Unusual Events

Published on October 22nd, 2012 | by Adrian Simpson


Want to become a God of Rock Paper Scissors

Anyone who has had even a semi functional upbringing will be intimately familiar with the game of ‘Rock, Paper Scissors’. What I like to think of as a way of settling disputes whilst travelling around in an estate car on family holidays in the 1970’s, can actually trace its origins way back to the Ming Dynasty of China. And for those of the X-Box Generation, that’s really old. A beautiful simplicity masks a devsihly addictive game where you have just three choices to make in a split second; it’s quick, it’s final and after hundreds of years it’s still going strong.

2009 Yahoo Rock Paper Scissors World Championships

So, what better way to usher in the autumnal chill, dampness and carpet of brown leaves then to make your way down to the UK Rock Paper Scissors World Championships at the Crosse Keys Pub in that there London on October 13th. It will be the sixth year that this event has been held and as it’s on a Saturday night presents itself as an ideal opportunity for those not from the Capital to come and see the pigeons, homeless and things called Aberdeen Angus Steak Houses. All you have to do is rock up for the registration at 5:30pm, loosen up courtesy of the fully licensed bar and prepare to take on some very committed opponents.

2009 Yahoo Rock Paper Scissors World Championships

If you think that RPS is just chucking a shape out there and seeing what happens, then they’re going to make mincemeat of you. There are centuries of research and calculation into just how to become the ultimate competitor, even down to people with large brains constructing things called algorithms – which are basically sums – around how to win. Japanese scientists have even built a robotic hand which has a 100% winning record rate thanks to a camera which can recognise an opponent’s move within one millisecond. However, if the robot can’t make it you could resort to RPS terrorist tactics which involve shouting the name of a different shape to the one you’re about throw as you throw it…if that makes sense?

Although historically tricky to make a career from RPS there have been several high profile disputes that have been settled by what is essentially art meets sport. The two auction houses, Sotheby’s and Christie’s, played the game to decide who would take control of the auction for a collection of Cezanne paintings. A Christie’s Director let his 11 year old twin daughters decide the first move and they went on to win the game and $20million of business. The lucky winner of the UK Championships collects a rather more pedestrian £100 but the unquestioning admiration of a pub full of RPS devotees replete of lager. It sounds to us like the perfect night out.

Where: The Crosse Keys Pub, Gracechurch Street London

When: October 13th. Registration from 5:30pm, competition starts at 6:45pm.

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About the Author

Adrian Simpson

Adrian Simpson is a writer and TV presenter with a profound love of the outdoors. His family, snow, sea, brewing, vinyl, guitars and VW buses mean the world to him.

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