Rubik’s Cube UK Open- What We Could All Learn About ‘Cool’

As I write, I am sitting in a Starbucks above the O2 Arena in Leicester. I am taking a break from watching the Rubik’s Cube UK Open 2012. In the Rubik’s Cube world, this is a big deal. Cubing fanatics have arrived from all over the UK and beyond to compete for a range of titles. There’s the classic 3X3 solve, 5X5, 2X2, and even a blindfolded solve. I’m here because my son is competing.

The attention to detail is immense. Huge scoreboards show the scores and believe it or not, it’s actually pretty exciting watching someone whizz through a solve in 7.8 seconds. There’s not just one or two competitors here either. The room is packed. It is limited to 100 places and they get booked out very quickly. I hadn’t been to a competition before, but this is my sons third.

Tech Boy competing in the 3X3- 19 seconds!!

I’ll be completely honest and say I wasn’t exactly enthused about getting up at 6am, driving 2 hours and then watching various Rubik’s Cube solves for eight hours. To be fair, it’s been surprisingly refreshing. Why?

-There are no generation barriers. There’s a girl here who is 8, averaging about a minute to solve a cube, through to men of about sixty. Because there’s no correlation between a person’s age and solve time, groups made up of young and old sit together, happily chatting.

-The atmosphere is very relaxed. Because everyone has a mutual interest, there is no need for awkward niceties. People don’t introduce themselves; they just get to the point, asking about the tension of the cube or discussing what their fastest time is.

-There’s no animosity. Although it’s a competition, everyone supports and encourages each other. I’ve only heard positive comments about people’s efforts, and if someone takes minutes to solve (rather than the average 30 seconds) no-one laughs, no-one stares; it’s just commended.

-There’s an overwhelming sense of acceptance. Discrimination by age, gender, class, race, fashion sense, ‘coolness’ or any other criteria has no place here. Everyone is equal and  everyone is accepted.

Rubik’s Cubing may not be classed as ‘cool’ by some people, as evidenced by my son being called a nerd for it, but there is a lot that we can learn from an event like this. There aren’t many places where you can truly be yourself without feeling the need to ‘fit in’, where your appearance is of no significance and social expectations are irrelevant.

In my opinion, this is about as ‘cool’ as it gets.

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8 Responses to Rubik’s Cube UK Open- What We Could All Learn About ‘Cool’

  1. Helen Neale says:

    You know what I think about ur son doing this – he is, clearly, awesome; and not in the least bit a nerd! Well done, him (and you)!

  2. Vikki Livsey says:

    Hi Bizzy Mum,
    Was great to meet you at the UK Open!
    Your post sums the event up perfectly.
    Have you seen the photos? Laurence had done day one yesterday, 190 uploaded!
    Saved you as a favourite, Vikki.

    • admin says:

      Oh I haven’t- I did look each day until yesterday haha!! Will add some to this post if you don’t mind? Glad you found me and very pleased Tech Boy found Rubik’s Cubing!!

  3. Guy, my husband, LOVES the Rubik’s cube!! He still mentions (often!!) that he solved it on his own when he was about 11!!! You must be super-proud of your son!


  4. Jayne says:

    I’m ashamed, as a child of the 80′s, to say that I’ve actually never tried a Rubik’s Cube! I must get one and have a go, it might be a hidden talent that I never knew I had :-)

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