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Rock, Paper, Scissors

Have you ever played Rock, Paper, Scissors? It's a simple game, but I've read that there is actually strategy involved in winning. The game consists of three gestures (weapons) — rock, represented by a clenched fist, paper, represented by an open hand, with the fingers extended and touching, and scissors, represented by two fingers extended and separated.

The object of the game is to select a gesture that defeats the opponent's. The winning gestures are as follows:

Rock smashes scissors = the rock wins.
Paper covers rock = the paper wins.
Scissors cut paper = the scissors win.

If both players use the same gesture, that round is tied and the players "throw" again. Normally Rock, Paper, Scissors is played in a "best two out of three" match.

As I did some research for this post, I was surprised to learn that there is a World RPS Society website [1]. As I said earlier, there are supposedly strategies to help you win. On the World RPS Society website there's a link on How to Beat Anyone at Rock, Paper, Scissors [2].

Knowing that RPS is an international phenomenon, I figured it must have a name in other languages. I found that in French it's Pierre, Papier, Ciseaux and in German it's Stein, Papier, Schere.

In case this game is new to you, I'll show several pictures to see if you remember which gesture wins.

The picture below is rock and scissors. So who wins this round?

Rock smashes scissors, so the rock wins.

The picture below is rock and paper. Who wins this round?

Paper covers rock, so the paper wins. So you see that rock does not always win.

Rock, Paper, Scissors has long been used as a peaceful means of conflict resolution. According to Wikipedia [3], the game dates back to the time of the Chinese Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD)! I looked online for mentions of Rock, Paper, Scissors in resolving conflicts and learned there are even court cases where the judge ordered the parties to do RPS to settle the dispute. I even found it mentioned on the site of a conflict resolution coach [4], along with a funny sign!

I was amazed to learn that it's not just people who use this game to settle disputes — apparently even cat fights can be avoided with it! Here are two cats doing Rock, Paper, Scissors.

And the winner? The cat on the right — paper covers rock!

The whole reason I did this post was because I had the picture below in my files and wanted to share it with you. In this one it's scissors and paper, so who wins/won?

If only World War II could have been settled so easily!

Have you played Rock, Paper, Scissors recently? Do you even like the game? I've played it before, but could never do it for very long. I just couldn't stay interested. If you live outside the USA, I'd like to know if this game is played in your country.


"It's six and a half of one and half a baker's dozen of the other." — my son-in-law Topher

=^..^= =^..^=

Middle age — when you trade in beauty sleep for mediocre looking sleep.