Posted by hexnet -

Hexagon planet! I have recently been made aware of a contest being held on Kotaku Australia regarding "hexagons that should not be." Apparently inspired by the hex tiling in Civilization V, they are giving away a free copy of the same to whoever most impressively photoshops a hexagonal shape onto an object that is not normally hexagonal. Unfortunately, the contest ends Monday night, so there's very little time to spread word of this to the larger hexagonal community. I wish I'd heard about it sooner. Anyway, samples of submitted work can be found on the following pages, and are most interesting:

[Edit: The winners and runners up can be found here and here, respectively.]

I find it fascinating, obviously, both as a Civ fan (still trying to get 5 running under Wine!) and as a hexagonalist. Creative exercises of this sort, inducing people to think artistically about the roles and potential roles of hexagons in everyday life, are potentially very valuable tools in expanding hexagonal consciousness. It reminds me in some ways of last month's Interdependence Day Hexagon Project—in both cases, the hexagon is explicitly employed not for some incidental aesthetic reasons, but for its very hexagonality itself. This can only be, I think, a positive trend in our society, as we as a species come to terms with the implications of our glorious hexagonal future. I am hoping to see more and more of this sort of thing in the coming years, as hexagons rise to ever greater prominence in the collective human experience, perhaps leading at some point to the formation of an explicitly "hexagonalist" movement in art and design.

I do find it a bit curious though that Civ V has inspired all this talk about hexagons. This contest is by no means exceptional in that respect—the hexagonal news is full of reviews of Civ V, waxing geometric about the virtues of six-sidedness. I mean, on the one hand I'm glad hexagons finally getting the recognition they deserve, but at the same time, I'm not entirely sure why this one game was enough to spark such a frenzy of hexagonal activity. As I pointed out in my earlier blog post, Civilization and its Contents, Freeciv has had the option of hexagonal tiles for years, along with countless PC strategy games going back to the 80s, to say nothing of old RPG games, and they never seemed to lead to this level of hexagonal ferver in the popular imagination. I can only assume that Civ V simply came along at the right time to tap into some sort of deep hexagonal undercurrent in the collective hexagonal consciousness, perhaps presaging the arrival of some sort of hexagonal golden age on our planet.

Having carefully followed the hexagonal news over the course of this past year, it is evident that, for whatever reason, people are talking about hexagons more than they used to. And again, not just in a casual "it's a polygon with six sides" sort of way. People all over the world (or at least all over the internet), from all walks of life, seem very close to articulating the kind of ideas about hexagons that I've been talking about for years. I don't know if or when these ideas will finally manifest themselves in the popular discourse as directly as, say, they do on this site, but it certainly seems to be reaching some sort of tipping point. It will be interesting to see if this trend continues, or if it's just the transient effect of some idiosyncratic alignment of cultural and social factors. Or if I'm just imagining it entirely.