
    It is another object of the invention to provide a board game in which advancement on the board is based on the likelihood of the players performing activities described upon a series of cards provided with the game.
  • [0029]
    It is a further object of the invention to provide a board game in which movement of position markers along the game board playing path may be dependent upon agreement or disagreement with other players as to the person most likely to perform a given act as described in the game cards.
  • [0030]
    Still another object of the invention is to provide a board game with cards having additional conditions upon some of the cards, with players meeting the conditions being allowed to advance their position markers.
  • [0031]
    It is an object of the invention to provide improved elements and arrangements thereof for the purposes described which is inexpensive, dependable and fully effective in accomplishing its intended purposes.
  • [0032]
    These and other objects of the present invention will become readily apparent upon further review of the following specification and drawings.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • [0033]
    [0033]FIG. 1 is a top plan view of a game board for use with the present likelihood game invention.
  • [0034]
    [0034]FIG. 2 is a top plan view of an exemplary game card used with the present game, with a series of likelihood statements and a single condition statement thereon.
  • [0035]
    [0035]FIG. 3 is a flow chart describing the basic steps in the play of the present likelihood game.
  • [0036]
    Similar reference characters denote corresponding features consistently throughout the attached drawings.
  • DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT
  • [0037]
    The present invention comprises a likelihood game, in which players make judgments as to the likelihood of one of their number, or of other non-present persons mutually known and agreed upon by the players, performing or engaging in some act or behavior. The present game is a competitive activity, with the winner being the first player to advance his or her position marker to the finishing position of the board.
  • [0038]
    [0038]FIG. 1 of the drawings provides an illustration of the playing surface 10 of an exemplary game board 12 which may be used with the present likelihood game. The game board 12 is a generally flat, planar board, which may be foldable in order to provide for compact storage when not in use. The likelihood game board 12 includes a periphery 14 having a playing path 16 with a continuous series of playing positions 18 disposed thereon. The playing path 16 may also include a series of “reverse likelihood” positions 20, with their purpose being described further below. The playing path 16 may comprise a continuous, closed loop about the periphery 14 of the board 12, with the starting position 22 and finishing position 24 sharing a common playing position along the playing path 16. It will be seen that alternative configurations of the game board for the present likelihood game may be provided as desired. A number of conventional player position markers (not shown) are also provided, to indicate the relative positions of player advancement along the playing path 16 of the board 12. A single conventional cubical die (not shown) having six faces each having a different number indicated thereon, is also provided for random selection purposes.
  • [0039]
    The present game is based upon the concept that different people will tend to behave in different ways, i.e., different people will be more or less likely to engage in or perform some specific act. Success in the present game is based upon the ability of players to estimate the likelihood of their fellow players (or other non-present persons mutually known and agreed upon by the players present) engaging in specified hypothetical behaviors. Accordingly, a large number of hypothetical likelihood statements 26 are provided with the present game, as shown in FIG. 2. Preferably, these likelihood statements 26 are provided upon one surface 28 of a card 30, so that the card 30 may be turned face down to conceal the statements 26 thereon to provide for random selection thereof.
  • [0040]
    While players may make up the hypothetical likelihood statements before or during play of the game, preferably a large number of such statements 26 are provided with the game. Preferably, a series of six such statements 26 is provided upon each of the cards 30. A single statement 26 is selected at each turn of play, by means of the six sided die provided with the game. The table below serves to expand upon the exemplary hypothetical likelihood statements 26 illustrated in FIG. 2:
  • Table I. Hypothetical Likelihood Statements
  • [0041]
    Name the person most likely to:
  • [0042]
    1. attempt to bribe a police officer
  • [0043]
    2. cheat on their taxes
  • [0044]
    3. call a 900 number
  • [0045]
    4. lie to get a date
  • [0046]
    5. spend their last dollar on a friend
  • [0047]
    6. hit on a friend's girlfriend
  • [0048]
    7. go to a nude beach
  • [0049]
    8. order twenty pizzas to their boss's house
  • [0050]
    9. help their kid cheat on a spelling bee
  • [0051]
    10. buy a dog that looks like them
  • [0052]
    11. install a two-way mirror in their bathroom
  • [0053]
    12. sabotage a circus tent
  • [0054]
    13. be a closet Rosie O'Donnell fan
  • [0055]
    14. never get married
  • [0056]
    15. put a gumball machine in their house so as to make money off their friends
  • [0057]
    16. tell a female cop she's cute
  • [0058]
    17. finish another's sentence
  • [0059]
    18. start a cult
  • [0060]
    The above hypothetical likelihood statements of Table I are exemplary, and it will be seen that innumerable additional likelihood statements may be provided or devised by players as desired, relating to driving habits, food preferences, relationships with other persons, preference in television viewing habits and/or reading materials, etc. Preferably, a series of six such likelihood statements is placed upon each of the cards of the present game, with the single die provided with the game being used to select one of the six likelihood statements from one of the likelihood cards 30 drawn randomly during the course of play.
  • [0061]
    It will be noted that the exemplary likelihood statement card 30 of FIG. 2 also contains an additional statement 32 thereon. This additional statement 32 is considered a conditional statement, with all players meeting the stated condition of the conditional statement 32 being allowed to advance their respective player position markers along the playing path 16 of the game board 12 in accordance with the provisions of the condition statement 32 on the selected card 30. Preferably, only a relatively few of the likelihood statement cards 30 (e.g., ten percent or so) also include a condition statement 32 thereon, in order to make the encounter of such a conditional statement 32 a relatively rare and unusual occurrence during the game. Such conditional statements 32 may cover an extremely broad range of conditions, e.g., “if you speak a foreign language,” “if you own a car with no more than two seats,” “if you are carrying a condom,” etc. Any player or player who meets the randomly selected conditional statement 32 as it appears on the corresponding likelihood statement card 30 from time to time, is permitted to advance his or her player position marker along the playing path 16 of the game board 12, in accordance with the movement permitted by the conditional statement 32.
  • [0062]
    [0062]FIG. 3 is a flow chart describing the basic steps in the method of play of the present likelihood game. The first step 34 of FIG. 3 describes the basic components required for the game, i.e., the game board 12, likelihood cards 30 (or at least the series of likelihood statements), the series of conventional player position markers used to designate the progress of the players about the game board 12 during play, and the single die used in the present game. In addition, conventional paper (or other material which may be used for writing upon) and pen (or other writing implement) is provided to each player, in order for the players to note their likelihood selections during the game. Other means for players to designate their selected likelihood choices may be used alternatively, e.g., designating each candidate by letter or number before the game begins, and providing each player with a series of correspondingly lettered or numbered cards. However, the present game is based upon the premise that each of the players knows one another at least to some extent, and that any non-present persons used to fill out the required number of candidates for the game are also known to all participating players. Accordingly, all players will know the names of all other players, and the jotting down of a first or last name, or initials, serves sufficiently to identify the selected players.
  • [0063]
    Once the game apparatus has been deployed, the players are selected, the order of play is determined, and a player position marker is assigned to each player, generally as indicated by the second step 36 of the flow chart of FIG. 3. The present game provides for two classes of persons to be involved (at least in a sense), with only those persons physically present, actually participating in the play of the game. The order of play of the physically present players may be determined by the single die provided with the game, e.g., by having each player toss the die in turn, with the highest (or perhaps lowest) number being designated as the first acting player, and other players playing in turn as established by the die.
  • [0064]
    It is anticipated that all those present would normally participate in the game, but there may be an insufficient number of persons physically present to provide a relatively wide selection of likely persons which might meet the likelihood and conditional statements during play. Preferably, the present game is played with no fewer than eight persons, in order to provide the desired variety of personalities for the game. Where eight (or more) players can be physically present for play, those eight (or more) players may interact among themselves with no additional players or personalities being required for play of the game.
  • [0065]
    However, it is recognized that it may be difficult to gather eight persons together at one time for playing the present game, and even in cases where eight persons are physically present for play of the game, those persons may desire to widen the number of persons who may be considered as candidates for the various likelihood statements. Accordingly, the present game permits those players physically present to select one or more non-present persons to add to the number of likelihood candidate persons, or at least to meet the minimum number of persons for the game, when the minimum number of persons is not physically present. This is indicated by the optional third step 38 of the flow chart of FIG. 3. The non-present persons need not even be aware of the game, or that they have been named as potential likelihood choices or candidates for the game. The only requirements for such non-present persons, are that (1) they be known at least to a certain extent to all of the players who are physically present, and (2) preferably, all (or at least a majority) of the physically present players agree as to the identities of the non-present persons to be used as likelihood candidates during the course of play. Such non-present players may be mutual friends or acquaintances, celebrities known to all players, co-workers or classmates, etc., as desired.
  • [0066]
    Once the game apparatus has been set up, physically present players and non-present persons determined and selected as necessary, and the order of play has been established, play begins with the person previously designated as the first acting player, tossing the single cubical die. The number resulting from the die toss is used to designate the correspondingly numbered statement 26 (i.e., one through six) of the randomly selected likelihood statement card 30. Alternatively, the card 30 may be selected before the die is tossed, with the die then being tossed to designate the likelihood statement 26 to be used from the randomly selected card 30. The acting player, i.e., the player tossing the die and randomly selecting the likelihood card 30, then reads the likelihood statement selected by the random means described above, generally as indicated by the fourth step 40 of the flow chart of FIG. 3.
  • [0067]
    Once the physically present players have heard the likelihood statement 26 as read out loud to them by the acting player, they each independently select a single person (either one of the physically present players, or one of the non-present persons mutually agreed upon, if such persons have been named to form a portion of the likelihood selection pool) in response to the likelihood statement 26 read by the acting player, i.e., the player tossing the die and reading the randomly selected statement 26. The name (or initials, or some identifying characteristic) of the selected person is noted by each of the physically present players, using the paper and pen or other means provided, generally as indicated by the fifth step 42 of the flow chart of FIG. 3. Each player's selection is kept secret from all other players, until all of the players have made their selections and the acting player has announced his or her selection to the group of physically present players. Players may select themselves, or any of the other physically present players or mutually agreed upon non-present persons (if any).
  • [0068]
    At this point, the acting player and all other physically present players reveal their selections to one another and compare those selections with one another. It is anticipated that players will normally select persons whom they feel would most likely fit the likelihood statement or scenario read by the acting player. However, it will be seen that each player is free to select any other physically present player or non-present person they wish. As advance and setback along the playing path 16 of the game board 12 is determined by agreement (or disagreement) with the acting player (and with other players), as modified randomly by the die in certain cases, it will be seen that it may be advantageous for players to attempt to anticipate the selection(s) made by the acting player, and/or other physically present players in the game. Several different patterns of agreement or disagreement between players may occur, with each pattern having different results for the players. The various potential outcomes, depending upon the agreement or disagreement of the various physically present players with the acting player, are indicated generally by the sixth step 44 of the flow chart of FIG. 3, which specifies generally that the player position markers are advanced or set back in accordance with the various likelihood determinations of the physically present players. The specific rules governing various specific scenarios, are described in detail below.
  • [0069]
    There will often be two or more players whose selections agree with the selection of the acting player. For normal play, the position markers of all players whose selections agree with the selection of the acting player are advanced one position (or alternatively some other number) along the playing path 16 of the game board 12.
  • [0070]
    However, in some instances a selection may be so obvious that all players (or at least a substantial majority) will agree with the acting player. If all players agree with the selection made by the acting player (or if three quarters of the players agree with the acting player, in those cases where a large number, e.g., eight or more, players are physically present), rather than advancing the position markers of each player a like number of positions on the board, the die is used to randomize the player moves. Each physically present player tosses the die when such agreement occurs, with each player advancing or setting back his or her position marker in accordance with the number generated by the die toss. For example, a player rolling a one, could be required to set back his or her position marker by one position. A two or three could result in no movement whatsoever, with a four or five resulting in a one-position advance. Finally, tossing a six could allow the player to advance his or her position marker by two positions. This rule applies to all players who are physically present and participating in the play of the game, including the acting player. Alternative advance and setback quantities may be established for the various numerical outcomes of the die, as desired.
  • [0071]
    Another possible outcome is the situation wherein only a single physically present player selects the same person as the acting player. (This might be called the “just me” rule.) In this case, the agreeing non-acting and acting players are permitted to advance their respective position markers two positions (or some other number of positions, as agreed upon). Other physically present players are not permitted to advance their player position markers when this scenario occurs, but must remain in the same positions on the playing path 16 of the game board 12 as occupied before the play.
  • [0072]
    Yet another potential outcome is that one or more players will select a person different from that selected by the active player, and also different from that selected by any other player. When this occurs, the player selecting the unique response, i.e., different from the response selected by all other players, must set back his or her position marker by one position on the game board 12 (or other number of positions, alternatively). This may be considered as the “odd man out” rule.
  • [0073]
    In at least some instances, most of the players and the active player will be in disagreement with one another as to the most likely person to meet a selected specific likelihood statement 26. When this occurs, the acting player may gain a significant advantage over the other players who have not made a selection which agrees with his or her selection. In such a situation, the acting player is permitted to advance his or her position marker two positions (or some other number, alternatively) for each selection made by other players which does not agree with either the acting player's or any other player's selection. (This rule applies only in those situations where at least one other player has made the same selection as the acting player. Another rule, described immediately below, applies which penalizes the acting player, where no other player agrees with the acting player.)
  • [0074]
    Another possibility in the present likelihood game is that the active player will choose a person different from any of the selections made by any of the other physically present players. The active player's position marker is set back three positions (or some other number, alternatively) on the playing path 16 of the game board 12. It should be noted that this rule does not require any specific agreement or disagreement between players other than the acting player; only that all of their responses differ from the response of the acting player. This may be considered to be the “bogus likelihood guesser” rule.
  • [0075]
    From time to time during the course of the game, one or more of the player position markers will come to rest upon one of the “reverse likelihood” positions 20 along the playing path 16 of the game board 12. The reverse likelihood positions essentially permit the player whose marker comes to rest upon such a position, to serve as the acting player for that turn of play. A player landing upon a reverse likelihood position 20 selects a likelihood card 30, selects one of the likelihood statements 26 thereon as desired, without using the die for random selection (alternatively, the die may be used to make a selection randomly), and notes his or her selection or response to the selected likelihood statement 26, without informing the other players as to what his or her selection is. The reverse likelihood player then reads the selected likelihood statement to the other players, who then make their determinations as to the most likely person to meet the likelihood statement.
  • [0076]
    The reverse likelihood player is rewarded if at least half of the other players (including the player who would be serving as acting player at this point) select the same person as selected by the reverse likelihood player. When this occurs, the reverse likelihood player is allowed to advance by two positions (or other amount, as determined) on the playing path 16, with the markers of other players remaining in their original locations as established at the initiation of the reverse likelihood play. Once the reverse likelihood play has been completed, play reverts to the player who would next be serving as acting player. The “reverse likelihood” option is also included in the sixth step 44 of the flow chart of FIG. 3, by noting that players move their position markers in accordance with likelihood determinations of acting “and other” (e.g., reverse likelihood) players.
  • [0077]
    Some relatively small percentage of the likelihood statement cards 30 may also contain a conditional statement, 32 as noted further above and illustrated in FIG. 2. When the acting player randomly encounters a likelihood statement card 30 having such a conditional statement 32 thereon, the acting player reads the conditional statement 32 to the other players after play relating to the randomly selected likelihood statement 26 on the card 30 has been completed. Any player meeting the condition(s) of the conditional statement must move his or her position marker accordingly, generally as indicated by the optional seventh step 46 of the flow chart of FIG. 3. It will be seen that not all such conditional statements may require an advance of the position marker(s) for a qualifying player(s). In some instances, the meeting of such conditional statements may require qualifying players to set back the position of their position markers by some designated number of positions on the playing path 16 of the game board 12. An example of such a negative conditional statement might be, “if you have more than three points on your driver's license, move back two spaces.” Other more easily determinable conditions may be provided as desired and used in order to confirm the players' meeting or not meeting the conditions.
  • [0078]
    Play continues in the manner described above, with the role of acting player rotating sequentially between the players physically present in accordance with the determination of the order of play which was accomplished at the beginning of the game. The goal of the game is to win by being the player who first advances his or her player position marker to the finishing or ending position 24 on the playing path 16 of the game board 12, generally as indicated in the eighth or final step 48 of the flow chart of FIG. 3.
  • [0079]
    In conclusion, the present likelihood game provides a most entertaining pastime for a group of friends and acquaintances. The present game offers several advantages over other board games developed in the past. For example, in the present likelihood game, it is not necessary to gather a relatively large number of players together physically in a single location at one time, to play the game. A relatively small number of players may meet, and mutually select a number of non-present persons known to all of the physically present players, to serve as potential nominees for the various likelihoods of the game. The present game is also relatively simple to play in its most basic form, but requires that the discerning player make judgments not only as to whom he or she feels most likely meets the selected likelihood statements during play, but also how other physically present players, including the acting player, are likely to choose. Thus, the present likelihood game requires some knowledge of the psychology of one's fellow players, as well as some strategy in estimating their likely choices. Finally, the present likelihood game serves as an ideal “ice breaker” at parties and other gatherings of friends and acquaintances, and will prove to be a most welcome addition and accessory to such gatherings in assisting those present in getting to know one another and promoting friendships in a fun and entertaining manner.
  • [0080]
    It is to be understood that the present invention is not limited to the embodiment described above, but encompasses any and all embodiments within the scope of the following claims. 2
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US8006979 *Apr 21, 2009Aug 30, 2011Lamm Connie LGame for sculpting objects and method of playing same
US8620736Jul 29, 2011Dec 31, 2013John Nicholas and Kristin GrossLocation-based promotions using data derived from item sampling events
US8626608Oct 12, 2012Jan 7, 2014John Nicholas and Kristin Gross TrustRecommendation systems using gourmet item sampling events
US8671012Oct 12, 2012Mar 11, 2014John Nicholas and Kristin GrossMethods and systems for promoting items based on event sampling data
US8744900 *Oct 12, 2012Jun 3, 2014John NicholasIntegrated kits for conducting item sampling events
US8756097 *Oct 12, 2012Jun 17, 2014John Nicholas GrossSystem for providing promotional materials based on item sampling event results
US9037515Oct 12, 2012May 19, 2015John Nicholas and Kristin GrossSocial networking websites and systems for publishing sampling event data
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US20130041839 *Oct 12, 2012Feb 14, 2013John Nicholas And Kristin Gross Trust U/A/D April 13, 2010Integrated Gourmet Item Data Collection, Recommender and Vending System and Method
US20130041840 *Oct 12, 2012Feb 14, 2013John Nicholas And Kristin Gross Trust U/A/D April 13, 2010Integrated Gourmet Item Data Collection, Recommender and Vending System and Method
Classifications
U.S. Classification273/243, 273/249
International ClassificationA63F3/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63F2003/00018, A63F3/00006
European ClassificationA63F3/00A2