Rock paper scissors is a simple hand game that is played around the world. It’s a game that is used to make decisions, settle disputes and test skill levels. It is a game that is so easy to pick up but can keep people entertained for hours on end. However, not many people know the fascinating history and evolution of rock paper scissors.
The origins of rock paper scissors are unclear, but many believe it originated in China over 2,000 years ago. The Chinese called it “shoushiling,” which translates to “hand command.” The game involved players tapping their fingers in various combinations as a form of divination.
Over time, the game spread to Japan, where it became known as “jankenpon.” Japanese students in the mid-19th century popularized it, and it quickly became a staple of Japanese culture. The Japanese introduced the iconic hand gestures, with rock being represented by a closed fist, paper by a flat hand, and scissors by a peace sign with the index and middle fingers.
Rock paper scissors made its way to the western world after World War II, where it was quickly adopted by American troops stationed in Japan. In the 20th century, rock paper scissors became a global phenomenon, popularized in playgrounds, boardrooms, and even sanctioned as a sport.
In 2002, the World RPS Society was created by Douglas Walker in Toronto, Canada. It held annual championships, with players traveling from around the world to compete for the title of RPS champion.
The game has even found its way into popular culture, showing up in movies and television shows. The video game industry has included it in various games, such as the handheld game console, Game Boy. In 2006, a Japanese arcade game called “Janken Heroes” was introduced, allowing players to experience rock paper scissors in an interactive and challenging way.
There are even variations of the game, such as “rock paper scissors lizard spock.” This variant includes two additional hand gestures, with the lizard representing a hand wiggling four fingers against the thumb and the spock gesture being made by forming half of the Vulcan salute from Star Trek.
In conclusion, the history and evolution of rock paper scissors may seem unassuming, but it’s fascinating to see how it has traveled across time and continents, adapting to new cultures and changing with every generation. It’s a game that has stood the test of time and will continue to entertain people for years to come.