The mysteries of that world have not disappeared. To the contrary, they are magnified by microscopes and multiplied with much machinery as researchers race to raise new riddles.
The skywatchers and their colleagues across the campus look now beyond the planets and their mechanistic kin, and our expanding universe is much greater in many directions. As we study more of it we encounter more surprises and humbly become more aware of how much more we do not know. Probability clouds veil former certitudes, our knowledge has inherent limits, and we glimpse more than what we can explain with logic alone.
The clockwork causality that replaced the chimera of chance gives way, in turn, to the complexity of chaos. The unpredictable is no longer some external force such as luck or dice, nor can we limit reality to what we can measure and figure, as in the mechanical world of Chess. Instead, we find uncertainty built into all the levels of our world, from when and why a quantum particle will flip to when and why a quasar will flare.
Yet, although all these events may appear individually independent, they all follow strict statistical rules. Freed from the petty whims of planetary deities, and from selective bias such as reserving the first move for white, our cosmos now obeys immutable Entropy.
Entropy is the built- in slant of any large system towards random disorder. It gives the arrow of time its direction and prevents broken eggs from unscrambling. Some label Entropy the Second Law of Thermodynamics and thereby imply it is impartial, as physical laws are supposed to be.
You know better: you call it Murphy’s Law, the downhill force that makes all Life an uphill struggle. This so personified power is what makes falling toast tend to land butter side down, and that the more often the harder the carpet is to clean.
In this Quantum world, you are the Life that overcomes Entropy and outsmarts Murphy. Life is the organizing principle that separates its matter from its surroundings and isolates its inside from that outside, so your aim in Quantum is to create that inside -- to center.
On a more complex level, you organize your world into a sphere of the familiar where you can function and think you have control; you isolate yourself in this bubble from the abyss that would otherwise engulf you. Your goal in Quantum is thus to create your personal pocket of order amidst the chaos -- to center.
On yet another level, all Life is problem- solving, and you simulate on the gameboard your real- life approach. Chess players pursue the King wherever they find him, just as the thinkers of its heyday found new knowledge usually through happenstance discoveries which they then pursued.
By contrast, in the Quantum world, you direct your search methodically to the inner truths, to the central unity of all natural laws, to the innermost cores and causes of matter and mind. Here again, you focus inward -- you center.
Quantum is the modern version of the ancient interactive world simulation computer. Its latest- generation software is easy to install -- all you do is read its half page of rules. And it is crash-proof: unlike Chess, it always produces a winner and never a draw.
And despite its many advanced features, Quantum remains fully backwards compatible with the most primitive hardware: in a pinch, you could play it with pebbles and leaves that you mark each in one of two ways on one side only and then shuffle with their blank side up on a ten by ten grid you scratch in the ground.
However, it runs smoother on the Quantum gameshaker supplied together with your personal license to use this software on it.
That gameshaker is the latest upgrade of the board game hardware. It combines and improves the best features of its predecessors and adds more useful functions as well as reliability. Its solid- state and all wireless construction harks back to the original Stone Age pegboards and supports upright pegs, but the pegs dwell in wider cups now and are freer to move, no longer confined by the linear limitations in their former path.
The cups, as local distortions of its space-time, add depth compared with the flat Chess board, and the expansion of that board makes it now compatible with the decimal system.
The previously peripheral random number generator is now integrated into the pegs. These continue to use the proven principle of the two- sided earliest Stone- Age dice, that old yes-no binary code with its enduring heads- or- tails decision- making power on which most modern computing still depends.
So, you whirl the gameshaker only to start and do not need to cast dice all along. You also get immensely more choices, and precise probabilities for what kind of piece you will turn up.
In Quantum, the gamepieces are not contrasting opposites separated by a wide gulf, as in the starting position of Chess and in the heretic-hunting history of its time.
All the quanters are inseparably intermingled in their gameshaker world, like our once equally separated and incompatible concepts of mass and energy, of particles and waves, or of space and time.
The quanters are as interwoven as ecological systems, as interconnected as our modern lives. You find them strewn about at random, like electrons and galaxies and most things in between, from the random mutations that shaped our species to the random permutations of genes that shaped you.
Like the virtually unlimited arrangements of the few building block types in the genetic code, the virtually unlimited arrangements of the few quanter types make sure that you will not find the same distribution again in a million gazillion eons of playing day and night.
Each game of Quantum is therefore as unique as your life.
Quantum also unfolds the same way. You start your life with a chance mix of genetic predispositions, and gradually you develop your personality as your education, experience, and environment connect new neural pathways for your thoughts.
Your starting position in Quantum is also a product of` chance, your talents are still hidden. Then you take over and deploy your forces in response to your environment, and you connect new pathways for your quanters.
These gamepieces start out blank. Like quantum particles, they let you find out their speed only if you change their position. Like people, they must be turned loose to reveal if they can go far or make only small steps.
The help or hindrance you get from your shake depends on the choices of paths it offers you, and on your choices how you use them. As you evaluate these, you form and pursue rational strategies despite rapid changes, and you maneuver to avoid a potential disaster.
If you don’t look at the whole picture, you miss many connections, and you are subject to sudden surprises popping up like Cheshire cats.
And if you want lessons from this game, you will learn that in Quantum, excess greed can backfire if you push an opponent to desperate measures, material superiority is not always an advantage, and neglecting slow steppers at the faraway margins can keep you from winning.
Because the Quantum game is so much like life, it lets you exercise your skills in solving life-like problems -- that true creativity that begins where archives end. You discern and perfect patterns in the chaos around you, and you choose from a rich variety of options.
Until the endgame, Quantum makes you deal with incomplete information and matters too complex for full calculation, too unexplored for looking up ready-made solutions. It teaches you to depend on your wits and inventiveness, not on memory and precedent, so that you do not crave cookbook recipes but prefer to think for yourself.
Thus, you advance from the "How to" instructions of the Chess world to the "Let’s find out!" discoveries of creative playing. You graduate to Quantum.
Quantum provides playgrounds aplenty for both your logic and your lightbulb thinking, and it is by far more user-friendly than Chess.
To play with Kings and Queens and Bishops on a level field, you must invest thousands of hours in stubborn study to repeat by rote Grünfeld’s Gambit and the Fianchettoed Foray against Philidor’s Defense, with all their variants and countermoves, and more of this ilk. Or else you are easy prey to those who invested more than you did.
Quantum prevents such punctilious preparation of overwhelming opponents, it permits no barrier against your entrance as equal. After a couple of sessions to get the feel of the play, you express your potential as anyone’s peer since each gamestart is as new to all the other players as it is to you.
So, even if you are the newest novice, Quantum allows you to play creatively, which means doing what people do best. It does not ask you to become an ambulant memory storage medium, a chore performed better by machines.
An informal Quantum tournament among members of a Chess club tested and confirmed this egalitarian ease of access. Weaker Chess players, who won on average only about 15% of their Chess games against stronger opponents, scored wins in over 35% and often even more than 50% of their games with those same Chess champions when they played Quantum.
So, play Quantum with your friends and teach them to play it with theirs, and you shall make its equal- access play and unencumbered fun the game of the new millennium. Even though, for now, that fair- shake- for- all game world has still some utopian flavor, the real world will then, as it has done before, adapt to mirror its model.
And if that seems a long wait away, you can reap in the meantime some tangible rewards for teaching the Quantum game to others and joining our Quantum rebates and rewards program for the soon to be published first plastic version of this ever new game.
Good luck, and enjoy your Quantum world!
Continue to the Quantumrules, or buy your collector's edition Quantum game at www.gamepuzzles.com/histfun.htm#QM