Rock Paper Scissors Invented.
The study of history is essential to the understanding of the Rock Paper Scissors game. The first thing worthy of note is that the game is like every other game or sport. That means that it has a history that can be traced. This article will explore the history books and make a detailed narration of the history of the Rock Paper Scissors game. But before that, it is essential to give a brief description of the game, the elements, interpretations, and how it is being played.
A Brief Description Of Rock Paper Scissors
The Rock Paper Scissors game is usually played between two players. However, in an informal game engagement, there may be more than two players. This may be called an elimination match. In a planned formal and regulated game, there are usually two participants. The play is that each of the players will extend a hand gesture that can either be represented by Rock, Paper, or Scissors. Rock, Paper, and Scissors are the three shapes used in the RPS game. The three have different gestures and interpretations. Yes, the characters used in the game were used to form the name of the game. We will get to that later.
Rock is one of the three shapes. A player that throws Rock will extend a closed fist toward his opponent. Paper is another throw represented by extending a flat hand or open palm. Last but not the least throw, Scissors is identified by extending a “V’ shape toward the opponent. This is done by holding down the ring finger and pinky with the thumb while extending the index and middle fingers to form a “V” shape. There is a calculation for this game; Rock beats Scissors, Scissors beats Paper, and Paper beats Rock. This relationship between the three throws makes one throw a killer of one and a prey to the other.
In the game, there are usually two outcomes. You can win or lose, and you can draw with your opponent. A player that plays Rock will beat his opponent if he plays Scissors because Rock crushes or blunts Scissors. But the same Rock will lose if the other player throws Paper because Paper will cover or suffocate Rock. Paper wins Rock but is prey to Scissors as Scissors cuts Paper. Scissors prevails over Paper but falls at the mercy of Rock, as interpreted above. If the two participants throw the same shape, the game is tied and will be replayed till the tie is broken.
In playing the game, the players may count to three or call the name of the game (Rock! Paper! Scissors!). In some cases, each player may swing his hand as they speak the name of the game or hold it behind his back. After counting to three or having called Rock Paper Scissors, the players then “throw” by extending a hand toward each other. Calculations will be made according to the throw or series of throws that each player makes.
A Trace Back To History
The Rock Paper Scissors game has its fair share in the pages of history. Almost every book about the Rock Paper Scissors game will contain its history or a reasonable part of it. And one of the important things to note is that there are no discrepancies whatsoever in all the submissions you will find as the historical background of the Rock Paper Scissors game. Ever since the game has become an international phenomenon, sports enthusiasts and interested researchers have spent more than enough time digging through the pages of history in order to find the source of the game.
The reason why there are no inconsistencies in all the versions of history that have been explained so far may be due to the fact that most, if not all of these versions can be traced to only one source. Whatever the case may be, however, the fact still remains that the Rock Paper Scissors game has a peculiar history and the narratives are true and generally accepted. The narrative that will be explored in this article as the history of the Rock Paper Scissors game is derived from a reliable source. You can be sure to discover its credibility anywhere in the book of history. Now let us look back in time and see how the Rock Paper Scissors was invented and how it has continued to develop over time.
In studying the origins of the RPS game, we cannot but notice where the game was first mentioned. According to history, the first place on record that the game was mentioned was in Wuzazu, a book written by Xie Zhaozhi, a popular Chinese Ming dynasty writer. According to Xie Zhaozhi, the game was dated as far back as the time of the Chinese Han dynasty (206 BCE – 220 CE. In the book, the game was referred to as Shoushiling. In another book that backs up this narrative, Note of Liuyanzhai by Li Rihua also makes mention of the game as Shoushiling.
Apart from this Chinese narrative, there is also another narrative that proves the Chinese to be right. In fact, even the other narrative was derived from the Chinese history of the game. In the Japanese history books, there are a series of notes that make references to a game called sansukumi-ken. The interpretation of this game is such that “there are three who are afraid of one another.” For instance, A beats B, B beats C, and C beats A. History tells us this kind of game was originally developed in China before it becomes popular and gained national interest in Japan.
How the Japanese sansukumi-ken was connected to the Chinese has been proven. From the Japanese narrative, the sansukumi-ken game has an earlier version called mushi-ken. This game is recorded to have been directly imported from China. The nature of the mushi-ken game is interpreted by three objects: Frog, Slug, and Snake. The Frog is represented by the thumb, the Slug by the little finger, while the index finger represents the Snake. The connection between these three explains that the Frog beats the Slug, the Slug beats the Snake and the Snake triumphs over the Frog. Although the Japanese mushi-ken game was imported from the Chinese, however, the game differs only in the objects represented. Whether the change was deliberate or not is left for the Japanese to say, but we can agree that the nature of the game was changed as a result of the substitution of characters.
There is another version of the Japanese sansukumi-ken game. During that time, it was called kitsune-ken. The interpretation of the game was from the three characters represented by a supernatural fox known as a kitsune, the village head, and the hunter. The supernatural fox defeats the village head, the village head wins the hunter, and the hunter kills the supernatural fox. Apart from the modification of the characters, there is another feature that makes the kitsune-ken different from the mushi-ken and the Rock Paper Scissors game. While the mushi-ken and the RPS require that you play with only one hand, the kitsune-ken game is played by extending gestures with both hands.
In the 17th century, one of the variations of the Chinese game was developed. The variation called jan-ken is the most popularly known sansukumi-ken today. The jan-ken game is a bit reformed, unlike the other Japanese variations of the game. Jan-ken uses the Rock, Paper, and Scissors format. The Jen-ken game is considered the game from which the modern Rock Paper Scissors game is derived. We can say the Rock Paper Scissors game is the direct descendant of the jan-ken game. The elements of Rock, Paper, and Scissors have thus become the popular variation being used since its development in the 19th century. This is called the modern version of the hand game.
The early 20th century recorded the widespread of the Rock Paper Scissors game beyond East Asia. Perhaps this is due to the fact that there was an increase in the contact between the Japanese and the Western world. This led to the adoption of the English variation of the game. The adoption was relatively easy. Since the jan-ken game uses the three characters of Rock, Paper, and Scissors, the English, therefore, adopted the complete jan-ken variation. The English name for the game even was coined from the jan-ken gestures for rock, paper, and scissors. In some other parts of East Asia, the “paper” is substituted for “cloth,” although both are gestured by an open-palm.
Having gone through history, we have discovered the origins of the Rock Paper Scissors game, where it started, and how it got the name. Although there are different variations of the game, the modern version (the English Rock Paper Scissors) is the popularly and generally adopted variation of the hand game. This is the history of the Rock Paper Scissors game, and the understanding will help every person with the background information on the game. Again, this narrative is credible and will in no way misinform you.