The earliest evidence of a Rock Paper Scissors-like game was found in ancient China, dating back to the Han Dynasty (206 BC – 220 AD). Back then, the game was known as “shoushiling,” which translates to “hand-commanding.” In this game, two players would stand facing each other and simultaneously show one of three hand gestures to denote rock, paper, or scissors. The winner would be the person whose gesture defeated their opponent’s gesture.
The game made its way to Japan in the 17th century, where it was known as “jan-ken,” which is short for “jankenpon.” The meaning of jankenpon is said to be derived from the Japanese words “jan-ken,” which translates to “snake, monkey, and crab.” In this version of the game, each of the three hand gestures represented one of these animals. Interestingly, many Japanese believe that janken originated in China, but that it evolved into a children’s game in Japan.
Rock Paper Scissors eventually made its way to Europe in the 19th century. The French called it “Pierre-Papier-Ciseaux,” while the Germans called it “Schnick Schnack Schnuck.” It became a popular game among schoolchildren and was used as an alternative to coin-tossing to make decisions.
In the early 20th century, the game became popular in the United States. However, it wasn’t until the 1930s that the game was officially named “Rock Paper Scissors.” It is believed that the name was derived from the old English game called “Morra,” which was also a hand-guessing game.
Today, Rock Paper Scissors is played all over the world, and it’s not just a children’s game. In fact, it’s become something of a global phenomenon. It’s used to settle disputes, make decisions, and even determine the winner of international competitions.
Rock Paper Scissors has come a long way since its inception in ancient China. It’s a game that has transcended language barriers and cultural differences, and it’s become a part of our global culture. Who knew that such a simple game had such a fascinating history?
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