Elizabeth Barrette (ysabetwordsmith) wrote,
Elizabeth Barrette

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Rock-Paper-Scissors Plus

Rock-Paper-Scissors is widely known, and Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock (watch original video) is spreading.

Of course, nerds are nerds, and apparently, Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock wasn't nerdy enough. The RPS-101 website details additional versions with 7, 9, 11, 15, 25, and 101 variables. I am in awe. O.O

Now for some observations ...

* These games aren't just jokes. They work, and they are real tools for people who need and like them. Each expansion reduces the number of ties from the very annoying 33.3% of Rock-Paper-Scissors to, for example, 4% in RPS-25. So there is a clear gameplay advantage to pushing the complexity as far as you're comfortable.

* In terms of need, though, the original Rock-Paper-Scissors is just too simplistic for many people, especially adults. This is why Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock has spread like wildfire among nerds. It's not just the obvious character appeal ("Someone's going to have to stop throwing Spock!") but it also offers a more comfortable challenge level for them. If that still seems too easy, just keep progressing through the layers until you find your comfort zone. There are nerds playing RPS-15 quite enthusiastically. This may or may not be super-intellect level. RPS-25 and RPS-101 are clearly super-intellect levels.

* The games also offer other benefits. They require increasing levels of memory and dexterity. You can introduce elements of strategy, but it relies more on luck. (Although if you're facing a nerd, throw Lizard or Paper, because nerds really do throw Spock more often.) The more complex they get, the more challenging and therefore exciting.

* In terms of accessibility, it's a great game for Deaf people, who already rely on sign language. Notice how many of these gestures are cribbed from various sources.

* This really is a little slice of Terramagne. First, they need the higher numbers because they have more super-intellects. This is doubtless an outgrowth of Kraken there, one of its many contributions to civilization. Brains need to keep busy, and they'll make up stuff like this just for the challenge of it.

* Watch the short film "Battle on the Breakwall." In T-America, that's on V'You and it's a showdown between a superhero team and a supervillain team. This is typical of student films and hobby films in T-America. It's very well done, has an engaging plot, some fun twists, and a lot of humor. But it's also concise: it only uses one setting, nine actors, and a handful of props. Do enough things like this which show nonviolent conflicts between superheroes and supervillains, and it starts to have the same effect that slashfic did on homosexuality: the unmentionable becomes the adorable. So once the idea gets out there, you see more folks with non-combat-relevant superpowers using this style of cape fight.
Tags: a little slice of terramagne, education, gaming, networking, video
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