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Do you think there is any skill involved in playing rock, paper, scissors?

Asked at Massachusetts Street on November 16, 2007

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Photo of Mary Hedges

“Yes. That’s how we decide who serves first in practice, and I know people who are great at it. So there must be something to it.”

Photo of Robert Meyers

“Yes. It is a game of random chance to a degree, but psychology becomes an increasing factor starting with the second game played with the same opponent. And it is a psychological fact that most men will choose rock on the first try.”

Photo of Erica Voetsch

“Yes. If you can read people well, you can sometimes tell what they’re going to throw. Some people just don’t have a rock, paper, scissors face.”

Photo of Ehren Starks

“Yeah, there is definitely a good amount of psychology involved. Like when you both throw the same thing, are they going to keep it the same or change it? It’s all about reading your opponent.”


Crossfire 10 years, 7 months ago

So far RPS is one of the few sports free of scandal. Rock on RPSers.

jonas 10 years, 7 months ago

Frequently, people react on the next game, assuming draw, by trying to beat what was thrown in the previous game. If you can react quickly enough, then you can get them then.

trinity 10 years, 7 months ago

lordie i guess i've led a sheltered life; never did play RPS, and have no idea the rules, "scoring", etc. sigh deprived, much. ;)

Flap Doodle 10 years, 7 months ago

R_I, them there letters move around before the coffee kicks in. NSFW is what my brain was thinking.

Chris Golledge 10 years, 7 months ago

Yeap, it's all about getting one step ahead of your opponent after the first toss. How fast are they thinking? One step ahead; two steps ahead, three? How fast do they think you are thinking? If there is a lot of time between tosses, then it becomes more random, but in games where the tosses come quickly, quicker thinkers dominate.

enochville 10 years, 7 months ago

Yeah, I think there is skill involved in reading other people.

GretchenJP 10 years, 7 months ago

I don't know, do you think there's any skill involved digging out your earwax?

jonas 10 years, 7 months ago

Gretchen: Depends on how much, and how far in it is.

craigers 10 years, 7 months ago

Maybe next Friday's question should be: Is there any skill involved in digging out your earwax and what tools do you use?

Paperclip, pen, bobby pin, finger, etc.

Celeste Plitz 10 years, 7 months ago

LOL Yeah, I know a guy that dug too deep and burst his eardrum doing I'd say there's some skill involved!

GretchenJP 10 years, 7 months ago

In today's news... tips on pulling out your gooey-ist boogers and the skill it takes to flick them across the room. Film at 11.

Jonathan Allison 10 years, 7 months ago

Is the ear candle cheating because it uses heat to melt the wax and suction to fluidize the wax? It's really an engineered advantage...

Jonathan Allison 10 years, 7 months ago

There is definitely skill in flicking boogers. You have to roll them around in your fingers just long enough that they have elasticity thus giving them extra bounce from the flick, and they have to be just sticky enough that they optimize on the elasticity without sticking too much.

GretchenJP 10 years, 7 months ago

I just threw up in my mouth a little bit. That takes skill too, btw!

coolmom 10 years, 7 months ago

wow, gross lol. thanks for my first laugh of the day. it was like hanging around with my sons wrestling team lol. happy friday!

sunflower_sue 10 years, 7 months ago

I have added the KS twister to RPS. This skill involves putting an elbow on your "base" hand and turning your forearm in a circular motion. The tornado beats everything. Game over! (it is even more effective if you make a loud 'wind' sound while executing this move.)

sgtwolverine 10 years, 7 months ago

Hey, my family has always been ahead of the curve.

Also, because that story might start to make sense in this context, Flint is one of the most run down and economically depressed cities in Michigan. And it's the hometown of Michael Moore.

jonas 10 years, 7 months ago

"And it is a psychological fact that most men will choose rock on the first try." Robert Meyers, commercial real estate, Lawrence

You know, when I think about it I think I usually lead with scissors. I guess I shouldn't play men.

jonas 10 years, 7 months ago

That would be a negative. I do drive a 2001 Celica, which is kind of a chick car, but it came with the wife.

igby 10 years, 7 months ago

Stone age game, been around for thousands of years.

It use to be called Rock, fire, stick.

Rock beats stick stick beats fire or does fire burn stick, oh well what the muck. Fire beats rock.

I'm sure who ever won was the guy with the biggest club.

Yab ah dab ah doo.

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