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1  Public Bullboard / General Discussion / Re: RPS in the Media on: May 09, 2011, 10:27:51 AM
As Rosh points out "Corporate" is really used as a shorthand for "Mass Market" which is really what we're talking about. If Coors makes an American Lager they want to make it to appeal to the widest possible audience (to maximize profitability) which means that the process is one that works backwards from that result. (Given we want to achieve result Z - we will engineer product Y through excessive research, focus testing, product engineering... etc). Most "Craft" artisans would argue they work forward from trying to make the best product Y possible and THEN try to find out if we can sell it). Both approaches have their advantages (an artisan hard-wood end table will last hundreds of years... but an Ikea particle board end table only costs $20).  

This isn't unique to consumer goods. Pop-Culture (Films, Books, Music) has been driven for decades by the "Blockbuster Media" model - because of scarcity of exhibition and distribution you didn't have to be, say, anyone's favourite film in the multiplex - what you needed was to be the common denominator that a diverse group of people could all agree to go see.

Of course the spread of the internet is really what's turning all these markets on their heads because it's so much easier to access diverse markets. There's more way to reach (and identify) that there are actually thousands of micro-markets instead of big general ones. There may only be 100,000 people in North America who like really bitter Irish Stouts - but that's enough to support a smaller-scale operation since it will be their *favourite* beer. Ditto there's markets for specialty documentaries, and foreign import films, and gothic lolita fetish fiction... etc.

The one thing that I think gets glossed over though is that there are benefits of "Mass Market" approaches that people tend to look over. Love it, or hate it, people tend to forget that the reason that non-offensive homogenous products are popular is often because so much thought has been put into their execution. I've met enough people to know that there's lots of folks who legitimately like Coors Light - and I'm not enough of a egotist to assume that's just because they're stupid, uncultured, swine. I just presume we have different tastes. I have to honestly beleive that if the majority of drinking-age folk in North American would legitimately prefer a small-batch brewed really hoppy IPA - that's what Coors would be making. By the same token, I find it funny that in the same breath people I know will extroll the virtues of some artisan bread-maker or local hipster coffee joint - and then complain how much they hate taking their car to the local garage or dealer (sorry "Craft mechanic") because there's such a fluctuation in quality control, price gauging... etc.

I have absolutely no way to bring this back around to Rock Paper Scissors - but it's fascinating to watch so many industries fragment so quickly - and ultimately great for the consumer. I don't know about down the US - but I can look at something like grocery store bread - and the pressure from craft bakeries has improved the overall available choice and quality in breads across the board in only a couple of years.

Of course being up here in Soviet Canuckistan also means we can't get Hulu... Boo.
2  Public Bullboard / Strategy Discussion / Re: 3,4 and 5 way RPS on: May 20, 2010, 11:37:53 AM
According to the WRPSS, the only official way to play multiplayer RPS is for all players to continue to throw until exactly two throws are present, at which point the players who chose the weaker throw are eliminated. In all other instances, a stalemate is announced and the players rethrow.

That's not entirely true. That's certainly one way to play multiplayer RPS with a limited number (3-5 ... although you're likely to play a *long* time with five players looking for a "victory condition"). But it's by no means the "only way to play multiplayer RPS".

You can play group RPS with significant larger groups (into the hundreds or thousands) by so-called "Stage Play" or "Bank Player" format - where an impartial player plays one hand and everyone else is playing against them. For example - 500 players prime in synch and throw against a single stage player. If the stage player plays a "Rock" everyone who threw scissors sits down and the next round only includes the remaining players. The larger the group, the more honor comes into play as players are policing themselves... however in large groups the odds are one's surrounding players will often point out if someone has mis-represented their throw.

The strategy for the latter variant is interesting as it's *entirely* opponent pattern reading, as (especially in a large group) the stage player has no way to respond to you as an individual challenger. It's interesting to devote gameplay entirely to an "offensive" aspect of gameplay while ignoring the "defensive".
3  Public Bullboard / General Discussion / Re: If you can't beat 'em, join 'em... on: April 05, 2010, 01:30:11 PM
Maybe we should really mess with some heads and re-brand the game "Pest Control" / "Payday Loans" / "Herbal Male Performance Suppliments"  ... so that everyone is on topic... EXCEPT US...
4  Public Bullboard / Competition / Re: Welcome, Sean "Wicked Fingers" Sears! on: March 31, 2010, 06:45:43 PM
Welcome Sean - personally, I'm glad to see players of all backgrounds join us here.

My thoughts on the video were, typically, "Who is calling that match?" While I don't really have a problem with his technique, per se ("l'escrime"-style refereeing is, increasingly, the norm worldwide) the hybrid role as adjudicator and announcer was somewhat bizarre.

It also struck me that he could have really benefited from a new technique I've been experimenting with in smaller tournaments that allow the referee to act as a "scoreboard" so that spectators from quite a ways back can follow the score in WRPS-style tournament matches (best of 3 of 3) without a scoreboard (which there didn't appear to be either). I should get around to writing a post on that as it's quite handy (and also has the added benefit of allowing the referee to keep track of the score concretely without pen or paper).

I digress.

I actually must admit I hadn't watched any of the 2008 videos - although had watched a lot of the 2007 ones, so the stylistic changes were fascinating.

As to the match itself, I found it curious that although both players in the championship match were fast-primers (actually both players styles reminded me of "Supergirl" from the 2004 worlds... Rosh I'll need to lean on you for the competitor's name in question, was it Haley?) but neither ever tried to vary their priming speed to throw the other - even though at times both were facing decisive throws that would have changed the course of the match. Then again, I usually have the benefit of seeing "the field" prior to final matches, so such a play could also have been an old hat strategy by then (as opposed to THE "old-hat strategy"... which is entirely different).

I think the biggest compliment I can give Sean is that he clearly managed to keep cool throughout the match. I can't begin to count the number of times (and I've been in a unique position to see this firsthand) that in the big money matches players start letting the highs and lows of matches get to them - get off their game, and start "mixing it up on the fly". This match is a great example as Sean was both, at times, fully in control of the match and, at others, facing elimination - but varied his style and form minimally. It's interesting that this  is also a trait I've seen often in players who clearly relish developing a "heel" type relationship with the crowd.
Not always though, Lee Ramage is a pretty compelling exception.

As to actual throw strategy that's never really been my forte - so I'll leave to others.
5  Public Bullboard / General Discussion / Re: Online RPS play for money on: March 31, 2010, 06:18:27 PM
I'm a little iffy on fatzoo. I've talked to a lot of decent players who know about it, but I've never spoken to anyone who's actually won a tournament. Not that statistically that's impossible... but given their model, I'm surprised I've never met anyone who has won even one of their hourly pots. Until that time I have a hard time considering them anything other than a nice flash-interface.
6  Public Bullboard / General Discussion / Re: Strange Korean RPS Arcade Machine on: March 31, 2010, 06:13:56 PM
This is why we the "I'm serious custardchuk" look  is such a critical component of basic training.
7  Public Bullboard / General Discussion / Re: Back from Research Project on: March 19, 2010, 10:41:05 AM
Hey - I like hyperbole as much as the next ten million guys C, but let's be clear... I don't think I reffed *any* tournaments last yet. 
8  Public Bullboard / General Discussion / Re: Back from Research Project on: March 11, 2010, 05:21:12 PM
Welcome back FS! I look forward to when your findings are ready for publication. I know, at least at the worlds, we've seen a real decrease in illegal throws over the past couple of years... I have a gut feeling a smarter man than I could find a corrolation with the global economic downturn, but I'll leave that to academia.
9  Public Bullboard / General Discussion / Re: RPS Epiphanies on: March 11, 2010, 05:18:52 PM
The great thing about gestures is you can imprint them will all kinds of misdirected contextual clues. For example, out of the context of the game you could read the throws as the following gestures:

Scissors: "Hey look over there!"
"Feed the Pony" Paper: "Pay up"
Paper: Settle Down
Rock: Wanna fight about it?

Each, obviously, provokes a different base emotional response in someone you're interacting with in close context, and can be used for misdirection, or just outright shock. I'm surprised more competitors don't throw "hey look over there" scissors at key moments in games.
10  Public Bullboard / General Discussion / Re: Anti Spam Upgrades on: February 22, 2010, 12:41:15 PM
Former head ref, Grand Marshal, Commandant of the World RPS Society, now IT coordinator?  Is there any pie in which Brad Fox does not have a thumb firmly planted?

I prefer "the only guy too dumb to file a request to take vacation time when a renovation of unsepecified length started". Now there's no one around to actually file a vacation request *with* (although I suppose if I was less trustworthy, there's also no one here to verify I'm actually coming to the office anyway... there's a thought).

I have heard rumors of a forthcoming server move - but haven't heard specific plans as of yet. I would hope that lessons have been learned from previous "migrations" so that server downtime would be minimal. Then again, I would also hope that jackasses would stop throwing dynamite.

11  Public Bullboard / General Discussion / Anti Spam Upgrades on: February 19, 2010, 01:22:19 PM
I was asked to forward the following internal memo from some "IT Consultant" I've never heard of before to the bullboard (seriously we need to get the Toronto office renovated soon - the lack of a secretarial pool is a pain in the ass... did you know I had to go get my own coffee yesterday? What is this, Gitmo? And more importantly isn't a WRPS "IT Consultant" without a computer a little sketchy? Dollars to donuts he's one of the Walker's kids or something... they've got to be driving age by now, right?):


Thank you to everyone who has been using the "report to moderator" button(s) when they see form spam. We're trying to find a way to make this process easier (and more automatic) but in the meantime, your efforts are very much appreciated since it lets us respond much faster.

As part of the Bullboard's ongoing efforts to fight the insane increase in global forum-spam as of late, we've lowered the threshold on our (fairly heavy-duty) automatic anti-spam measures to the site. It's possible that in some (extremely rare) cases with dynamic IP addresses you may get a "you're not permitted to access this site" message by accident. If so, just read the warning message in full as it contains information about what to do to fix this issue (and an e-mail address to contact if all else fails).

 Also, if you're members of other forums/blogs please encourage the admins to use Askimet, Stop Forum Spam, Project Honey Pot or a similar automatic "spam database" - while many admins have ignored these services as "too complicated" in the past, most software now has modifications or plugins to support these services, and even a small % increase in adoption would make a huge difference. Plus we'd get the satisfaction when we ban spammers we're also saving even more forums that time and effort down the line.
12  Public Bullboard / General Discussion / Re: Do the top links on the home page of WRPS work for you? Not for me! on: February 18, 2010, 02:19:11 PM
This is an issue the society is aware of.

Everytime we "fix" it, it just comes back worse than ever in a couple of days... so we're doing some work to try and find out why exactly it keeps breaking. We've been trying to fix this issue for over a year now, so it might take some time.
13  Public Bullboard / Strategy Discussion / Re: Are there any "rules" which can help someone win? on: February 18, 2010, 02:06:31 PM
Hi 28,

Unlike your match game, RPS is a non-transitive game this means that while there are absolutely strategies, each strategy comes with a distinct set of advantages and weaknesses.

In a Nontransitive game If Strategy A > Strategy B  and Strategy B > Strategy C - Strategy A doesn't necessarily beat Strategy C.

However playing randomly doesn't necessarily work either as if you could play perfectly randomly you would win 1/3 of the time, lose 1/3 of the time, and draw 1/3 of the time - reducing the game to essentially a coin toss.

Most people who program serious RPS playing AI's (and there's a long tradition, the University of Alberta held a long-standing artificial intelligence contest using RPS AI programs) write the programs to try and detect patterns in their opponents play (or fake patterns in their own play to try and sucker opponents). But this involves having many different strategies to choose from (and knowing when to change them up).

In this way, programming a computer to play RPS is very similar being a professional RPS player yourself, and requires a very detailed knowledge of the game.
14  Public Bullboard / Strategy Discussion / Re: Data on past tournaments? on: February 18, 2010, 01:54:03 PM
Hi Landoni,

I'll leave play discussions to others (although I agree with Master Rosh that on-line RPS and live competition RPS are *entirely* different sports).

As to your question about data, the Society is approached multiple times every year with academic requests about providing tournament data, unfortunately we haven't (as of yet) managed to find a way to record this information. With over 1,000 matches taking place over 16 distinct arenas in the span of 4-5 hours at a World Championships even simply logging the ~10,000 throws isn't possible without the addition of significant staff and resources, and we're stretched every year to find enough volunteers to just cover the essential positions required for the tournament.

The Society has tried for almost five years to find a sponsor to cover the costs involved in obtaining this information so we could make it available for academic study, but haven't had any luck yet. As a stop gap, we attempted this year to record video of the top 16 matches, but unfortunately it wasn't possible due to a last-minute hardware problem.

There was one European university which was going to consider sponsoring a more robust study next year - but whether anything comes of it, is yet to be seen.

15  Public Bullboard / World RPS Society / Re: BREAKING NEWS! New Society Leadership on: February 06, 2010, 08:07:43 PM
True, but it's difficult to award oneself a Napoleonic hat. Only a world-class blowhard would voluntarily adopt ridiculous haberdashery.
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