For what seems like a pretty random way of deciding who’ll undertake a minute-yet-onerous task, rock-paper-scissors has been researched incredibly thoroughly. Social Cycling And Conditional Responses In The Rock-Paper-Scissors Game could be a paradigmatic shift in the way people decide who takes out the garbage.
Though RPS (as adepts are wont to call the game) is not all low-stakes stuff. Like anything in this world – no matter how trivial – there’s a way to spend too much money on it amongst people who have become far too obsessed by it. Case in point: the World Series of Rock Paper Scissors held as a prelude to the World Series of Poker since 2005. If you win, your $500 buy-in is translated to a $10,000 seat at the WSOP. If you win that, you’ll – as of last year’s event – walk away with $8,361,570.
So read this outline of the study on the MIT Technology Review blog and get yourself acquainted with the deficiencies of the mixed-strategy Nash equilibrium because, buddy, there’s more than driving meemaw to the airport at stake.