Experience a computer model based on a classic game
WHAT YOU'LL NEED
Gather a group and play!
Get together a group of at least 10 people—the more, the better! Secretly choose to play as rock, scissors, or paper. Then start playing. (Quick review: Rock beats scissors by crushing them. Scissors beats paper by cutting it. Paper beats rock by covering it.) Players should randomly choose a player to play against and throw the symbol they were assigned. If two players have the same symbol, it is a draw and they should quickly find others to play against. For each round, the player that loses should sit down. Keep playing until there is one winner, or a few winners that all happen to have the same symbol.
Next, explain the rules to this special version of the game. Say: I will secretly assign each player as a rock, scissors, or paper. When I say “go,” choose a player to play against and throw the symbol you were assigned. For each round, the player that loses should sit down. If two players have the same symbol, it is a draw and they should quickly find others to play against. We will keep playing until there is one winner, or a few winners that all have the same symbol. Assign players symbols so there as equal a number as possible—don’t forget to include yourself! Then, say “go!”
Talk it out
Talk about your observations of the game with the group or with a few people who are also doing this project. Or, if you prefer, you can write down your ideas.
Optional: Bring the offline model online
Click here check out a computer model of a rock-paper-scissors game. How do you think the computer model will compare to the live game?
Go to the computer model.
Click the “View Code” button on the right side.
On the left side of the page, click the “setup” button. This button makes sure the rock, paper, and scissors tallies all start at 30.
Next, click “forever.” This means that the simulation will continue until you press “forever” again to end it.
Check out the tallies and the graph that shows how the number of rock, paper, and scissors changes over time. When you feel like ending it, click “forever.” Now, click “setup” to reset the tallies. Before you start the simulation again, predict which symbol you think will win after a 30-second simulation.
Talk out these questions with someone else who is doing this project:
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