Melissa Block: Even as the World’s Scrabble Championship
wraps up in Kuala Lumpur, another riveting competition is
about to get underway in Toronto. That, of course, is the
second annual Rock Paper Scissors International Tournament.
One thousand competitors, they claim, facing off in a tense
drama, pitting fist against splayed fingers, against outstretched
hand, and joining us from Toronto is the Managing Director of
the Sports Governing Body, the World Rock Paper Scissors
Society, (and) that’s Douglas Walker. Thanks for being with
Douglas Walker: Thank you very much for having me.
Melissa Block: You have a very detailed website that breaks
down the qualities of the different players, sort of psychological
component(s) behind them. Let’s go through them briefly. (Uh)
The character of rock.
Douglas Walker: Rock is definitely seen as an aggressive move.
Rock is often a very instinctive move for a lot of novices. And
the reason for that is that is seen as a powerful move, you’ve
got your fist kind of right there, out there in front.
Melissa Block: But, it would be beaten by paper, which on the
face might seem weak, but, really isn’t.
Douglas Walker: Paper is a very passive play. It’s (uh) not
necessarily submissive in any sense. But, definitely it is a .. You
now it’s a throw that .. it is a little more elegant touching style.
Melissa Block: And scissors which you describe as being sort of
crafty and clever.
Douglas Walker: Absolutely. It’s a devious maneuver without a
doubt. Delivering the scissors is often seen as a bit of a
Melissa Block: You would think this is just a game of
probability. That anyone has an equal chance of winning. Is
that not true?
Douglas Walker: No. That’s absolutely false. The main reason
for that is that humans are incapable of being truly random.
So, if you can’t be random, then any throw that you are
putting out has been thrown for a reason, whether
psychological, emotional or contextual. So, it’s the player who
can capitalize that in a quick thinking style that will win in the
scrabble (vt) 1. SCRAWL, SCRIBBLE
2 : to scratch , claw, or grope about clumsily or frantically
3 a : SCRAMBLE, CLAMBER b : to struggle by or as if by
scraping or scratching <scrabble for survival>
An English Word Game: 【商標】 拼字遊戲 ( 類似 anagram 由
rivet (n) 鉚釘,包頭釘: a headed pin or bolt of metal used for
uniting two or more pieces by passing the shank through a hole in
each piece and then beating or pressing down the plain end so as to
make a second head ; (vt) 1 : to fasten with or as if with rivets 2 :
to upset the end or point of (as a metallic pin, rod, or bolt) by
beating or pressing so as to form a head 3 : to fasten firmly <stood
riveted by fright> 4 : to attract and hold (as the attention)
face off : confront. face-off (n) confrontation
splay (vt) 1 : to cause to spread outward 2 : to make oblique :
BEVEL ; (vi) 1 : to extend apart or outward especially in an
awkward manner 2 : SLOPE, SLANT (n) & (adj)
instinctive (adj) 1 : of, relating to, or being instinct 2 : prompted
by natural instinct or propensity : arising spontaneously
novice (n)1 : a person admitted to probationary membership in a
religious community 2 : BEGINNER, TYRO
tyro (n) 'tI-(")rO : a beginner in learning : NOVICE
submissive (adj) : submitting to others ; submit(vt, vi) to yield
oneself to the authority or will of another
throw (vt) (n) an act of throwing , hurling, or flinging b (1) : an act
of throwing dice
crafty (adj) 1 dialect chiefly British : SKILLFUL, CLEVER
2 a : adept in the use of subtlety and cunning b : marked by
subtlety and guile <a crafty scheme>
guile (n) deceitful cunning 狡猾,陰險,狡詐
context 1 : the parts of a discourse that surround a word or
passage and can throw light on its meaning ; 2 : the interrelated
conditions in which something exists or occurs ; ENVIRONMENT,
SETTING contextual (adj)
subversion (n) the act of subverting : the state of being subverted;
especially : a systematic attempt to overthrow or undermine a
government or political system by persons working secretly from
subvert (vt) to overturn or overthrow from the foundation :
RUIN 2 : to pervert or corrupt by an undermining of morals,
allegiance, or faith
1. Do you agree with what was said here about the
characters of Rock, Paper and Scissors? Do you think
there are really some psychological differences among
them when thrown out in a game?
2. No matter you believe in the different characters in
rock, paper and scissors or not. Please re-assign the
characters you personal have for these three choice
when you throw one out during a game. Now, do you
think you are you a Rock person? Or Paper? Or
3. Rock, Paper and Scissors are used to make a decision
between two persons. Please give one (recent)
example you remember that you did with this method
to decide. Is it possible to apply the method to make
a decision among more than two people? Devise your
scheme, say for deciding which three of five people
would get three apples on the table. Or other
example that you have.
4. One other way to make a decision is by drawing
straws. Can you describe the differences between
Rock, Paper & Scissors throwing and straw drawing.
5. Do you like a game that involves probability only? In
other words, 100% dependent on your luck, such as
rolling a dice to see who get a larger number. Or a
game with a combination of both probability and
skills? Do you like gambling? How do you draw a
line between gambling and a game which involves
Oct. 24, 2003 -- Just as the World Scrabble Championship wraps
up in Kuala Lumpur, another major gaming competition is starting
in Toronto: The 2003 Rock Paper Scissors World Championship.
Tournament organizers claim that 1,000 competitors will face off
this weekend in a tense drama pitting fist against splayed fingers
against outstretched hand.
NPR's Melissa Block, host of All Things Considered, talks with
Graham Walker, the managing director of the sport's governing
body, the World Rock Paper Scissors Society. Read about
techniques and strategies, excerpted from the World RPS Web Site:
One of the first tricks learned by the novice is to hold back a throw
of paper until the last possible moment to dupe an opponent into
believing that you may actually be throwing a rock. This allows
you the extra few milliseconds for fine-tuning your approach and
delivery. Both paper and scissors have this ability, however unless
you are employing a "double-back" strategy, cloaking a paper
throw is likely to draw an instinctive paper from your opponent (as
a reply to your phantom rock). Therefore, the stalemating effect of
paper cloaking has led most RPS enthusiasts to view this tactic as a
very defensive move.
Priming the Chump
Priming the chump is the opening ritual before the actual throws
are made (often referred to as "1-2-3 Shoot!"). The purpose of
priming is to get both players in sync, so as to ensure a
simultaneous delivery of throws. An official speed of priming has
never been established by the RPS Steering Committee, nor is
there an intention to ever rule on the issue. It is seen as an inherent
right of the players involved to dictate their own speed of play.
Priming can be used to advantage when two players meet for the
first time, since it is often unclear as to what the priming speed will
be. The tendency is to default to the priming speed of the faster
player. This allows the faster priming player the luxury of dictating
the flow of play and causes their opponent (or "the Chump") to
dedicate more energy to "catching the prime" rather than
concentrating on delivering an effective throw.
One way to consistently beat the novice is by use of a tactic known
as Paper-Clipping. The goal is to draw a paper throw from your
opponent in such a way as to enable you to counter with a scissors,
thus, "clipping" your opponent's paper. The effective use of this
strategy relies exclusively on your ability to successfully draw a
paper from your opponent and should you respond with the
requisite scissors, will guarantee a win every time.
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