Rock, Paper, Scissors…shoot!
Rock, Paper, Scissors (RPS) is an ancient game known around the world for the unambiguous rules: rock beats scissors, scissors beat paper, and paper beats rock.
In this episode, Bronwen takes a multilevel look at this deceptively simple hand game, from a wacky, costumed subculture to the expensive world of high art, sociological commentary on sport to the dynamics maintaining nature’s biodiversity and beyond.
As always, Bronwen engages in a philosophical inquiry into the rules of RPS – beyond its easy gameplay. She considers how we readily employ RPS as a rule to settle disputes – whoever wins, gets to call the shots. We follow this rule based on the premise that as a random game of chance, it is therefore unbiased and fair. … but is it really?
Experts suggest the game can be strategized to one side’s advantage, using insights into human behavior and skills of psychological manipulation to influence a player’s likelihood of success. Can RPS be used to settle disputes more serious than who gets the last slice of pizza? Given its familiarity around the world and precedence of its use in law and order – it’s not that hard to imagine!
World Rock Paper Scissors Association
Formalizing Opponent Modeling
Social Cycling and Condition Response in RPS
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