Rock, Paper, Scissors, also known as RPS, is a simple yet universal game that has captured the attention of people worldwide. It is played between two people using hand gestures, where each move has a specific action that beats one and loses to the other. Although the game is thought to have originated in ancient China, it has since evolved into a popular game around the world, with international competitions and even a World RPS Society.
The game has been played in China for over 2,000 years, and it’s referred to by many as “jan-ken-pon” in Japan. In China, it was known as “shoushiling” or “hand command,” where participants would wave their hands in a series of moves to signal rock, paper, or scissors. The game eventually spread to Japan, where it received the name Rock, Paper, Scissors in the 19th century.
Rock, Paper, Scissors was first introduced to the Western world after World War II when American soldiers stationed in Japan learned the game and brought it back with them to the United States. In the 1960s, the game gained mainstream popularity in America when it was included in the children’s magazine “Child’s Play” and later on the game show “Beat the Clock.”
The game’s straightforward rules and the thrill of chance make it popular across all age groups. Students worldwide use it to solve arguments, while adults frequently use it to make decisions on everything from who buys coffee to who gets to pick the movie. Due to its simplicity and the lack of specialized equipment, RPS quickly spread worldwide to become a global phenomenon.
The game has gone beyond being just a simple pastime, with official international championships that hold annually. The World RPS Society holds an event with hundreds of players competing each year for the title of world champion. The intense competition at these events is akin to that of professional poker tournaments, with competitive players going to great lengths to research their opponents and learn their strategies.
The game’s evolution over centuries has produced various variants, such as Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock, which has become famous among fans of the TV show “The Big Bang Theory.” The variant adds two more hand gestures, with Lizard beating Paper and Spock beating Scissors.
Overall, Rock, Paper, Scissors has seen an astonishing evolution since its first appearance in ancient China, capturing people’s imaginations worldwide. The simplicity of the game has made it a timeless classic that anyone can play, making it one of the longest-running games in human history.