US20060202417A1 - Game for teaching fundamental aspects of network marketing - Google Patents

Game for teaching fundamental aspects of network marketing Download PDF

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US20060202417A1
US20060202417A1 US11/080,203 US8020305A US2006202417A1 US 20060202417 A1 US20060202417 A1 US 20060202417A1 US 8020305 A US8020305 A US 8020305A US 2006202417 A1 US2006202417 A1 US 2006202417A1
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player
income
game
cards
destination
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Francisco DeLaCruz-Newlan
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Diamond Destination Inc
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Diamond Destination Inc
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    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F3/00Board games; Raffle games
    • A63F3/02Chess; Similar board games
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F3/00Board games; Raffle games
    • A63F3/00003Types of board games
    • A63F3/00063Board games concerning economics or finance, e.g. trading
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F3/00Board games; Raffle games
    • A63F3/00003Types of board games
    • A63F3/00063Board games concerning economics or finance, e.g. trading
    • A63F3/00072Board games concerning economics or finance, e.g. trading played along an endless track, e.g. monopoly
    • AHUMAN NECESSITIES
    • A63SPORTS; GAMES; AMUSEMENTS
    • A63FCARD, BOARD, OR ROULETTE GAMES; INDOOR GAMES USING SMALL MOVING PLAYING BODIES; VIDEO GAMES; GAMES NOT OTHERWISE PROVIDED FOR
    • A63F9/00Games not otherwise provided for
    • A63F9/04Dice; Dice-boxes; Mechanical dice-throwing devices

Abstract

A board game used to teach players about the fundamental aspects of network marketing. The game includes a game board having tiles corresponding to various networking principle cards that teach basics on prospecting, personal development, downline development and the inevitable challenges. The prospecting and personal development cards allow the players or teams of players to add prospects and personal development (PD) points, which leads to obtaining associates and customers. The downline development cards lead to the downline team obtaining customers and associates. The accumulation of associates and customers, directly and downline, provides entrepreneurial income. Entrepreneurial income, plus job income assigned at the beginning of the game, less an assigned expense, equals net income. The object of the game is to grow entrepreneurial income through learning networking principles that vastly exceeds job income in order to achieve a stated goal or dream having a lofty price tag.

Description

    TECHNICAL FIELD
  • The present invention relates generally to games. In particular, the present invention relates to games for the purpose of teaching fundamental aspects of network marketing.
  • BACKGROUND OF THE INVENTION
  • Network marketing, or sometimes called “multi-level marketing,” has been phenomenally successful for many entrepreneurs over the last 20-30 years. Network marketing involves individuals or small teams approaching prospects with the goal of getting those prospects to join their “team” as associates or participate as customers (“prospecting”); personal development allowing the individuals or small teams the opportunity to develop personal and business skills to grow a successful business; assisting and empowering associates in the individual's or small team's lineal organizational tree in order to recruit more associates and customers (“downline development”); and teaching the ability to overcome challenges or obstacles.
  • Unlike traditional employment where an employee is typically paid a “linear income,” that is “trading hours for income,” network marketing income is the total of entrepreneurial income generated both by personal sales of the individual's or small team's networking organization's products or services, as well as the revenue generated by the lineal team (downline associates) through its efforts in sales and recruiting new associates. Thus, it is possible that a network marketing professional can stop selling the organization's services and products and still receive entrepreneurial income from downstream associates' efforts. For successful network marketing entrepreneurs, this entrepreneurial income can be tens of thousands of dollars to hundreds of thousands of dollars per year (or more).
  • In many cases, individuals are attracted to network marketing while they continue their regular employment (their “day job”) in the attempt to make more money for the payment of large expenditures, (e.g., college tuition, boats, family vacations, a more comfortable retirement). Some individuals are so successful in network marketing that the generated entrepreneurial income far exceeds the individual's income at his/her regular place of employment. At such time that entrepreneurial income meets and exceeds an individual's expenses, an individual will often leave his/her regular employment as network marketing offers much freedom from the trappings of regular employment, namely, the ability to set one's own hours, working from home, and working as much or as little as needed to secure the income the individual desires. Because of network marketing's inherent flexibility, network marketing is also particularly attractive for homemakers and retirees. One does not need an income source to begin network marketing (presuming that one's expenses are met by savings or another income producer in the family).
  • This heightened popularity of network marketing and the opportunity for financial success have resulted in many individuals joining various network marketing organizations. However, such individuals require a basic understanding of principles of network marketing. One way to accomplish this is through training that is both educational and entertaining, namely, through playing a board game. Although many board games are known for teaching general principles related to financial matters, (e.g., Kiyosaki et al., U.S. Pat. No. 5,826,878, granted Oct. 27, 1998, and entitled “Apparatus and Method of Playing a Board Game for Teaching Fundamental Aspects of Personal Finance, Investing and Accounting;” Kiyosaki et al., U.S. Pat. No. 6,032,957, granted Mar. 7, 2000, and entitled “Board Game for Teaching Fundamental Aspects of Personal Finance, Investing and Accounting;” Kiyosaki et al., U.S. Pat. No. 6,106,300, granted Aug. 22, 2000, and entitled “Game for Teaching Fundamental Aspects of Personal Finance, Investing and Accounting to Children;” Campbell, U.S. Pat. No. 5,071,135, granted Dec. 10, 1991, and entitled “Board Game Apparatus for the Teaching of Financial Management Principles;” and Kim, U.S. Pat. No. 6,769,691, granted Aug. 3, 2004, and entitled “Apparatus for Financial Investment Education and Entertainment”), none are known that teach basic principles of network marketing.
  • SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION
  • The present invention is directed to a method of playing a network marketing game for entertainment and for building a better understanding of key principles related to network marketing, namely, prospecting, personal development, downline development, and overcoming inevitable challenges, all while on the path of increasing entrepreneurial income as a means of increasing net income, and ergo total monetary accumulation, to achieve a predefined destination goal or dream.
  • The game is played between two or more players or teams in which each player or team is assigned a job with a pre-assigned initial entrepreneurial income, job income, expenses, and intial net income. Each player or team is also assigned or chooses a destination goal having a price that is significantly greater than the player's or team's assigned net income. In this way, each player or team will need to better grasp the fundamental principles of prospecting (attracting prospects that can develop into associates or customers), personal development (improvement of skills, knowledge, talent, and abilities to attain personal development or “PD” points), downline development (motivate, educate, and empower your team of associates to obtain new customers and recruit new associates), all the while overcoming challenges that can have negative ramifications (e.g., loss of prospects, customers, associates, PD points, or a turn).
  • Each player or team chooses a playing piece in which to move about a game board having substantially consecutive networking tiles. The networking tiles correspond to prospecting cards, personal development cards, downline development cards, and challenge cards, all of which include an aspect of the networking principles that the game intends to impart to the players. Taking turns, each player or team uses a random move indicator, such as a die or dice, to move about the game board. Upon landing on a tile, the player or team reads a card corresponding to the tile and accounts for it on the player's or team's networking worksheet.
  • The game is played until one player or team has accumulated sufficient total monetary accumulation (i.e., sum of money) to be able to achieve the player's or team's destination goal or some pre-determined dollar amount (e.g., $1,000,000 of entrepreneurial income).
  • Variations to the game are encompassed by the invention and may include varying levels of competency as the players/teams become more skilled in network marketing. The levels may be set by a minimum attained entrepreneurial income. Once the entrepreneurial income of one level is attained for a particular player or team, the game may provide that the player or team cannot drop below that attained level. Upon reaching the highest level, the calculation factor for entrepreneurial income increases, e.g., by a factor of 10, representing that the player or team has successfully mastered creating a team of downstream associates and customers that magnifies the income of the (upline) player or team. At this rate, the entrepreneurial income far exceeds the original job income and the net income (entrepreneurial income plus job income, less expenses) grows and the destination goal is within easy reach.
  • At the highest level, the personal development tiles may be converted to destination tiles that correlate to a plurality of destination cards. When the player or team lands on a destination tile and draws its own destination goal, and has sufficient net income to pay for the cost of the destination goal, that player or team is declared the winner. In a variation of the game, each time a player or team lands on and receives another's destination goal, the player or team drawing the card has its own destination goal cost cut in half.
  • Payday tiles may be interspersed among the networking tiles and each time a player or team passes or lands on a payday tile, the player or team is given either its net income or, alternatively, its job income.
  • These and other variations and advantages will be discussed and will become more apparent upon review of the drawings, the Best Mode for Carrying Out the Invention, and the Claims.
  • BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS
  • Like reference numerals are used to designate like parts throughout the several views of the drawings, wherein:
  • FIG. 1 is a perspective view of the network marketing game of the present invention including a game board, playing pieces, die or dice, job description cards, destination cards, prospecting cards, personal development cards, downline development cards, challenge cards, networking worksheet, and optional play money;
  • FIG. 2 is a plan view of a board layout for playing the network marketing game of the present invention;
  • FIG. 3 is a plan view of an alternate board layout;
  • FIGS. 4A-4K are exemplar front views of faces of job description cards;
  • FIGS. 5A-5P are exemplar front views of faces of destination cards;
  • FIG. 6 is a front view of a blank networking worksheet;
  • FIGS. 7A-7U are exemplar front views of faces of prospecting cards;
  • FIGS. 8A-8O are exemplar front views of faces of personal development cards;
  • FIGS. 9A-9Z are exemplar front views of faces of downline development cards;
  • FIGS. 10A-10T are exemplar front views of faces of challenge cards; and
  • FIG. 11 is a front view of an exemplar filled out networking worksheet.
  • BEST MODE FOR CARRYING OUT THE INVENTION
  • The present invention is directed to a game that teaches fundamental principles of network marketing. The game teaches players network marketing principles generally related to prospecting, personal development, downline development, and the challenges that come from those principles, all while amassing sufficient money (or total monetary accumulation) to attain a pre-set goal or dream. The game presumes that the players start out with a “day job,” which the players may choose to keep or abandon in the pursuit of amassing the money that will allow the player to realize its pre-set goal or dream.
  • Referring to FIGS. 1-2, the game 10 for two or more players or teams (not illustrated) includes a game board 12 that includes a plurality of substantially consecutive tiles, squares, or spaces 14 in which there is a starting tile 16 and a means 18 to move about the tiles from the starting tile 16, playing pieces 20 (one per player or team), optional play money 22, and network marketing principle card categories 24 that correspond to select network marketing principle tiles (or networking tiles) 26 on the board. In addition to the start tile 16 and network principle tiles 26, there are destination tiles 28 that correspond to destination cards 30, discussed in further detail below.
  • The particular layout of the tiles is not as critical of an aspect of the invention. There are numerous ways to lay out the networking tiles. In addition to the layout in FIG. 2, one example of an alternate game board layout is illustrated in FIG. 3. In this example, one of the networking tiles may convert to a destination card 28′ (as illustrated by emblem 31 upon reaching an optional level of entrepreneurial income (or “pin level”), discussed further below. Both destination tiles 28, 28′ correspond to destination cards 30.
  • The marketing principle card categories include prospecting 32, personal development 34, downline development 36, and also include the inevitable challenges 38. Each of these marketing principle card categories correspond to networking tiles 26 on board 14. For example, the prospecting cards 32 correspond to prospecting tiles 40, personal development cards 34 correspond to personal development tiles 42, downline development cards 36 correspond to downline development tiles 44, and challenge cards 38 correspond to challenge tiles 46.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 4A-4K, prior to beginning the game, each player or team chooses or is otherwise assigned a profession or job 50 (a “day job”) that carries a specified income 52 and expenses 54 in which the difference between the income per pay period and expenses per pay period equals an (initial) net income 56 each player/team would receive on “payday.” Net income 56 will be discussed further in detail below.
  • In one example, the assignment of a profession or job is accomplished through the random dealing of job cards 48, one job card per player or team. The job cards can vary in terms of professions 50, income 52, expenses 54, and (initial) net income 56. Examples of assigned professions include doctor (FIG. 4A), engineer (FIG. 4G), office assistant (FIG. 4F), and janitor (FIG. 4H), with net income (per pay period) of $900, $700, $200, and $100, respectively. The game can be played with a profession/job having an intial net income of zero, e.g., homemaker (FIG. 4K). According to one aspect of the present invention, and as illustrated, each profession is assigned zero entrepreneurial income 58. It is one of the objectives of the game to teach players how to build entrepreneurial income. Although the invention encompasses varying initial entrepreneurial income, it is preferred to start with no or little entrepreneurial income.
  • Referring now to FIGS. 5A-5P, each player or team also chooses or is assigned a destination card 30. The destination card 30 defines the ultimate goal 59 or dream that the player/team is to aspire. By way of example, one destination goal might be “attending a game at all of the major baseball parks in America and traveling to each park by private jet for a goal cost of $1,500,000,” as illustrated in FIG. 5A. Another example of a goal might be “flying first class to Paris for lunch and a major shopping spree for two at a cost of $1,300,000,” as illustrated in FIG. 5G.
  • The game will be made more exciting by having a sufficiently large number of destination cards. A larger number of destination cards with different goals will necessarily reduce the odds of a player landing on a destination card tile and selecting the card that corresponds to its pre-assigned destination goal (and will be discussed further below). In one example, there are 10-20 destination cards. Although the destinations cards are illustrated as being unique, and according to one feature of the game where each player/team has a unique destination, the invention encompasses the example where there are few variations of the destination card or all of the destination cards are the same (that is every player/team is attempting to achieve the same goal). Also, the invention encompasses the example where all destination card goals are priced at the same dollar level, as opposed to varying destination goal costs.
  • The destination cards have significant dollar costs over that of the net income assigned to each player/team, e.g., the destination goal cost may be 1000+times the cost of the net income. However, the game playing period could be shortened by decreasing the destination goal/income ratio by a factor of 10 or 100 or, conversely, lengthened for serious play by increasing the destination goal/income ratio by a factor of 10 or 100.
  • Each player/team is given a networking worksheet 60, such as that illustrated in FIG. 6. Each player/team writes down its destination goal/dream 59 listed on its assigned or chosen destination card 30. Each player/team also writes down its profession/job 50 from its assigned or chosen job cards 48. Each player/team will know its (initial) net income 56 from its job card. Similarly, each player/team will know what is its assigned job income 52 and expenses 54.
  • These numbers may be written down in respective columns on the networking worksheet 60. The columns (rows or spaces) include a column for listing the number of acquired personal development (or “PD”) points 62, a column for listing number of acquired prospects 64, a column for listing the number of acquired number of customers 66, a column for listing the number of acquired associates 68, a column for entrepreneurial income 70 (e.g., initially the entrepreneurial income 58 assigned from job card 48), a column for job income 72 (the job income 52 assigned from job card 48), a column for expenses 74 (e.g., the expenses 54 assigned from job card 48), and a column for net income 76 (initially the net income 56 assigned from job card 48 and will vary as the game is played).
  • Each team/player may be given a pre-assigned amount of prospects 61 (attained through approaching individuals, showing them the value of becoming a customer or associate, with the goal of enrolling them into the organization) and PD points 63 (points assigned in the game to reflect the acquisition of discipline, motivation, knowledge, and talents in order to run an effective business). The number of PD points 63 and prospects 61 directly impact the number of customers 65 and associates 67 (discussed further below). In one example, each player/team is initially given 100 prospects and 10 PD points that would be assigned to columns 62 and 64, respectively. The 100 prospects represent the typical list of people created by good network marketers when they start their business. The 10 PD points represent existing skills, knowledge, and talents that each player/team initially offers to its business.
  • FIGS. 7A-7U are illustrative of prospecting cards 32. In network marketing, prospecting is a way of gaining new promising contacts, or prospects, and the skill of turning them into customers and associates (people added to the participant's network marketing team). The prospecting cards illustrated in FIGS. 7A-7U are designed to allow a player/team to increase its number of prospects 61 and associates and customers in correlation with acquired PD points 63. In one example, the prospects are given by relatively simple tasks, such as receiving 100 new prospects for naming as many people as possible in each city the player has lived, as illustrated in FIG. 7I. In another example, the prospecting card may allow the player/team to enroll a percentage or multiple of PD points into new associates 67, such as illustrated in FIG. 7S: “You learn how to do an effective close. You go through 10 prospects & enroll 1/10 the # of your PD points in new associates (up to 10).” The number of prospecting cards can be relatively small (e.g., 10) or numerous (e.g., 80). Many more cards can be added which allow a player/team to gain prospects, but are not illustrated herein.
  • FIGS. 8A-8O are illustrative of personal development cards 34. In network marketing, personal development allows the participant to gain knowledge and skill related to marketing and business strategies (e.g., professional growth). The personal development cards 34 illustrated in FIGS. 8A-8O are designed to allow a player/team to increase the number of PD points 63 through professional growth (e.g., discipline, motivation, knowledge, and talents). In some examples, PD points are easily attained, e.g., an award of 5 PD points for going over the basic ideas of a network marketing company's “starter kit,” as illustrated in FIG. 8J. In other examples, the PD points come with an investment cost, such as those illustrated in FIG. 8G: attending a company's quarterly event and learning a new approach script that the participant is comfortable with and receiving 2 PD by paying $200. According to another aspect of the invention, PD points may or may not be given based on attaining a particular level of entrepreneurial income (discussed further below), such as illustrated in FIGS. 8B and 8C. Similar to prospecting cards, the illustrated versions are merely that, and the invention is not to be limited by the number or content of the specific personal development cards illustrated in FIGS. 8A-8O.
  • Because there is a correlation between the number of prospects in connection with PD points that results in attaining associates and customers (depending on the prospecting cards, such as illustrated in FIG. 7S of FIG. 7T), attaining PD points and prospects is a desired goal in order to ultimately attain associates and customers (as with real network marketing). As will be discussed below, the number of associates impacts the amount of entrepreneurial income the participant (player/team) can attain.
  • FIGS. 9A-9Z are illustrative of downline development cards 36. In network marketing, downline development comprises assisting those associates in your team to recruit more associates and customers of the products and/or services sold or provided in network marketing. Because new customers and associates impact bottom line entrepreneurial income, both are highly sought after.
  • The downline development cards 36 are illustrative of sales techniques that the participant (player/team) can teach its team (its associates) to generate entrepreneurial income for each associate, as well as the upline participant (or just upline). For example the downline development card illustrated in FIG. 9C states, “During a training call, you teach your team how to introduce your product/service to potential customers. Your team adds 1 customer for every 5 associates you have now.” As another example, FIG. 9M states, “You hear of a local motivation seminar and encourage your team to attend. Your team grows by 1 associate for every 2 you have now.” In this way, the participant is gaining customers and associates at a rapid rate, often as a function of the number of associates accrued or as an investment cost (such as illustrated in FIG. 9G). Similar to the prospecting and personal development cards discussed above, the illustrations of FIGS. 9A-9Z are examples only and are not to be limited to the number or content shown therein.
  • Typical of real life, and particularly of network marketing, challenges are ever present that cause slight or significant setbacks in attaining the desired goal but often allow the participant to reevaluate and attempt to move forward. The challenge cards 38 illustrated in FIGS. 10A-10T are designed to provide temporary setbacks to the players/teams and make the game more interesting. For example, one card might make the player/team lose 5 PD points and 1 turn at play (discussed below) because the player/team had slow results in its business and decided to blame its upline, as illustrated in FIG. 10C. Another illustrated challenge tells the downside of not going to the network marketing company's convention by losing 15 PD points, as seen in FIG. 10B. The challenge cards are intended to convey a typical “wrong turn” the participant makes in network marketing and how that wrong turn can negatively impact him/her/them. Similar to the other cards, the illustrated challenge cards are not intended to be limited to a specific number or content only as shown.
  • Referring again to FIGS. 1-3, to begin the game, each player/team may be given play money 22 (or an accounting) representing one net income according to its profession listed on the player's/team's job card 48. Each player/team selects a playing piece 20 and places it on the start tile 16. After each team/player has been assigned or otherwise chosen a destination goal 59 on a destination card 30, all of the destination cards 30 are shuffled and put in a pile face down on the playing board. The personal development 34, prospecting, 32 downline development 36, and challenge 38 cards are shuffled and placed in a pile face down on the board as well.
  • The game is played by each player/team taking turns using means 18 to move its marker about the tiles. The means can be any random indicator that corresponds to a number, number of tiles, or color, or shape or object (or combination thereof) on the board tiles. In one example, a die or multiple dice (as illustrated) may be used. Alternatively, a spinner, or color or shape-coded die, block, or polygonal shape may be used. The players may accord a number or color or shape as paramount for determining which player or team would go first by throwing a die/dice or spinning on a number or color, or rolling such a color (or closest thereto). Once that is decided, the first player/team rolls the die/dice or other random indicator and moves the playing piece forward the number of spaces indicated on the die/dice or to the corresponding color or shape. As each tile is preferably associated with a networking card (prospecting, professional development, downline development, challenge) or “payday” 77 (in which the player/team is given its net income 56 of entrepreneurial income 58 plus job income 52 less expenses 54), the player/team either picks up the card corresponding to the tile it landed on or receives its net income for landing on or passing payday 77. If the player/team lands on a networking card, the player/team picks up the top card off the corresponding stack, reads the learning statement attached to the card, and is either assigned the benefit or allowed to obtain the benefit of a condition if met (e.g., x number of PD points needed to obtain new associates), or lose a benefit from a challenge card. The gain or loss or receipt of net income is transferred to the player's/team's networking worksheet 60.
  • Once the player lands on a particular tile, the player/team picks up the category card 24 that corresponds to the tile that the player/team has landed on. For example, if the player/team lands on a prospecting tile, the player/team picks up and reads the top prospecting card in the stack on the board, or if on a personal development tile, the player/team picks up and reads the top personal development card of the stack on the board. The player/team reads the card and follows the instructions on the card and transfers the data to its networking worksheet 60.
  • According to one aspect of the invention, entrepreneurial income is calculated by multiplying by 50 the sum of the number of associates that player/team has accumulated plus ½ the number of customers. The networking sheet 60 may add a column 78 to calculate ½ of the number of customers 65 (from column 66) adjacent the number of associates 67 (from column 68) to more easily calculate the changing entrepreneurial income 58 (from column 70). The calculation formula 80 may be printed onto the networking worksheet 60. In play, each player or team may round up to the nearest integer during calculating in order to avoid the complexity of dealing with fractions. Alternatively, the game may be played where round-ups are to the nearest multiples of 5 or 10. As stated above, the sum of the entrepreneurial income and job income, less expenses, equals net income. Net income will vary—nearly on every roll of the die or dice.
  • According to yet another aspect of the invention, with increased net income, the player or team may progress through varying levels (pin levels) 81 that are tied to consecutively higher entrepreneurial income. In one example there are 10 levels in which the player or team progresses. The 10th (highest level) is the destination level, at which the second or destination phase of play begins. According to one aspect, once a player or team reaches a particular level, it cannot drop below that level.
  • Once a player or team has reached its destination level, the calculation of entrepreneurial income is increased by a factor of 10 (e.g., multiplying by 500 the sum of the number of associates plus ½ of the number of customers as enumerated at 82 in FIG. 6). At this level, the player or team has amassed an impressive number of associate and customers. It also has increased its expenses to $10,000, but the opportunity to reach the destination goal is now within reach for a destination player or team.
  • According to one variation, all personal development tiles 26 are converted to destination tiles 28′ (such as better illustrated in FIG. 3 by the emblem 31) for a player or team that has achieved the destination level. At that phase, every time the player or team land on a (newly converted) destination tile, the player/team draws the top card from the destination card pile. If the destination card is the player's/team's own destination goal and the player/team has amassed a sufficient sum of money to purchase the destination goal, the game is over and that player/team is declared the winner. If the player/team draws another player's/team's destination card, the drawing player's/team's destination goal price is cut in half. Each time a player/team accumulates other player's/team's destination cards, its own destination goal price is cut in half. In the example of a destination goal having a cost of $1,500,000 (as illustrated in FIG. 5A), a player/team competing in the destination phase and holding two other player's/team's destination cards reduces its destination goal cost to $375,000. It is easy to understand that the end of the game could come quickly once a player/team has reached the destination phase.
  • According to another aspect of the game, upon reaching upper levels, e.g., level 7 or above, the player or team can opt to play with two dice, as opposed the single die. This new benefit can be valuable on cards to which the number of prospects, associates, or customers are dependent on the roll of the die (or dice if at a certain high level). The ability to choose between one or two dice may also be beneficial if a player/team is trying to reach a payday tile for the distribution of net income or attempting to skip over a challenge tile.
  • According to yet another aspect, the player or team can choose to quit its “day job” and rely solely on its entrepreneurial income, as can happen with highly successful network marketing professionals in real life. In this variation, and at attaining an upper level, (e.g., a level 9 or 10), the player or team can opt to play with one, two, or three dice (with benefits of a third die when drawing cards that have networking benefits tied to a roll of the die or dice based on the attained level or passing a payday tile more frequently or being able to better gauge skipping an undesirable tile). This aspect of a player/team quitting its “day job” can be incorporated as a variation in the immediately preceding paragraph in order for the player/team to have the option to play with one or two dice at the upper levels.
  • The invention encompasses the game being incorporated into electronic or Web-based form where the game board is part of the digital display screen. In this interactive version, the other player or team may be a computer.
  • Advantages of the present invention include making the principles of network marketing entertaining, educational, and interactive. The illustrated embodiments are only examples of the present invention and, therefore, are non-limitive. It is to be understood that many changes in the particular structure, materials, and features of the invention may be made without departing from the spirit and scope of the invention. Therefore, it is the Applicant's intention that its patent rights not be limited by the particular embodiments illustrated and described herein, but rather by the following claims interpreted according to accepted doctrines of claim interpretation, including the Doctrine of Equivalents and Reversal of Parts.

Claims (36)

1-27. (canceled)
28. A game for teaching network marketing skills to players, which simulate entrepreneurs in a network marketing company, the game comprising:
a plurality of job cards, each job card including a job with job income and expenses to be assigned to the player selecting the job card, thereby setting an initial net income for each player;
a plurality of destination cards, each destination card including a destination goal having an assigned cost to the player selecting the destination card, the assigned cost being significantly higher than the initial net income;
a plurality of networking principle cards that teach basic principles of network marketing by presenting a player with potential real-life experiences in networking;
a plurality of playing pieces;
a game board having substantially consecutive tiles corresponding to the plurality of networking principle cards, wherein landing on at least one tile with a playing piece results in a player experiencing a change in status of a player's network marketing business, which affects an entrepreneurial income of the player;
means for randomly indicating a number of tiles each player will move a playing piece in a turn; and
a worksheet to track the accumulation of net income of the player.
29. The game of claim 28, wherein the change of status includes receipt of at least one of a new associate and a new customer.
30. The game of claim 29, wherein the networking principle cards include personal development cards, which provide players with personal development points, which are accumulated.
31. The game of claim 30, wherein the player provided personal development points incurs an investment expense.
32. The game of claim 30, wherein the networking principle cards include prospecting cards, which provide players with a plurality of new prospects, which are accumulated.
33. The game of claim 32, wherein the player provided new prospects incurs an investment expense.
34. The game of claim 32, wherein the number of prospects provided to the player is dictated by the player's accumulated professional development points.
35. The game of claim 32, wherein a subset of the prospecting cards include means to enroll associates and customers while incurring a reduction of accumulated prospects.
36. The game of claim 35, wherein the networking principle cards include downline development cards, which reward the player with additional associates and customers for using sales and recruiting techniques, wherein the use of sales and recruiting techniques incurs an investment expense.
37. The game of claim 36, wherein the networking principle cards include challenge cards, which result in a business setback, the setback affecting the entrepreneurial income of the player.
38. The game of claim 37, wherein at least one tile on the game board is a pay day, wherein the player who lands on or passes the pay day is paid the player's net income.
39. The game of claim 38, wherein net income is recalculated at least when the player's accumulation of associates or customers changes, and when the player quits the assigned job of the player, thereby losing job income.
40. The game of claim 39, wherein the entrepreneurial income of a player who has achieved a determined level of entrepreneurial income is increased at least by a factor of ten.
41. The game of claim 29, wherein a subset of the plurality of networking principle cards indicate that the change in status of the player's network marketing business is dictated by the roll of at least one die.
42. The game of claim 41, wherein if the player chooses to quit the player's assigned job, the player's entrepreneurial income dictates if the player is allowed to choose one, two, or three dice from which to change the player's status.
43. A method of teaching network marketing skills to players in a context of a game representing each player's hypothetical network marketing business, the method comprising:
initially assigning to each player a job having an affiliated job income and expenses, thereby setting an initial net income for each player;
providing to each player a destination goal having an assigned cost to obtain the destination goal;
providing a plurality of networking principle indicia, each causing a change in status to a player's network marketing business, the status including an accumulation of a plurality 0 of customers and associates, which causes an entrepreneurial income of each player to change, and wherein the plurality of networking principle indicia include a plurality of pay days;
providing means for tracking numbers of associates and customers, and thus entrepreneurial income, of each player;
playing the game in the following manner:
randomly designating, in turn, the receipt by each player of a networking principle indicia and affiliated change in status to each player's business;
tracking the number of accumulated customers and associates of each player;
recalculating entrepreneurial income based on at least the accumulation of customers and associates of each player;
paying a net income due to each player as each player receives indicia of a pay day; and
tracking accumulated levels of net and entrepreneurial incomes of each player until one player wins the game through the purchase of the player's destination goal.
44. The method of claim 43, wherein the destination goal is purchased with the accumulation of solely the player's entrepreneurial income.
45. The method of claim 43, wherein the networking principle indicia include destination cards, the method further comprising:
each player initially selecting a first destination card to indicate each player's destination goal;
a player selecting a second destination card after the player reaches a determined level of entrepreneurial income; and
the player purchasing the destination goal if the first destination card is the second destination card and the player has sufficient accumulated net income to purchase the destination goal.
46. The method of claim 45, wherein if the second destination card indicates another player's destination goal, allowing the player to purchase the player's destination goal at a reduced cost when the player later selects the first destination card.
47. The method of claim 43, wherein the entrepreneurial income is calculated by multiplying by a predetermined constant the sum of the number of associates and a percentage of the number of customers.
48. The method of claim 47, wherein the entrepreneurial level of income has associated therewith a pin level from a hierarchical plurality of pin levels, and wherein no player drops down to lower pin levels once a higher pin level is achieved.
49. The method of claim 48, wherein upon achieving a determined pin level, the entrepreneurial income of the player is further multiplied by at least ten.
50. The method of claim 48, wherein randomly designating to each player a networking principle indicia is through rolling at least one die and moving a game piece to a game board tile representative of the networking principle indicia.
51. the method of claim 50, further comprising allowing a player in higher pin levels to roll with more than one die.
52. The method of claim 50, further comprising allowing a player to choose to leave the player's assigned job once entrepreneurial income exceeds the player's assigned expenses.
53. The method of claim 52, further comprising:
allowing the player to roll only one die at the lower pin levels;
allowing the player to roll one or two dice at designated upper pin levels if the player chose to leave the player's assigned job; and
allowing the player to roll one, two, or three dice at designated highest pin levels if the player chose to leave the player's assigned job.
54. The method of claim 53, wherein the number of dice the player is allowed to roll also dictates the level of status change resulting from the networking principle indicia received by the player.
55. The method of claim 43, wherein the networking principle cards include personal development cards, which provide players with personal development points, which are accumulated.
56. The method of claim 55, wherein the networking principle indicia include prospecting cards, which provide players with a plurality of new prospects, which are accumulated.
57. The method of claim 56, wherein the number of prospects provided to the player is dictated by the player's accumulated professional development points.
58. The method of claim 56, wherein the prospecting cards include means to enroll associates and customers while incurring a reduction of accumulated prospects.
59. The method of claim 58, wherein the networking principle indicia include downline development cards, which reward the player with additional associates and customers for using sales and recruiting techniques.
60. The method of claim 59, wherein the networking principle indicia include challenge cards, which result in a business setback.
61. The method of claim 60, wherein the setback includes a loss of at least one of personal development points, prospects, customers, associates, and a turn.
62. A game for teaching network marketing skills to players or teams of players, which simulate entrepreneurs in a network marketing company, the game comprising:
means for assigning a job to each player, the job having an job income and expenses affiliated therewith, thereby setting an initial net income for each player;
means for assigning a destination goal to each player, the destination goal having a cost affiliated therewith that is significantly higher than the initial net income;
means for randomly indicating one of a plurality of networking principles to each player, in turn, which changes a status of each player's simulated business through fluctuating gains and losses of a plurality of customers and associates, wherein an increase of customers and associates translates to an increase of entrepreneurial income;
means for tracking a net income of each player; and
means for indicating a winner of the game based on at least a player's entrepreneurial income when compared with the cost of the player's destination goal.
US11/080,203 2005-03-14 2005-03-14 Game for teaching fundamental aspects of network marketing Abandoned US20060202417A1 (en)

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