I thought my life was boring

November 9, 2006 - TORONTO (Reuters) - Think rock, paper, scissors is a children's game? Think again. Top players from around the globe will gather in Toronto this weekend to compete for a C$10,000 (4,636 pounds) prize and the title of world champion.

More than 500 contestants, including national champions from Australia, Norway and New Zealand, are expected to attend.

Tournament organizer Graham Walker said players will have to steel themselves against psychological pressure as players typically form teams to rally each other.

"The team will surround the arena, provide moral support and usually try to intimidate the opponent," said Walker, who is also co-author of "The Official Rock Paper Scissors Guide."

The simple game is often used to make decisions and resolve basic conflicts.

Author Ian Fleming had his fictional secret agent James Bond play the game in Japan, in "You Only Live Twice."

Players smack their fists into their palms and count to three before making one of three hand signals: a fist (rock), flat hand (paper) or two fingers (scissors). Paper covers rock, scissors cut paper and rock breaks scissors.

Enthusiasts disagree about the history of the game, but it is believed to have been played for centuries in Japan.

The Paper Scissors Stone Club was founded in England in 1842 and provided an environment free from the long arm of the law where enthusiasts could come together and play for honour, according to the World RPS (Rock Paper Scissors) Society Web page (www.worldrps.com).

In 1918, the name was changed to World RPS Club to reflect the growing international representation and its headquarters moved from London to Toronto. In 1925 its membership topped 10,000.

The world championships have been held since 2002.

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