Rock-Paper-Scissors, or RPS, is a popular game played all over the world. It is a game where two people face each other and each chooses one of three hand gestures – rock (a closed fist), paper (an open hand), or scissors (two fingers extended).
The game is played by each person saying “rock, paper, scissors” aloud and then simultaneously showing their chosen gesture. The winner is determined by which gesture beats the other – rock crushes scissors, scissors cut paper, and paper covers rock.
While this game is commonly known throughout the world, variations on this game exist in different countries. Even in Australia, where RPS is known simply as “rock, paper, scissors,” there are different variations played throughout the country.
In Korea, a popular variation of the game is known as “Kai Bai Bo.” This version uses three objects: a stone (represented by a closed fist), scissors (represented by the first and second fingers extended) and a cloth (represented by an open hand). Instead of calling out “rock, paper, scissors,” players chant “Kai Bai Bo” while simultaneously making their choice.
In Japan, there is a version called “Jan Ken Pon” that only uses the first two gestures, rock and scissors. This version is often used to determine who goes first in a game or match.
Another variation found in China and Taiwan is called “Shoushiling,” which roughly translates to “hand gestures.” Instead of using the hand gestures we know, this version uses more complex hand gestures that represent different animals. For example, “water” is represented by the form of a mouse, “wood” by a tiger, and “fire” by a lion.
In Australia, there is also a common variation called “Rock, paper, scissors, lizard, Spock.” This version adds two more gestures, a lizard (represented by holding one’s hand in the shape of a lizard with the index and pinky fingers extended) and Spock (represented by holding the hand up in a Vulcan salute). The additional gestures create a new strategy element and add excitement to the game.
These variations highlight how a simple game like RPS can be adapted and changed to suit different cultures and preferences. It also shows how the game has evolved to incorporate new strategies and tactics to keep it interesting.
Whether you are playing “Kai Bai Bo” in Korea, “Jan Ken Pon” in Japan, or “Rock, paper, scissors, lizard, Spock” in Australia, the game of RPS is a universal language that brings people together.