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Publication numberUS20070063433 A1
Publication typeApplication
Application numberUS 11/521,914
Publication dateMar 22, 2007
Filing dateSep 16, 2006
Priority dateSep 16, 2005
Publication number11521914, 521914, US 2007/0063433 A1, US 2007/063433 A1, US 20070063433 A1, US 20070063433A1, US 2007063433 A1, US 2007063433A1, US-A1-20070063433, US-A1-2007063433, US2007/0063433A1, US2007/063433A1, US20070063433 A1, US20070063433A1, US2007063433 A1, US2007063433A1
InventorsRegan Ross
Original AssigneeRoss Regan M
Export CitationBiBTeX, EndNote, RefMan
External Links: USPTO, USPTO Assignment, Espacenet
Educational simulation game and method for playing
US 20070063433 A1
Abstract
An educational simulation game is provided, comprising: a quantity of game money for use during play of the game; a game map comprising multiple adjoining game tiles representing elements of a country, comprising wilderness tiles, residence tiles, and business tiles, wherein each tile may be acquired by a player of the game, and wherein each tile represents at least a benefit or a cost to an acquiring player; a constitution comprising principles for governing collective game play by multiple players; and a plurality of hidden agendas, comprising one or more objectives, wherein each player is assigned a hidden agenda.
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Claims(20)
1. An educational simulation game comprising:
a quantity of game money for use during play of the game;
a game map comprising multiple adjoining game tiles representing elements of a country, comprising wilderness tiles, residence tiles, and business tiles, wherein each tile may be acquired by a player of the game, and wherein each tile conveys at least a benefit or a cost to an acquiring player;
a constitution comprising principles for governing collective game play by multiple players; and
a plurality of hidden agendas, comprising one or more objectives, wherein each player is assigned a hidden agenda.
2. The educational simulation game according to claim 1 additionally comprising a plurality of wildcards, wherein each wildcard comprises an announcement and positive or negative consequences to a player receiving the wildcard.
3. The educational simulation game according to claim 1 additionally comprising economic units wherein economic units are produced by business tiles.
4. The educational simulation game according to claim 1 wherein wilderness tiles comprise greenspace tiles and river tiles.
5. The educational simulation game according to claim 1 wherein residence tiles comprise mansion tiles, house tiles, and apartment tiles.
6. The educational simulation game according to claim 1 wherein business tiles comprise one or more of: energy/industry tiles, farm tiles, healthcare tiles, education tiles, security tiles, insurance tiles, technology tiles, arts and entertainment tiles, and transportation tiles.
7. The educational simulation game according to claim 1 wherein the game is configured for play in a classroom setting and the game players are students.
8. The educational simulation game according to claim 1 wherein the game is configured for online delivery over a computer network.
9. The educational simulation game according to claim 6 wherein each game tile comprises at least one of images and symbols representing the type of game tile.
10. The educational simulation game according to claim 1 wherein the object of a player is to earn status points during game play, and wherein status points may be earned by one or more of: earning well-being points during game play, accomplishing objectives of an assigned hidden agenda, and performance and/or participation in game play in a classroom setting.
11. A method of playing an educational simulation game comprising:
providing a game map, comprising multiple adjoining game tiles representing elements of a country, comprising wilderness tiles, residence tiles, and business tiles, wherein business tiles produce economic units;
providing an initial amount of game money to each player;
establishing a constitution comprising principles for governing collective game play;
assigning a hidden agenda to each player;
auctioning game tiles to be acquired by game players in exchange for game money;
conducting a legislative session to establish additional principles for game play;
conducting a judicial session to enforce principles for game play;
conducting an executive session to execute duties of a collective government comprised of all players; and
conducting an economic session wherein players may buy, sell or trade game tiles or economic units.
12. The method according to claim 11 additionally comprising conducting an international session to interact with a separate second educational simulation game being played contemporaneously.
13. The method according to claim 11 additionally comprising determining a number of status points earned by each player.
14. The method according to claim 11 additionally comprising distributing wildcards to one or more players.
15. A graphical user interface for playing an educational simulation game comprising:
a game map pane displaying a game map comprising multiple adjoining game tiles representing elements of a country, comprising wilderness tiles, residence tiles, and business tiles;
a constitution pane displaying a constitution comprising principles for governing collective game play by multiple game players;
a status summary pane displaying a player status summary for each game player; and
a discussion forum pane displaying a discussion forum for interaction between game players.
16. The graphical user interface according to claim 15 wherein the graphical user interface is adapted for playing an education simulation game by a classroom comprising multiple student game players.
17. The graphical user interface according to claim 15 wherein a player status summary comprises a list of game tiles and economic units acquired a each player, a list of game tiles and/or economic units a player wishes to buy, sell or trade, and a total of status points earned by a player.
18. The graphical user interface according to claim 15 wherein the graphical user interface is configured for online delivery over a computer network.
19. The graphical user interface according to claim 18 wherein the computer network comprises a central hosting computer, and at least one remote client computer.
20. The graphical user interface according to claim 19 wherein the at least one remote client computer comprises one or more of: an instructor computer in a classroom and a student computer in a classroom.
Description
CROSS REFERENCE TO RELA TED APPLICA TIONS

This application claims priority benefit of commonly owned U.S. Provisional Patent Application No. 60/718,032 filed Sep. 16, 2005, the contents of which are incorporated herein by reference.

FIELD

The present invention relates to games, and more particularly to educational simulation games.

BACKGROUND

Examples of educational games are known in the art for the purpose of teaching a particular concept or skill to a student through playing a game. Educational board games are known which are directed towards teaching specific skills such as reading or arithmetic. Similarly, educational games for use in a classroom setting are known in the art, and may typically allow for multiple students to play at once in order to learn a particular topic or skill taught by the game.

Examples of simulation games are also known in the art, many of which are directed towards entertainment purposes. Some known simulation games allow game players to simulate different situations or environments, which may be realistic or fanciful. However, many such simulation games are limited in the degree to which they may be applied in an educational setting. In addition, many educational and simulation games known in the art are unable to provide a realistic simulation of complicated real-world world scenarios such as the functioning of a modern democratic country or nation, which may be suitable for educational purposes, such as in a classroom setting.

Consequently, it would be desirable to provide an educational simulation game that simulates the functioning of a country, such as may be suitable for use in a government, economics or civics educational course.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

An educational simulation game is provided in one embodiment of the present invention, comprising: a quantity of game money for use during play of the game; a game map comprising multiple adjoining game tiles representing elements of a country, comprising wilderness tiles, residence tiles, and business tiles, wherein each tile may be acquired by a player of the game, and wherein each tile represents at least a benefit or a cost to an acquiring player; a constitution comprising principles for governing collective game play by multiple players; and a plurality of hidden agendas, comprising one or more objectives, wherein each player is assigned a hidden agenda. The educational simulation game may be adapted to simulate aspects of the operation of a democratic country, including one or more of governmental, legal, economic and societal aspects.

In a further embodiment of the present invention a method of playing an educational simulation game is provided, comprising: providing a game map, comprising multiple adjoining game tiles representing elements of a country, comprising wilderness tiles, residence tiles, and business tiles, wherein business tiles produce economic units; providing an initial amount of game money to each player; establishing a constitution comprising principles for governing collective game play; assigning a hidden agenda to each player; auctioning game tiles to be acquired by game players in exchange for game money; conducting a legislative session to establish additional principles for game play; conducting a judicial session to enforce principles for game play; conducting an executive session to execute duties of a collective government comprised of all players; and conducting an economic session wherein players may buy, sell or trade game tiles or economic units.

In yet a further embodiment of the present invention, a graphical user interface for playing an educational simulation game is provided, comprising: a game map pane displaying a game map comprising multiple adjoining game tiles representing elements of a country, comprising wilderness tiles, residence tiles, and business tiles; a constitution pane displaying a constitution comprising principles for governing collective game play by multiple game players; a status summary pane displaying a player status summary for each game player; and a discussion forum pane displaying a discussion forum for interaction between game players.

BRIEF SUMMARY OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 illustrates a game map according to an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 2 illustrates an exemplary constitution according to an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 3 illustrates an exemplary hidden agenda according to an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 4A illustrates an exemplary wildcard with a positive consequence according to an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 4B illustrates an exemplary wildcard with a negative consequence according to another embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 5 illustrates a series of game playing processes according to an embodiment of the invention.

FIG. 6 illustrates an exemplary graphical user interface for implementing a computer delivered embodiment of the invention.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF SEVERAL EMBODIMENTS

The present invention may be more completely understood through the description of several embodiments below, with reference to the above-described drawings.

FIG. 1 illustrates an exemplary game map 100 according to an embodiment of the invention, comprising multiple adjoining game tiles, and suitable for playing an educational simulation game according to the invention. The multiple adjoining game tiles of game map 100 represent elements of a country as simulated by the educational simulation game of the invention. More particularly, game map 100 comprises: wilderness tiles comprising river tile 116 and greenspace tile 122, residence tiles comprising apartment tile 114, house tile 120 and mansion tile 112, and business tiles comprising energy/industry tile 106, farm tile 126, healthcare tile 102, education tile 104, security tile 110, insurance tile 108, technology tile 118, and arts and entertainment tile 124. A game map according to an embodiment of the invention may also comprise additional types of game tiles representing additional elements of a country such as transportation tiles (not shown).

In an embodiment of the invention, the game tiles comprised in game map 100 may be acquired by a player of the educational simulation game such as by buying, selling or trading of the game tile. Additionally, each game tile conveys at least one of a benefit or a cost to an acquiring player, such as an expense of money, or economic units, or a benefit of economic units, money, or game points, for example. In a further embodiment, each game tile may comprise an image and/or symbol representing the type of game tile.

According to another embodiment of the invention, economic units may be produced by a business game tile, such as energy/industry units produced by an energy/industry tile 106, food units produced by a farm tile 126, healthcare units produced by a healthcare tile 102, education units produced by an education tile 104, for example. Additional types of economic units comprise insurance units, produced by an insurance tile 108, technology units produced by a technology tile 118, and arts and entertainment units produced by an arts and entertainment tile 124. The number of economic units produced by a given type of game tile, and the rate at which such economic units are produced during game play may be varied according to factors such as the intended length of the game, the number of players, or the intent of the game, for example.

In yet another embodiment of the invention, multiple subtypes of one type of game tile may have greater or lesser value in a game to a player than another subtype. For example, a mansion tile 112 which is a subtype of residence tile may have greater value in a game than a house tile 120, which may have a greater value in a game than an apartment tile 114. Relative values of game tile types and subtypes may be determined according to any suitable factor, such as the number of subtypes of game tile, the number of players in a game, and the intended length of the game, for example. Further, while each type and subtype of game tile may convey a benefit and/or a cost to a player that acquires the game tile, certain types of game tiles, such as wilderness tiles comprising river tiles 116 and greenspace tiles 122 may provide a collective benefit to all players, or to all players acquiring a game tile adjacent to the collective benefit game tile on the game map 100. Additionally, some types of economic units produced by business tiles may comprise essential economic units that may be required to be consumed in order for a benefit (such as an economic unit) to be realized from another game tile. For example, an energy/industry economic unit may comprise an essential economic unit, which must be consumed by another game tile such as a farm tile, in order to produce food economic units from the farm tile. Similarly, residence game tiles may require the consumption of both energy/industry economic units and food economic units in order to afford shelter, which represents the benefit of a residence game tile to an acquiring player.

FIG. 2 illustrates an exemplary constitution 200 according to an embodiment of the present invention. The constitution 200 comprises principles 202, 204, 206, 208 and 210 for governing collective game play by multiple players. More particularly, constitution 200 comprises one or more principles governing production and/or maintenance of game elements 202, such as game tiles, economic units, etc. Constitution 200 further comprises one or more principles governing distribution of game elements and/or game money between players 204, one or more principles governing a legislative process for creating, changing and/or removing additional game principles 206, one or more principles governing execution of game principles and how decisions are made during game play 208, and one or more principles governing judgement and enforcement of game principles 210.

According to another embodiment of the invention, a constitution 200 suitable for use in the educational simulation game of the invention may typically comprise two principles for each of 202, 204, 206, 208 and 210. In one embodiment, such principles comprising constitution 200 may be established in advance by an instructor or other facilitator of game play. Alternatively, such principles may be established at the outset of game play by one or more players, such as by discussion and consensus and/or majority voting.

FIG. 3 illustrates an exemplary secret agenda 300 according to an embodiment of the present invention. Secret agenda 300 comprises hidden agenda description or identification 302. Multiple secret agendas may exist for use in the educational simulation game of the invention, which may be described or identified such as socialist, capitalist, anarchist, for example. Secret agenda 300 further comprises hidden agenda criteria 304, 308 and 312, and corresponding point values 306, 310 and 314. Secret agendas may be assigned to players in the educational simulation game of the present invention to provide objectives for the players to attempt to achieve through their participation in the game, as defined by hidden agenda criteria. If a player achieves an objective of a hidden agenda by fulfilling one or more hidden agenda criteria during game play, they may be awarded a point value corresponding to the fulfilled hidden agenda criterion. Typically, hidden agenda criteria on a single hidden agenda may be oriented toward a common idealogical theme, which may be summarized by the hidden agenda description. Further, it may typically be an objective of players of the educational simulation game of the invention to achieve points during game play, such as by fulfilling hidden agenda criteria assigned to them as part of their hidden agenda. In one embodiment, such points may be referred to as status points.

FIG. 4A illustrates a wildcard 400 according to an embodiment of the invention comprising wildcard announcement or description 401, and positive wildcard consequences 402. FIG. 4B illustrates a second wildcard 405 according to another embodiment, comprising wildcard announcement or description 406, negative wildcard consequences 408 and wildcard consequence prevention identifier 410. In an optional embodiment of the present invention, wildcards may be distributed to one or more game players, such as by pseudorandom means such as drawing of a card, or automatic pseudorandom distribution. Upon receipt of a wildeard by a player, the announcement of the wildcard typically describes a hypothetical occurrence or situation related to the educational simulation game of the invention, and the consequences of the announcement on the receiving player related to game play. The resulting positive or negative consequences of the wildcard may the be effected by or on the receiving player, such as receiving (positive consequences) or losing (negative consequences) a specific amount of game money, or game points such as status points. In another embodiment, wildcards comprising a negative consequence may identify a game element such as a type of economic unit that may be consumed to prevent the negative consequence of the wildcard upon the player. For example, in the case of wildcard 405 announcing that a player's residence unit has burnt down, negative consequences of losing game money and status points 406 may be prevented by the consumption of an insurance economic unit identified as consequence prevention 410,

FIG. 5 illustrates an exemplary series of game playing processes according to an embodiment of the invention. The game playing processes of FIG. 5 comprise pre-game processes 500, game round processes 502, and inter-round processes 504. The educational simulation game according to an embodiment of the present invention may typically be divided into multiple similar or repeating rounds of play. Pre-game processes 500 may typically be completed prior to the start of the first of multiple rounds of game play. Game round processes 502 may typically be completed during each round of game play, and inter-round processes 504 may optionally be completed in between each round of game play.

Pre-game processes 500 comprise the game playing processes: providing a game map comprising games tiles representing elements of a country 506, providing an initial amount of game money to players 508, establishing a constitution comprising principles for governing collective game play 510, assigning a hidden agenda to each player 512, and auctioning game tiles to be acquired by players for game money. In one embodiment, pre-game processes 506, 508 and 512 may typically be completed by an instructor or facilitator of the educational simulation game prior to the first round of game play, while pre-game processes 510 and 514 may typically be collectively completed by all players of the game prior to the first round of game play.

Game round processes 502 comprise the game playing processes: conducting a legislative session to establish additional principles for game play 516, conducting a judicial session to enforce principles for game play 518, conducting an executive session to execute duties of collective government comprised of all players 520, conducting an economic session wherein players may buy, sell or trade game tiles or economic units 522, and may optionally comprise conducting an international session to interact with another contemporaneous game 524. In one embodiment, game round processes 502 may typically be repeated for as many rounds of game play as desired, such as is shown by arrow 528 in FIG. 5. In another embodiment, all players of the game may typically participate in each of the game round processes 502 to complete each game round process one per round of game play. For example, in a legislative session conducted in process 516, players may collectively propose, approve (such as by democratic voting), and establish additional principles (in addition to those in a constitution which are typically overarching or guiding principles for the larger context of game play simulating the affairs of a country). Similarly, for example, in an economic session conducted in process 522, players may bargain with one or many other players to buy, sell and/or trade game tiles or economic units related to achieving each player's goals for game play, such as to fulfil hidden agenda criteria for example.

Optional inter-round processes 504 comprise the optional game playing processes: determining the number of status points earned by each player 526, and distributing wildcards to one or more players 528. In one embodiment, optional process 526 may comprise assessment of hidden agenda objectives to determine fulfilment of hidden agenda criteria, and associated earned status points, as well as tallying status points from each player earned according to relative performance in the game (such as may be determined by a secondary point system internal to game play during game round processes, referred to as well-being points according to one embodiment), and according to performance in collective game process activities like establishing a constitution or conducting a legislative session for example (assessment of such performance may be determined by an instructor or game facilitator).

FIG. 6 illustrates an exemplary graphical user interface (GUI) 600 for implementing a computer delivered embodiment of the inventive game. GUI 600 comprises multiple panes or windows for displaying information relating to playing the educational simulation game of the present invention, and is adapted for display on a computer, and for delivery to a displaying computer over a computer network. In one embodiment, GUI 600 comprises game map pane 604, constitution pane 610, status summary pane 602 and discussion forum pane 608. In an optional embodiment of the invention, GUI 600 additionally comprises optional teacher-student discussion forum pane 606, and judicial law pane 612. Game map pane 604 displays a game map comprising multiple adjoining game tiles representing elements of a country, comprising wilderness tiles, residence tiles, and business tiles. Constitution pane 610 displays a constitution comprising principles for governing collective game play by multiple players. Status summary pane 602 displays a player status summary for each game player. In one embodiment, a player status summary comprises a list of game tiles and economic units acquired a each player, a list of game tiles and/or economic units a player wishes to buy, sell or trade, and a total of status points earned by a player. Discussion forum pane 608 displays a discussion form for interaction between game players.

According to a further embodiment, GUI 600 is adapted for online delivery of the educational simulation game of the present invention over a computer network. In another embodiment, GUI 600 may be adapted for playing the educational simulation game according to the invention by a classroom, comprising multiple student game players. According to another embodiment of the invention, a computer network suitable for online delivery of an educational simulation game utilizing GUI 600 may comprise a central hosting computer, and one or more remote client computers. In one exemplary such computer network, the one or more remote client computers may comprise an instructor computer adapted for use by a teacher or instructor administering game play, or a student computer adapted for use by a student game player. Alternatively, the central hosting computer may be an instructor computer, and the one or more remote client computers may be student computers.

The present invention has been described above with reference to certain exemplary disclosed embodiments. The scope of the present invention is not to be limited to those particular embodiments used as examples to illustrate aspects of the invention, but rather should be considered with respect to the following claims.

Referenced by
Citing PatentFiling datePublication dateApplicantTitle
US8229796 *Aug 28, 2008Jul 24, 2012Microsoft CorporationAutomated direct bids to purchase entertainment content upon a predetermined event
US20100056268 *Aug 28, 2008Mar 4, 2010Microsoft CorporationAutomated direct bids to purchase entertainment content upon a predetermined event
Classifications
U.S. Classification273/236
International ClassificationA63F3/00
Cooperative ClassificationA63F3/00138, A63F2003/00066, A63F3/00063, G09B19/18
European ClassificationA63F3/00A6, A63F3/00A22, G09B19/18