The game of rock paper scissors has been played by children and adults alike for decades, and although the rules have remained the same, the hand gestures used to play the game have evolved over time. This article will explore the history of the hand gestures used in rock paper scissors, from their origins to the modern-day variations.
The earliest known depiction of the hand gestures used in rock paper scissors come from a Japanese book called Wakan Sansai Zue, which dates back to the 17th century. The book shows two men using the gestures to play a game called “jan-ken.” However, unlike modern-day rock paper scissors, the gestures used in jan-ken were slightly different. Instead of the three distinct gestures we know today, the players would keep their hand in a certain position representing either a frog, a slug, or a snake.
It wasn’t until the early 20th century that the familiar rock paper scissors hand gestures began to emerge. In 1927, a reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle published an article about a group of children who were playing a game called “rock-paper-scissors.” The article described the hand gestures used in the game as “fist for rock, two fingers for scissors, and an open hand for paper.”
However, it wasn’t until the game became popular in Japan in the 1960s that the hand gestures we use today became standardized. In Japan, the game is known as “Jan-ken,” and the gestures are referred to as “guu” (rock), “choki” (scissors), and “paa” (paper). These gestures quickly spread to other countries, and today, they are the most commonly used hand gestures for rock paper scissors worldwide.
Despite the standardization of the hand gestures, some variations have emerged over the years. For example, in some versions of the game, the scissors gesture involves crossing two fingers rather than holding up two fingers. Additionally, some players use different hand signals to indicate a tie, such as holding up two fingers for “double rock.”
In recent years, there have also been attempts to create new hand gestures for rock paper scissors. In 2006, a group of designers created a set of 25 new gestures, each with a corresponding name and backstory, in an effort to make the game more interesting and engaging. However, these gestures have yet to catch on with the wider public.
In conclusion, the hand gestures used in rock paper scissors have a long and varied history, stretching back to at least the 17th century. Although the gestures used in the game have evolved over time, the standardized gestures we know today have been in place since the 1960s. Despite some variations and attempts at innovation, the classic rock paper scissors hand gestures continue to be the most widely recognized and used by people around the world.