Tales From Earth:Which is Better?

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This is part of the compilation created for the book Tales From The Third Planet, created by the Cubehunters on Earth, and printed by Lulu. Anyone can buy it here, with proceeds to go to unfiction! :)


A Comparative Look at the Treatment of Games in both Perplex City and Earth


Over the past few months of being involved the hunt for the Receda Cube, the study of Perplex City has revealed one major difference between our home of Earth, and the land of Perplex City. This revelation is the way in which each society glorifies people. More specifically, how one world favours brains and one favours brawn. On Earth, while we do celebrate intellectual advances in civilisation, we do not treat the intelligent as superiors in the same sense that people apparently do in Perplex City. Here, we have a much more primitive, (at least in many people’s opinions), habit of worshiping the strong, the athletic and the physically fit. While your world holds an annual tournament to discover the champion with the highest intellect, ours holds several well publicised physical tournaments. The most notable, and probably the most comparable to your PCAG is our Olympic Games Tournament. Do not be confused by the title though, this is no test of mental endurance. The most recent Olympic Games took place in Athens, Greece, and consisted of 301 different events. The Olympic Games lasted a total of 17 days and over that time many physically draining challenges including Running, Archery, High Jump, Long Jump, Swimming, Boxing and Weightlifting. As you can see, our culture is obsessed with advances in the physical limitations of the human body. Sadly, the human mind is rather underappreciated, and we do not have a mental equivalent of your PCAG.

Our Olympic Games date back to 776BC, some 2781 years ago, in Ancient Greece. They were played as a form of tribute to the Gods of Olympia, and the games were staged on the Olympian plains. The games consisted of trials based on ancient Greek myths, and were supposed to test the endurance of the human body and mind. However, since the revival of the Olympics in 1896 the human mind seems to have been noticeably unchallenged in the Games.

To the best of our somewhat limited knowledge on Perplex City culture, there does not seem to be a physical competition to rival our Olympic games. Whether this is true or not is difficult to ascertain. However, as a society Perplex City citizens appear to be a physically fit culture. So whilst you are healthy and physically active, you just don’t celebrate physical achievements in the same sense that we do.

While it is true that we on Earth do not have a mentally challenging competition on a global scale to date, I feel that Perplex City’s influence on our culture has brought about this change. People all over the world are competing (and perhaps confusingly banding together) in order to locate your missing Receda Cube, and a large part of this is the puzzle cards created by your very own Puzzle Scribes at the Perplex City Academy. We are being mentally stimulated, and this may be what our culture has needed all along. The regular updates in the Perplex City Sentinel are keeping track of our progress, and any worthwhile achievements are being celebrated in the main articles (and in several cases berated in the letters column). Perhaps in return, we on Earth can help set up a huge Olympic scale physical competition in Perplex City? I do not know how well this would be accepted in Perplex City, but maybe it would be fair to allow those who favour physical challenges over mental challenges to finally prove their worth? As a culture that is literally obsessed with puzzles and conundrums, it must be difficult to participate in everyday life if a person isn’t exceptionally bright.

So to conclude, I have decided that neither of our cultures have it completely right just yet. We shouldn’t just be celebrating brain OR brawn, but achievements in themselves. It is fine to give praise to people in society for being the cleverest, or the quickest, or the most logical thinking, or the strongest, as long as we include all of the above, and not just a selection. I feel that what we can all learn most from our communication between worlds is how the other civilisation lives.