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April 18, 2011

Turning Rock-Paper-Scissors into a Divergent Thinking Game

by aliciaarnold

Image via Wikipedia

When I was a kid, we used to play a game called Rock-Paper-Scissors. The game is also known as Stone-Paper-Scissors in the UK, or kauwi-bauwi-bo in Korean. Turns out, it is a universal game. To play, opponents say, “Rock-Paper-Scissors, shoot.” Upon saying shoot, each player uses his hand to imitate the shape of a rock (clenched fist), paper (open hand), or scissors (two fingers extended in a cutting motion). The object of the game is to select a gesture that beats your opponent – rock beats scissors, scissors beats paper and paper beats rock.

Rock-Paper-Scissors is popular with elementary school kids. In fact, my boys were so excited by Rock-Paper-Scissors they couldn’t wait to show my husband and I. One day while eating dinner, the boys decided to teach us how to play. They began, “Rock-Paper-Scissors, shoot.” One said, “rock” while clenching his fist. My other son said, “paper” while holding his hand open like a stop sign. Then, my husband jumped into the fun helped turn Rock-Paper-Scissors into a game of divergent thinking. Rock-paper-scissors became:

“Rock-Paper-Scissors, shoot…sliced pork”

“Rock-Paper-Scissors, shoot…volcano”

“Rock-Paper-Scissors, shoot…forcefield”

And my favorite (which made my older son laugh so hard milk spewed everywhere) was when our 5-year old said, “Rock-Paper-Scissors, shoot…frozen turkey.”

In no time, the simple game of Rock-Paper-Scissors transformed into an Improv experience. As the ideas grew in number, originality, and making one another laugh, became the objects of the game. Give this new spin on Rock-Paper-Scissors a whirl.

Alas, dinnertime at the Arnold’s. You never know what might happen!


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