Jan Ken Po 2.0

The first video game that I can remember playing was Alex Kidd in the Enchanted Castle for the Sega Genesis. I loved the game because of this one feature: the Janken Houses. In the game, Alex would enter these betting houses where items would be placed for collateral and a game of Rock-Paper-Scissors would commence. 

Rock-Paper-Scissors is a game commonly used for selection purposes. On the count of three, players throw their hands out in one of three positions:

    jan ken po by dukejeffrie

    jan ken po, a photo by dukejeffrie on Flickr.
  • Rock-clenched fist
  • Paper- open downward palm
  • Scissors- two fingers extended, separated in V

The idea is that

  • rock can beat scissors by blunting the sharp edges
  • scissors cut paper
  • paper can cover or capture rock.

The game has evolved somewhat and this is what I love; new weapons or characters can be added for a variation on play. The most common of these is Rock-Paper-Scissors-Lizard-Spock.  Think Geek has a great    t-shirt illustrating the idea as well as a little blurb explaining how zombies fall into the mix.

Creating your own variations on the game play can be a very creative process. How would you play? What characters would you add to the mix?

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