Mr. Laser Beam wrote:
the essential meaninglessness of a "no-win scenario" (in Treklit, haven't there been cadets who have beaten it without cheating?) makes the value of the test questionable at best.
Only if the subjects know going in that "this is the famous Kobayashi Maru
test." Ideally, the test should be completely unexpected so that the subject is not even aware he is being tested. So, Kobayashi Maru
would be only one no-win scenario.
(Technically, the scenario shown in the movie is flawed because the Neutral Zone between Klingon and the Federation was imposed by the Organians and is not
a no-fly zone. The Neutral Zone between the Federation and the Romulan Star Empire is another matter.)
It all depends on how one defines "win." Did Spock "win" his test at the end of TWOK? I highly recommend the live-action SPACE BATTLESHIP YAMATO (2010) even for people who are not fans of the '70s anime. Main character Kodai repeatedly faces "no-win" situations throughout the movie. At one point he "cheats," just like Kirk. The only time he did not "win" was when he ran away—but even that situation put him in the right place at the right time.