(This is a recent photo of Rubik's Cube on my daughter's Iban Pua table cloth - to show a wonderful fusion of culture - European and Sarawak Indigenous Cultures. It also reminds me that Rubik's Cube is still having an impact 33 years later - yes, one generation later.)
Rubik's Cube is a mechanical puzzle invented in 1974 by Hungarian sculptor and professor of architecture Ernő Rubik. Originally called the "Magic Cube" by its inventor, this puzzle was renamed "Rubik's Cube" by Ideal Toys in 1980 and also won the 1980 German Game of the Year (Spiel des Jahres) special award for Best Puzzle. It is said to be the world's best-selling toy, with over 300,000,000 Rubik's Cubes and imitations sold worldwide.
In a typical Cube, each face is covered by nine stickers of one of six solid colours. When the puzzle is solved, each face of the Cube is a solid colour. The Cube celebrated its twenty-fifth anniversary in 2005, when a special edition Cube in a presentation box was released, featuring a sticker in the centre of the reflective face (which replaced the white face) with a "Rubik's Cube 1980-2005" logo.
The puzzle comes in four widely available versions: the 2×2×2 (Pocket Cube, also Mini Cube, Junior Cube, or Ice Cube), the 3×3×3 standard cube, the 4×4×4 (Rubik's Revenge), and the 5×5×5 (Professor's Cube). Larger sizes of the cubes, 6x6x6 and 7x7x7, are planned for release in 2008.
My first Rubik's Cube was bought in the 1980's.When I found that my students liked them, I bought a few more. In no time, many of them liked to compete with each other and I thought that that was very good indeed. Many of then set records for themselves and they owned one themselves.
One day I found out that one of my students removed all the coloured stickers and placed the same coloured stickers together on the same face to set a record for himself. He did not twist and turn the cube. I did not know whether to laugh or to cry. That particular Rubik's Cube was never used again. I kept it as a "special momento".
From time to time, I can still catch sight of younger people playing with them and I continue to be amazed by their enthusiasm and serious intent. Good toy shops still carry a number of them. And of course, you get one on e-Bay.
It is indeed a wonderful invention.
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Memoir by I Am Sarawakiana at 12:58 PM