While searching YouTube for short documentaries, I came across the following video “Rock Paper Scissors” . I was fairly convinced that this was a mockumentary, but to be sure, I searched for the Rock Paper Scissors Society mentioned on the site. It’s a relatively large website with quite a few posts, and as I went through the site, it seemed credible. Still, I wasn’t convinced. You all know how many seemingly professional websites lack real credibility. More research was necessary. A short google later, I’m listening to an excerpt from NPR’s Morning Edition and the topic of said excerpt? You guessed it. RPS. Or more specifically it was about the winner of the World RPS tournament.
I’m not sure what I can say about this from a theoretical point of view. If anyone else has any ideas, feel free to share. I mostly just thought that it was an interesting example of how one defines a game. I would never have considered “rock paper scissors” as a game; although I suppose it is. I just never thought carefully about it. It is, however, my preferred way to make a decision. (And I wish I was kidding; but I’m not.) Beyond using it to decide where to eat, who gets the front seat, and what to name my first born child, I haven’t given “rock paper scissors” much consideration. Obviously, some folks have. So, here’s what I wonder: there are folks who think that LARPing is pretty insane; I’m trying to be open minded but I find this to be pretty crazy; where do you folks stand on this topic? It seems that RPS is pretty much the simplest game that you can have (other than maybe thumb war?) and to me, it seems strange to have such an investment in RPS to the extent that you travel across the world to compete in a tournament. How does the complexity of a game determine its significance? I mean; are these folks gamers as we define those who LARP or play WOW or the Wii? (Oh, I thought of another simple one–flipping a coin.) Are these games? Is there some overarching characteristic that a game must have? I mostly asking because I’m thinking about the restrictions that many want to put on the definitions of writing and texts. Is this analogous? Am I just crazy to be even making this a topic of discussion?
Well, will you look at that? I guess I had something remotely theoretical to say (or ask).