Rock Paper Scissors

USA Rock Paper Scissors League

Posted on the wall in Tom’s Peacock Bar in Corvallis was a mystery: a notice of a rock paper scissors tournament. A visit to the USA Rock Paper Scissors League‘s website proved more confusing. Take the first news release as an example:

Rocky Balboa is stepping back into the ring for his final comeback, as production has begun on “Rocky VI: Rocky Paper Scissors.” After a 16-year hiatus, Sylvester Stallone wrote the film himself, knocking out boxing from the script and replacing it with a hand sport that is more intense, more courageous and that looks even better in those dramatic slow-motion shots: Rock Paper Scissors.

And I’m not sure if the Girls of Rock Paper Scissors help or hurt the organization’s appearance of legitimacy (though they’ve even tried sexing up (nsfw) bowling)

Girls of Rock Paper Scissors

But a later news release announced sponsorship from Bud Light and A&E Network for a season of tournaments and finals held at the Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas next month. But even this reads with tongue in cheek. Take co-commissioner Matti Leshem’s comment:

For too long, adults who gather in clubs looking for competition have had only pool or darts to challenge them. Finally, there’s a true sport where talent can be showcased.

Spokespeople for both Bud Light and A&E Network expressed excitement over the tournament, but A&E’s Nancy Dubuc really towed the line:

It’s a quirky, humorous way to bring to television a sport everyone can play — where strength and agility take a backseat to strategy and skill.

Skill? What skill you ask? Read Master Roshambollah‘s answer to that challenge:

RPS should not be compared to games of chance, such as poker. With poker, one is dealt 5 or 7 cards out of a possible 52, allowing one to only use around a tenth of the deck at one time. RPS should be compared with other non-random games, such as chess. Even though chess involves considerably less strategy than RPS, one may use any of one’s pieces at any given time, according to certain rules. This is most certainly not random. Besides, it is well known that humans can only approximate random behavior. All cries of “RPS is just random” disappear the moment one’s opponent states, “I dare you to open with rock, you sissy.”

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