Though the TV show never explained the rules, many have devised their own. Jens Meder has open-sourced his own rules for the how the game should be played and you can buy your own board if you want to give it a shot.

A Federation-approved 3D-chess set.
A Federation-approved 3D-chess set.
Image: Jens Meder

Though as Meder points out: “You haven’t experienced three-dimensional chess until you read the rules in original Romulan.”

Calvinball and Ultra-Cricket

According to the online magazine Mental Floss, many have tried to bring to life a game from the Calvin & Hobbes cartoon strip called Calvinball, a nonsensical game with ever-shifting rules and a commitment to being the least organized sport around.

Douglas Adams, in his Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy series, created Brockian Ultra-Cricket, which inspired Tim Astley to set up Ultra Cricket in 1990s, which was played entirely over email.

While many of Adams’s tropes can’t be followed (“Grow at least three extra legs”), he did come up with at least once rule that every sport can agree on: “Rule six: The winning team shall be the first team that wins.”

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