The Cube is a Kokology game about self knowledge and is based on asking another person to describe a series of three to five objects. The game was popularized by Annie Gottlieb's short book "Secrets of the Cube" (released 1998).
The narration phase
While there are slight variations of the game from person to person, the game begins by asking another person to imagine a desert scene. The game then follows by asking the person to place and describe a cube in the scene. Once the cube is completely described, the narrator of the game then asks for the player to describe a ladder that is also placed in the scene. This process continues with flowers, a horse, and finally, a storm.
The element most often excluded (which was excluded in Serendipity) is the flowers. Others also suggest that the storm could also be excluded, though excluding this feature is significantly more uncommon than the exclusion of the flower.
The interpretation phase
Once the narrator has an understanding of the scene described, he or she may (or, as "Secrets of the Cube" suggests, may not) assist the player in interpreting the scene. The general interpretation is often as follows (however, the player should not take these interpretations as gospel, as there are many individual possibilities; encourage the player to "go with your gut"):
- The cube represents the player's image of himself or herself. A cube that is small in the perspective of the scene suggests that the player thinks of themselves as insignificant or modest while a larger cube suggests the opposite. A cube on the ground indicates the player is "down to earth," while a floating cube may indicate a dreamer. The material of the cube is also of interest.
- The ladder represents the player's friends.
- The horse represents the player's lover. As with the previous objects, the closer to the cube the horse is, the more important or intimate (or possessive!) the love life of the player is. The love can also represent anything you are passionate about, and not just a person.
- The storm represents the player's current problems and his or her attitude toward them. A storm covering the entire scene would suggest that the player feels overwhelmed by current problems, while a storm in the distance or a small storm would suggest no major, unmanageable problems in the present, and possibly an optimistic attitude toward the future. The storm is not always negative; some players see it as exciting or refreshing.
- The flowers represent the player's children or future children; it can also represent creative projects or clients -- something the player creates and/or takes care of. Flowers close to the cube suggest a close relationship with children (or creations or clients), while a beaten-down flower would suggest a bad or broken relationship with them. (As mentioned earlier, the flower is sometimes excluded, but this is an incomplete version of the game.)
Beyond the basic interpretation, the interpreter may expand on the general meaning of the relationships between the objects. Moreover, details may be hidden from the player until a second or third meeting to add an allure for that second or third meeting (used in situations such as dating).
Game background and culture
The game's origins are unknown, although some say it is of Greek, Turkish, or Sufi origins.
Scientific point of view
The game is akin to a projective personality test with elements of dream interpretation and archetype theory used to interpret the content. It has no scientific support and suffers from the same biases of these methods.
- "Secrets of the Cube" by Annie Gottlieb, Slobodan D. Pesic
- "The Cube: Keep the Secret" by Annie Gottlieb, Slobodan D. Pesic
- Annie Gottlieb, Slobodan D. Pesic, Secrets of the Cube: The Ancient Visualization Game That Reveals Your True Self, Hyperion
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