PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - The New York Times has launched an online version of the classic children’s game “Rock Paper Scissors,” known to aficionados as “RPS.”
In the game, players pair off and make simultaneous hand gestures — a fist for “rock,” a flat hand for “paper,” or two fingers extended for “scissors.”
KYW Newsradio service aide Andre Bennett (right) plays competitively for the RPS Philadelphia League and is ranked in the top ten.
“I throw scissors again — I cut his paper.”
In the online version of the game, participants choose from two different modes, novice or veteran, and play against the computer. An image of a human hand represent you, and what looks like a metal skeleton hand is your opponent.
The computer chooses one of the three options (rock, paper, or scissors) and you make your choice by clicking an onscreen button, then the two hands play and you see how you did.
Bennett says that psychology plays a part in winning when humans compete against each other.
“When I play, I have no expression — I have like a death stare,” he says. “They (his opponents) are either terrified or they’ll laugh because it’s so absurd.”
But Bennett says the advantage switches to the computer in the online game.
“A lot of it is looking at patterns. And of course with the computer, it’s all patterns. But there a lot of it that is psychological, and that where a human would be at a disadvantage,” he says.
The computer examines patterns over 200,000 rounds of previous experience and uses that against you.
How did Bennett do against the machine? Not too well, he admits.
“I’m throwing paper. He totally cut my paper with scissors.”
Hear Andre Bennett play “Rock Paper Scissors” against a mechanized opponent in this CBS Philly podcast…
Reported by John McDevitt, KYW Newsradio 1060.