Thanks for your responses.
purpleguitar, I found that javaworld article very interesting, even came with examples.
I'm going to make some adjustments to my code to reflect what I've learned. I don't have access to the paper you mentioned and so no joy there.
JonathanC, I'm trying to learn more about game implementations and design patterns at the same time. For me, it's sometimes difficult to realize the benefits of a design pattern from dry descriptions of the design patterns themselves, as you might find in some books. I was also hoping that I could narrow my focus for which patterns to better study. I understand what you are saying about not trying to force patterns into a game, but I think there must be a common set of design patterns that are naturals for the various parts of common game types.