Hand warriors of the world will descend on the Steam Whistle Brewery in Toronto, Canada, on Saturday 14th November for the 2009 Rock Paper Scissors World Championships. The tournament, organised by the sport's governing body World RPS, sees a total of $10,000 prize money up for grabs with a grand prize of $7,000 to the winning entrant.
On the count of three, duelling opponents use one hand to form the shape of a rock, a piece of paper, or a pair of scissors: rock blunts scissors; scissors cut paper; paper wraps around rock. Winners are decided over the best of three sets of three rounds
Newcomers to this offbeat sport may view Rock Paper Scissors as simply a game of random chance or probability, but dedicated RPS players use advanced tactics, mind games, and statistical analysis in an effort to try and swing the odds of a win in their favour.
The game is thought to have originated in Japan in the late 1800s before spreading overseas, but there are also connections with classical theories about the planet's basic elements - such as earth, fire, water and air - where each element has power over another, but none have overall superiority. It also bears striking similarities to the basic mechanics of modern video games such as Pokémon, Street Fighter II, and many strategy games.
A game of Rock Paper Scissors was even used by Japanese company president Takashi Hashiyama in 2005, as Christie's and Sotherby's vied for the chance to sell off his valuable watercolour collection.
If recent years are anything to go by, the World Championships themselves will be a raucous and intense affair as contestants indulge in psychological warfare and showmanship in their quest for fame, glory, and that $7k winner's prize.
Date: Saturday November 14th
Location: Steam Whistle Brewery, 255 Bremner Boulevard, Toronto
Price: $15 for spectators, $25 for competitors
Doors open 7pm, Tournament starts 8pm
World Rock Paper Scissors Society: http://www.worldrps.com