Rochambeau

Better known as rock, paper, scissors. This came up because someone recently told me that there was a Canadian varient called bear, cowboy, ninja (not actually true -- there is such a varient, but it doesn't appear to be particularly Canadian). Anyway, this led to poking about on the web out of curiosity and discovering that RPS is rather more widely used and analyzed than I thought.

For instance, there is a World RPS Society that organizes tournaments. An idea that made little senes to me until I realized that, at the competitive level, it's a reduced, pure form of psychological game like poker.

The advanced RPS page is rather interesting reading.

Posted: 2005-08-05 22:49 — Why no comments?

HL&S, dude. That is one of my favorite sites, though -- the FAQ is hilarious. Almost as great as the Zombie Survival Guide.

There were RPS programming challenges that were hyped up on Usenet ahead of time, and I'm much more confident that they actually happened.

Posted by Matthew Daly at 2005-08-06 02:53

Either you're rather more sure than you should be or there are a lot of people playing along, including major news outlets. Do a Google News search for "rock, paper, scissors" and notice stories by news.com.au, ABC Online, and the Melbourne Herald Sun.

Posted by eagle at 2005-08-06 11:34

The Zombie Survival Guide also has a published book and a lot of media coverage. It doesn't mean that there are even dozens of people preparing for a Class 4 undead outbreak.

I don't want to imply that there aren't a few people in the world who are organizing open tournaments in bars and in getting "whoda thunk it" media attention and the occasional sponsorship. But if you can't read the FAQ and see the network of globally aligned clubs of people who are putting a lot of thought into RPS as a highly satirical hoax, then that strikes me as somewhat strange.

Posted by Matthew Daly at 2005-08-06 13:25

Hey, all I said was that there's an organization out there organizing tournaments. As near as I can tell, from the traditional methods of confirming such information (and short of going to one in person), this appears to be true. There aren't newspaper and traditional news media accounts of zombies attacking people; there are of RPS tournaments.

I'm not sure why it matters so much to you to prove that there aren't. I just find it interesting as a curiosity. I certainly don't believe that it's about to become an Olympic sport or anything, but I do find it interesting just how minimal a game can be and still be able to produce a meaningful competition. I think you could do that with RPS, for exactly the same reasons that you can do that with Blind Man's Bluff (which is part of poker tournaments -- not the part taken the most seriously, of course, but it is held and there are real prizes for winning).

There's certainly a fair bit of satire going on here too, which is also amusing, but while there are certainly spoof sites, there also appear to be some real tournaments.

Posted by eagle at 2005-08-06 13:36

Last modified and spun 2015-06-08