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article imageFists of Fury: 2008 World Rock, Paper, Scissors Championship in Toronto

By Stephen Dohnberg     Oct 19, 2008 in Entertainment
This year's governing body of the Championship for the World Rock, Paper Scissors Society expects record turnout and have a special documentary, ‘Rock Paper Scissors: A Geek Tragedy’ showing at the Bloor Cinema. We talk to a perennial WRPS competitor.
Toronto, ONT - Tired of fake debates? Statistics? Polls? Issues? Heated arguments about Obama, Dion, Barr, Nader, McCain, Layton, McKinney, CNN, FOX, and close to $1 billion spent on campaign advertising?
Let me make it simple for you.
On Oct. 25 it’s as simple as choosing rock, paper, or scissors.
No, it’s not the Canadian or U.S. elections, though I do know people who pick their candidates this way. Some pundits even surmise that the Dion campaign composed their strategy using the age-old form of schoolyard decision-making.
It s What they Call  Throwing
It's What they Call 'Throwing', so us civillians can understand
Stepanie Huot
It’s, yes you guessed it, the 2008 World Rock, Paper, Scissors Society Championships.
On the weekend of Oct. 25, as CNN’s Jack Cafferty so eloquently puts it “a bunch of morons in Toronto, Canada” will meet at the Steam Whistle Brewing Roundhouse (255 Bremmer Ave, Toronto) and put their wits and skills to one of the most intense sports to engage the planet since the triathlon, Mixed Martial Arts, and the Pillow Fight League.
As IOC members meet and deliberate for hours, there is clearly no question that this, um, sport, is well on it’s way to inclusion in the Olympics (keep your Special Olympics jokes in your pocket, please)
The premise is simple; prospective competitors plunk down $40 by 7 pm “game day” (the vetting is clearly intense), and at 8 pm the Qualifying Rounds begin. How do you advance as a competitor? It's a draw, kind of like Wimbledon, with the clear difference being that skill plays a bigger role in RPS.
This also may be an event where a positive drug screen is encouraged.
To get a better perspective on the event itself, I thought it best to get away from the organizers and event propagandists and speak to one of the home-grown perennial RPS athletes directly. The fearsome, beefy, pneumatic competitor granted this cowering interrogator a few answers between planning Greyhound bus buffet-travels and crushing children’s tricycles. The name on his parole card might say “Jamie Montgomery”, but you best call him DJ Little Fever…only my medical records will reveal why. Suffice to say I’m not looking forward to having the stitches removed.
SD: "What do you do for preparation?"
DJ Little Fever “Its 86% Mental preparation for the event itself. It’s about testing your will to compete. About 4 % is how you decide to strategically map your approach to the game of RPS”
(At this point I was tempted to point out that 86 and 4 equals 90, but I didn’t want to know if the other 10% was a ‘surprise’ of some sort)
SD: "What’s the atmosphere at an event like this?"
DJ Little Fever “It's like Halloween meets a Sc- Fi Convention…and you toss in some booze to make it fun.”
SD: "As far as strategies – do you employ measures to psych out the competition? Is there anything you found most effective, or…"
DJ Little Fever: “The first 2 years I used a ‘Primal Scream’ to throw people off their game. Last year i competed shirtless ... So a fat sweaty guy with no shirt almost always gets the win .....well almost 'always got’ the win”
At this juncture I did learn that his favourite throw in preceding years was “scissors”, but I didn’t want to push the issue, lest it devolve into something literal.
This Oct. 25 competitors will qualify for $13,000 in prizes (Yahoo! is sponsoring the event this year), with the first prize being $10,000.
On Friday Oct. 24, RPS aficionados can also view filmmaker Mike McKeown’s award winning documentary ‘Rock Paper Scissors: A Geek Tragedy’ at the Bloor Cinema. The documentary shows all the grit, courage, hot chicks, and binge drinking one would rightfully expect at such a sporting event.
The documentary also offers some insight into the development and all the background you'd want to know of of the World RPS franchise itself. The Audience Choice Award winning film of the 2007 Calgary Film Festival explores the conundrum of the Walker brothers, who founded the world governing body of RPS (yes, there IS one).
They work hard at dealing with what is essentially a kid's game and from it's humble beginnings in 2003, the brothers field offers from such franchising giants as ESPN and FOX Sports. It might seem like a mockumentary to some, but as the documentary filmmaker explains, it's a "battle of good versus evil that asks the question, 'Can purity beat commerce?'"
Advance tickets are available online via ticket-ops.com or through the World Rock Paper Scissors Society at www.worldrps.com . A number of ticket packages are available, however a Competitor entry fee is $40 and a Spectator gains entry for $12.
The WRPS event has been growing consistently over the years and last year saw over a thousand competitors and spectators.
The trailer for Rock Paper Scissors: A Geek Tragedy’ can also be previewed at the WorldRPS.com site. Participate the real thing now, before Ben Stiller and Will Ferrell star in a movie about it. They could, after all, be portraying you one day.
More about Wrps, Rock, Paper, Scissors, Steamwhistle brewery
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