Thursday, October 11, 2007

Rock, Paper Scissors: How it all began.


Do You Want To Be A Rock Star?


This weekend, Toronto will be a rockin' city, as the 2007 World Rock Paper Scissors Championships cut into town.

The game of Rock Paper Scissors has been settling scores on playgrounds since long before little brothers came into existence. In fact, some say it originates back to the year 200 BC in Japan, where it was referred to as "Jan-Ken." Others say it started as an early Scandinavian pastime, while others trace it back to 6th century BC in Portugal. Whatever the case, the game is a worldwide phenomena with an infinite amount of variations.

If you've never heard of the game, then crawl out from your cave and have a listen. The game begins with two people bouncing their fists three times. This is called priming. As their fist descends a fourth time, the hand either makes the symbol for paper (hand out flat, palm down), scissors (index and middle fingers extended) or rock (closed fist). Rock beats scissors, scissors beats paper, and paper beats rock. It's that simple.

Of course, some people only prime two times, while others have thrown in win-all moves such as dynamite or snake, but these moves don't count. At least, they don't according to the World Rock Paper Scissors Society. The society was started in 1842 in England, but was moved to Canada after World War 1 because our country was seen as being more peaceful. The society was all but defunct when Toronto brothers Doug and Graham Walker (pictured above) cut in and took over in 1995. Since then, the sport has seen a resurgence, and since 2002 Toronto has been home to the World Rock Paper Scissors Championships.