Friday, November 05, 2010

Part One of The World's Wackiest Sports - The Rock Paper Scissors World Championships

All aboard if you’re looking for a truly unique experience.
Book some cheap flights to Toronto, Canada in time for for the annual ' Yahoo! Rock Paper Scissors World Championships ' which are being held on the 14th November 2010, at the Steam Whistle Brewery.

Now, we have all taken part in this game at sometime in our lives, whether it be in the school playground or down the pub – but here the stakes are a lot higher, as the winners will end up clutching C$10,000 (£6,179) in the hands that brought them to victory, not to mention bragging rights of being able to call yourself 'World Champion of Rock Paper Scissors.'

What’s more, they are officially sanctioned by the World Rock Paper Scissors Society.
The World RPS Society is dedicated to the promotion of Rock Paper Scissors as a fun and safe way to resolve disputes. The World RPS Society is involved in many areas of the sport, such as: research studies, workshops, tournaments at both local and international levels, book publishing, and much more.

As with most sports, the World RPS Society has established a code of ethics, formally known as the:
World RPS Player’s Responsibility Code.

These regulations are put forth in addition to standard game rules in order to ensure the safety and respectability of the game around the world. The responsibilities game players are expected to adhere to include:
  • Remove all jewellery and watches for the sake of safety.
  • Agree to the number of rounds before you begin playing.
  • Reconsider your options before using Rock Paper Scissors to make decisions that could affect your livelihood.
  • Always be aware of the differences in foreign cultures. In some areas, shooting signs with your hands is simply unacceptable.
There are dozens of other rules for RPS play. All are published online and can be seen here at the World RPS Society website.

The Secret to Winning at RPS:

Contrary to what you might think RPS is not simply a game of luck or chance. While it is true that from a mathematical perspective the 'optimum' strategy is to play randomly, it still is not a winning strategy for two reasons.
First, 'optimum' in this case means you should win, lose and draw an equal number of times (hardly a winning strategy over the long term).
Second, humans, try as they might are terrible at trying to be random, in fact often humans in trying to approximate randomness become quite predictable. So knowing that there is always something motivating your opponent's actions, there are a couple of tricks and techniques that you can use to tip the balance in your favour.

Basically, there are two ways to win at RPS:

The first way is to take one throw away from your opponent options. ie - If you can get your opponent to not play rock, then you can safely go with scissors as it will win against paper and stalemate against itself. Seems impossible right? Not if you know the subtle ways you can manipulate someone. The art is to not let them know you are eliminating one of their options.

The second way is to force you opponent into making a predictable move. Obviously, the key is that it has to be done without them realizing that you are manipulating them.

Most of the following techniques use variations on these basic principles. How well it works for you depends upon how well you can subtly manipulate your opponent without them figuring out what you are doing. So, now that the background is out of the way, let's take a look into these techniques.

History of the World RPS Society:

The Paper Scissors Stone Club was founded in London, England in 1842 immediately following the issuance of the1842 law declaring "any decision reached by the use of the process known as Paper Scissors Stone between two gentleman acting in good faith shall constitute a binding contract. Agreements reached in this manner are subject to all relevant contract and tort law."

In 1918, the name was changed to World RPS Club in to reflect the growing International representation. At roughly the same time the Club moved its headquarters from London to its present location at Trinity Plaza in Toronto, Canada. Despite the allied victory, the official reason for the move was "England is far too dangerous a place to make a suitable home country for a game of conflict resolution." Canada was seen as an excellent choice since it was seen as a "safe, hospitable and utterly inoffensive nation, a part of the commonwealth, yet not inhabited by the descendants of criminals."

In 1925 when the club briefly reached over 10,000 members, the name was changed again to The World RPS Society.

Breaking News:
It is my sad duty to announce the passing of Wojek Smallsoa, Chairman of the World RPS Society Steering Committee. After a life-long battle with living, Chairman Smallsoa's mortal Paper was snipped short at the age of 87. Due to the gravity of the situation, a period of mourning within the Society will be recognized which forces the cancellation of the 2010 World Championships of RPS.

At this point no date has been set for the 2011 World Championship, nor who will be entitled to Mr. Smallsoa's coveted parking spot in front of Trinity Square Plaza in Toronto.

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