September 29, 2009


This weekend I visited my parents who live just 8 hours away by train. Soon after I boarded the train, I began reading Small Miracles for Women and slowly drifted off to sleep. Woken up by a loud “Stone..Paper..Scissors!” and some giggles that followed, I found two little girls who sat across me engaged in a noisy animated game. I soon figured how the game works. It wasn’t just me. The entire bunch of people around me was very much a part of the fun and the kids were totally oblivious to it. The older one won, the younger one threw some tantrums, the father chuckled at how the older one exploited the younger sibling’s naivety.

What I thought is a simple game invented to keep a troublesome twosome busy turned out to be a much larger ‘Rock..Paper..Scissors!’, a tournament held at an international level. There is International World Championships, an annual open event organized by the World Rock Paper Scissors Society, there is USA Rock Paper Scissors League Championships and a lot others. Check out the 2009 USARPS Championship video below and see how it takes as much skill as the randomness to bag that $ 20,000 prize money.

Next time you catch up with a friend or you need to bust that stress, try this game, have a little laugh and feel lighter.

Here’s how to play (Text courtesy of Wikipedia)

Each of the three basic hand-signs (from left to right: rock, paper, and scissors) beats one of the other two, and loses to the other.

The players both count aloud to three, or speak the name of the game (e.g. "Rock! Paper! Scissors!" or "Ro! Cham! Beau!"), each time raising one hand in a fist and swinging it down on the count. On the third count the players change their hands into one of three gestures, which they then "throw" by extending it towards their opponent.

  • Rock represented by a clenched fist.
  • Scissors represented by the index and middle fingers extended and separated.
  • Paper represented by an open hand, with the fingers connected (horizontal).

The objective is to select a gesture which defeats that of the opponent. Gestures are resolved as follows:

  • Rock blunts or breaks scissors: rock wins.
  • Scissors cut paper: scissors win.
  • Paper covers or captures rock: paper wins.

If both players choose the same gesture, the game is tied and the players throw again.


Patroz Palal said...

Its cool.. Really a lucid way of writing a travelogue …. Keep it up … as a suggestion you can catch hold of catchy phrases as the title to animate the imagination of the reader …. That way reader always keeps questing for the nerve of the blog, until he finds one.

Patroz Palal

Minu said...

Thanks Peter for taking time to read. As a matter of fact it's always the title of the post that takes up the most time. I will keep your suggestion in mind :)

Subash S L said...

So now I know what my son was playing with his cousins from the U.S recently. In fact I was wondering when he learnt it, from his cousins? I just checked with him and he says they call it Stone, Paper, Scissors.

Minu said...

That was a casual Google search to find the origin of the game and I was totally surprised when I learnt that this silly game can fetch you up to 50,000 USD. But if you really look at it, it is more of a mind game than sheer luck. Did you see the video in the post?

Subash S L said...

amusing video the narrator is actually funny at times,once he goes stonethrower thows rock..whoaa
that happens at about 7 min into the video

Sajeev said...

In case you were wondering all the anonymous posts including the above one was me.Yes manbearpig too.

Minu said...

And you thought I cant guess!!! ;)

S a j e e V said...

of course not,I was sure you'd known it was me as you are very meticulous