Rock, paper, scissors is a childhood game that has transcended generations and cultures around the world. The game, which is played by making hand gestures representing rock, paper, or scissors and against another player, who will also make a hand gesture, is often used to determine who goes first or settles disputes. But have you ever wondered where the game originated from?
The roots of rock, paper, scissors can be traced back to China over 2,000 years ago. The game is known as “Jian Dao,” which translates to “scissors, paper, stone.” The game was primarily used for divination purposes, with players using the outcome to make important decisions. The hand gestures used in Jian Dao were different from the ones used in the modern-day rock, paper, scissors game. Instead, players would use their hands to represent a bird, a bag, and a rock. The bird would peck at the bag, the bag would smother the rock, and the rock would crush the bird.
As the game spread throughout Asia, variations emerged. In Japan, the game is known as “Jan Ken Poh,” with players using the hand gestures of rock, paper, or scissors, which have become the official gestures for the game. In Korea, the game is known as “Kai Bai Bo,” with players using the hand gestures of a tiger, a person, or a bear.
The game eventually made its way to Europe in the 17th century, where it was known as “Mora” or “Hand game.” The game was played in taverns and pubs, with players betting on the outcome.
In the 19th century, the game gained popularity in America, where it was known as “roshambo.” The game was played by soldiers during the Civil War, with the outcome determining who received rations and other supplies.
Today, rock, paper, scissors is a global phenomenon, with variations of the game being played worldwide. The game has even been the subject of global championships, with players from around the world competing for cash prizes and bragging rights.
Despite its simple nature, the game of rock, paper, scissors has a rich history that spans across centuries and continents. The origins of the game may be rooted in divination, but its widespread use as a simple game of chance has made it a global phenomenon that will continue to be played by generations to come.