As a Button Game
Just about everybody knows how to play Rock-Paper-Scissors,
but in case you don't, it's a simple playground game, usually
used to decide who goes first in some other game. The players
hold closed fists up at about ear level and incant, "one, two,
three, shoot!" At "shoot," the fists are lowered to about
mid-chest level, and the players reveal one of three gestures.
- The hand is kept as a fist.
- The hand is flattened, palm down.
- The index and middle fingers are extended from the fist.
The essential nature of the game is that each gesture is
superior to one other gesture, and inferior to another.
Rock crushes scissors (a win for rock),
but paper covers rock (a loss for rock).
Paper covers rock (a win for paper),
but scissors cuts paper (a loss for paper).
Scissors cuts paper (a win for scissors),
but rock crushes scissors (a loss for scissors).
In order to win, you have to outguess your opponent,
and play the gesture that will beat the gesture your opponent makes.
There's not a lot of strategy,
but the game is strangely addictive,
and since it's not just a matter of chance,
it's actually useful for deciding between even sides in a dispute.
This game moves the arena of combat from gestures to buttons
(slogan-style buttons, not clothing buttons).
What you need
- A large bunch of people willing to play,
like at a convention or party.
I'm guessing that twenty is about the minimum,
and I can see no upper limit.
at least one for each player,
three or more is ideal.
The buttons are all identical,
or nearly identical,
on the front.
On the back,
each button has a sticker or other indicator
that represents one
of the primal gestures.
Minimally, the buttons could simply have "R", "P", or "S"
written on the back in marker.
- Some time in which to play.
How to Play
- Distribute the same number of buttons to each player.
One may be enough, but two or three would be best.
The buttons can be distributed randomly,
or according to some pattern
(e.g. one of each kind).
- Each player must wear at least one button visibly
at all times while they are playing. A player need not
wear all of the buttons they possess, but can wear one
while keeping the rest in a pocket or bag.
- Announce the start of the game.
How to Play
- Any player wearing at least one button
may challenge any other button-wearing player.
See the rules regarding challenges
for more information.
- The game continues for a set period of time
(for instance, until the end of the party),
or until one player possesses all of the buttons.
- Players should not cede buttons to other players without
a challenge. Any player wishing to leave the game should
return their button(s) to the general pool for new players
- New players can jump in at any time,
provided they can be equipped with a starter set of buttons
from the general pool.
- Any player left bereft of buttons is out of the game.
Players can rejoin the game,
provided enough buttons exist in the general pool
to equip them with a new starter set of buttons.
- Any player can temporarily remove themself from the game
by not visibly wearing any buttons during the time they wish
to be out of the game.
- One button-wearing player can approach
any other button-wearing player at any time and voice a challenge.
The challenge can be simply,
"I wish to challenge you in rock-paper-scissors,"
or something similar.
- The challenged player may decline the challenge,
at no cost save to dignity.
- If the player accepts to challenge,
both players choose a single button from
among the buttons they possess,
and present that button,
indicator side down,
at about chest level.
- The challenging player then incants,
"one, two, three, shoot," or something similar.
- At "shoot," the indicators on both buttons are revealed.
- The challenge is resolved according to
the rules of Rock-Paper-Scissors.
- Rock beats Scissors
- Paper beats Rock
- Scissors beat Paper
- The winner of the challenge may claim the opponent's button
and add it to their collection.
The claiming is optional,
if the winner does not wish to play for "for keeps."
How to Win
At the end of play,
the player with the largest collection of game buttons wins.
In case of a tie for the win,
the players must complete a tie-breaker challenge.
Obviously, if a player gains the majority of the buttons that exist,
that player can lock down the win by removing themself from
the game "temporarily".
This course lacks honor, however.
This game has not been endorsed by the
World RPS steering committee.
[Game Design Page]
[The Flourishing Branch]
[Elliott's Home Page]