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Sapere aude - dare to be wise
Friday, October 24, 2003
Posted 6:13 PM by Kevin
Beyond the Packers, I'm not much of a sports fan. It isn't so much because I don't "get" sports or because I'm unathletic, myself, but rather because watching games seems like a lot of time invested without much to show for it. I'd much rather read, study, or let my wife paint my toenails.

In any case, there are a few sporting spectacles that actually sound fun to watch, and, looking at the calendar, it appears that it's that time of year again. Of course, I'm talking about The World Rock Paper Sissors Championship held this year in Toronto. I'm betting it'll be another epic battle of wits and hands, just at is was last year. NPR's Melissa Block interviewed Graham Walker, the managing editor of the organization's governing body.

Now, some of you might be thinking, "that's not a sport, Kevin... there's no strategy to it!" And, if you thought that, you'd be abysmally wrong. There are many strategies to winning at RPC (or even just "Rock," as many call it). There is, for example, that tactic of "cloaking," in which a combatant withholds their throw of "paper" for a split-second, to dupe their opponent into thinking they are actually throwing a "rock." After all, it takes just a second longer to make one's hand into a fist, and many novice players fall for this simple ruse. Ah-ha!, the winner will exclaim!

This isn't to say that RPS is all fun and games. This is a serious sport for serious hand-athletes. If one is to play RPS professionally, one must duly conform to their Code of Responsibility:

The World RPS Player's Responsibility Code

1. Safety First! Always ensure that all players have removed sharp jewelry and watches.

2. Ensure agreement, before the first round, on priming conventions (we recommend the standard 3 prime shoot).

3. Always establish what is to be decided or whether the match is to be played for honour.

4. Pre-determine the number of rounds required to win the match (remember odd numbers only).

5. Encourage novice development by explaining blunders in judgement with a mind towards being helpful. Don't berate.

6. Think twice before using RPS for life-threatening decisions.

7. Always respect foreign cultures. When abroad consider yourself an ambassador of the World RPS Society.

I don't know about you, but I know what I'm going to do this weekend... I'm going to study my brains out... and follow the hot, hot action of competitive RPS

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