World RPS Society
Call to Conflict

The World RPS Society throughout its history has always been a big believer mass communications to help further develop the appeal of RPS as a game, sport and the ultimate non-biased decision-maker.   Clear, simple and strong messages that focus on different aspects of the game have been the hallmark of the WRPSS communications. Analyzed in retrospect though, it is facinating to look at the history of the Society as told through these posters. Often the story behind the images provides us with the even more  fasinating historical perspective of the internal struggles the WRPSS has endured over the years.

A perfect example of this can be illustrated in two popular images from the past... (CLICK TO READ WHY)

Rise Above Conflict


Call to Arms

RPS Fashion Expansion

Playing with StyleBack in 1972, the World RPS Society, decided the time was right to expand the Worldrps brand into fashion clothing design and manufacturing. Since their line of RPS t-shirts had been selling very well, it was felt that making a move to more high fashion items would be a short leap for the consumer.

Critics were unanimous in their puzzlement and condemnation which was highlighted by a  New York Times reporter who questioned the basis of the business plan: "Totally ridiculous. What's next, a record company creating a soft-drink or airline?". As expected, no amount of...READ MORE and see a larger version of the photo


Alec Finlay Plays with RPS

alec1We always love it when artists use RPS as a theme for exploration. Probably because for those that really understand what competitive RPS is about will understand that the World RPS Championships concept is probably equal parts: living breathing art installation as well as a sporting event.  alec1

So it is great to see that Scottish artist Alec Finlay  is currently creating a series of art projects on the theme of RPS. These include a neon, currently being existed in the exhibition 'thoughts within thoughts' at ARC gallery (Sofia, Bulgaria). The neon versions of the traditional hand symbols flash on-and-off in a never ending game. Finlay has also produced a series of prints, using specially made RPS rubber stamps, in which he plays the game with every visitor to his studio. Here, though the symbols represent oppositions in conflict they also appear as a beautiful interpenetration of line over line, a single image.

This RPS project is ongoing and represent Finlay's interest in play and systemicity – for instance, he has also created poems as word-puzzles and a number of art projects based on cryptic crosswords. He comments:

'One of the interesting things about using the RPS rubber stamps is that they can run counter to the competitive aspect of RPS, as usually when we play we choose our rubber stamp randomly, so rather than getting the 'hit' of throwing in competition, what you get instead is a quieter thrill, as one outline symbol appears stamped over the other, is caught within the other.'






Is There Strategy in Rock Paper Scissors?: The Definitive Guide

PSI Having run the World Rock Paper Scissors Championships since 2002, being one of the co-authors of the Official RPS Strategy Guide book, and  followed for 3 years by the crew of the new feature length documentary on Rock Paper Scissors, I have come to learn more about Rock Paper Scissors and  gained a true level of respect for this enduring game. Because RPS is often used as a decision making vehicle, in the same way that flipping a coin is often used, confusion seems to have developed about the nature of strategy in the game vs. the idea that it is simply a game of random chance. This is demonstrated on a fairly regular basis with one particular style of email or comment that comes into the website. Now, while the spelling is all over the map, the general message is pretty much the same:

lol... there is no stratigy[sic] in Rocks paper and Scissors. it's a stupid game of randem[sic] chance!!!!


There is no question that Rock Paper Scissors is one of the world's simplest games and that is one of the reasons that has made the game a part of almost every culture in the world. But does this simplicity mean that the game is devoid of any possible strategy? It is often said that RPS is "strategy at its most basic and most profound" or that "To the beginner the choice are few; to the expert the choices are many", but one does not need go down the esoteric and circular referential paths of those last statements to understand the nature of strategy in RPS. The reasons are actually very clear.  So once and for all let's go through 6 reasons why RPS is not a game of random chance and later on a little about how you can put this into action:

The 'Optimum' Strategy Sucks

What initially trips a lot of people up is that from a mathematical point of view the 'optimum' strategy (i.e. the Nash Equilibrium) in RPS is to, in fact, play randomly. The important point though here is that... READ MORE

Doc Screening and Tournament

ImageCalgary gets another shot at viewing RPS: A Geek Tragedy Documentary

For one-night only, Mike Mckeown will be screening his award-winning documentary, "Rock Paper Scissors: A Geek Tragedy" in Calgary followed by the first annual Rock Paper Scissors Cowtown Classic Pro-Am Tournament.

Proceeds will go towards finishing the film (music rights, legal fees, insurance...) and letting the filmmakers finally move on with their lives once and for all.

All professionals and amateurs are welcome.

Saturday, November 15, 2008
9:00pm - 11:55pm
The Plaza Theatre
1133 Kensington Road NW
Calgary, AB


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