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Thursday, August 25, 2022

Rock, Paper, Scissors: SPLATFEST! Our best option is...

By LUDWIG VON KOOPA - I think my choice is... obvious.

I am super excited to be writing about Splatfests again! If you haven't been around KoopaTV for several years now, we've been writing about and covering Splatfests for quite a long time now, since the first Splatoon.

The dedicated Splatoon 3 Direct earlier this month had a big highlight: you can now download (and be guaranteed to play since a seven-day free trial of Nintendo Switch Online is included) the “Splatoon 3: Splatfest World Premiere” and get a feel for Splatfest gameplay and excitement on the following question, which is now, for the first time, providing three options:

Splatoon 3 Splatfast rock paper scissors which one is the best choice
This article will give an answer to WHICH OPTION IS THE BEST.

Rock, paper, scissors is a very classic game, typically played by two humans. You need at least two fingers with the ability to physically separate them. With no fingers out, it's rock. With two fingers out and separated, it's scissors. And with all of your fingers out and kept together, it's paper. Rock > Scissors > Paper > Rock. If the same element is played, it's a tie.

It appears that every choice has an equal chance of winning. That is, if people truly pick rock, paper, or scissors at random. But do they really? Polls suggest that rock is the most popular option, which would mean that paper should have the best win rate. Psychological analyses believe that rock is most associated with violence and anger (likely because it's literally a fist), so someone in an aggressive mood will have the highest chance of picking rock. Which means the best option to counter that is paper. According to the New York Post citing an author named William Poundstone (whose name seems highly affiliated with Team Rock), men tend to play rock, while women's most common choice is scissors. That means that if you're facing off against someone of ambiguous gender, you may wish to pick rock, so you can at least tie or win most of the time.

GameFAQs poll of the day rock paper scissors game
GameFAQs has run rock vs. paper vs. scissors polls since 2009. In every poll, including the 2020 poll depicted above, rock has the most dedicated votes.
(Note that rock has two poll options and it's higher than paper or scissors when you add those two rock options together.)

What about the philosophical point of view? Frye, one of the three Deep Cut casters of the Splatcast, definitely caught my attention with why Team Paper is the right choice:

Splatoon 3 Splatfest Splatcast Frye rock paper scissors fold sharp shapes write devastating things
Well, yes, I am a writer. She's speaking directly to my sensibilities.
And sometimes I do write scathing opinions on paper. ...Digital paper, sure, but that's just 21st century paper. Same principle.

You could also write things on rock, but it's not the best surface for that. Rocks are otherwise used for smashing things, be it throwing rocks at windows in acts of vandalism, killing two birds with one stone, or forging new weapons with molten rocks.

Scissors are almost exclusively used for destructive purposes. Got a whole something? SNIP. Now it's destroyed from its original state and probably won't be coming back. Scissors are commonly used for things like haircuts, which I'm not a fan of having. All that hair is being destroyed and discarded from one's head to... the trash. I also associate scissors with... genital mutilation, which really isn't pleasant to think about. (Paper might help bandage that.) Now, there are certainly merits to dividing things (with division being my favourite mathematical operator and a personal catchphrase—KoopaTV had a whole thing with Tom Clancy's The Division back in the day solely because of this), but there is a power with division where you can actually end up with more than what you started with. That's not so for scissors. ...Also, the Scissors Thing in Paper Mario: The Origami King is really, really scary.

That's another point for Team Paper, you know. Paper Mario is one of my favourite franchises, and I love almost all of them to varying degrees. (The one exception being Paper Mario: Sticker Star.) I definitely wouldn't want to side against Paper Mario, and what related franchise or part of a franchise am I supposed to associate with scissors or rock? The Rock type in Pokémon? It's not a good type and there are very few Rock type Pokémon I like (my favourites being Drednaw and Tirtouga for very non-Rock reasons), and Stealth Rock is a pretty annoying move (even if it does a good service in mauling Charizard). As for scissors... um... Scizor? I always saw Scizor as an enemy back when it was at its strongest in the Pokémon HeartGold/SoulSilver Overused metagame. Not as a friend. (Ironically, Bullet Punch would break open Rock types.) I suppose there's Cut Man and Mega Man (Rock Man) from Mega Man, but, eh, I hold it in lower esteem than Paper Mario. (ESPECIALLY the first Mega Man which Cut Man actually comes from, which is a game I very much dislike for its game design.)

The whole writing, creativity, imagination thing going on with Team Paper? That's totally me. I'm the Team Art guy. While rock and scissors tend to be destructive forces, smashing and tearing things up, paper is a creative force, a pro-speech force, and that's what I want more of in society today.

That said, if you challenge me to a rock-paper-scissors match and I know you've read this article, I'm going to go with rock to counter your scissors that would counter my paper. ...Uh... but maybe I should go with scissors if you're going to counter my rock with paper. ...Hm, or maybe I'd use paper after all. In any case, I'll be playing on Team Paper's side for the Splatfest this weekend!

Ludwig will likely write and publish an article next week with gameplay impressions for how his first Splatoon 3 Splatfest actually went. It appears in this world premiere, every player is literally labelled “Player”, so you might not know if you actually encounter Ludwig. He'll be known as a “Dandy Maestro” on his tag, with purple flames on a blue background as his banner.

KoopaTV's last Splatfest article was Team Super Mushroom vs. Team Super Star in 2021, which wasn't THAT long ago.
Ludwig wrote the article with the gameplay impressions for the first Splatoon 3 Splatfest!
The next Splatfest asks what you'd bring to a deserted island.
The rock, paper, scissors Splatfest is considered canon.


  1. I don't, in point of fact, play Splatoon, although lately Chuggaaconroy has me disliking it much less than previously. But as I AM a writer, I have to agree with you on Team Paper on this one, for sure.

  2. I don’t play Splatoon either. I used to though, even the Nintendo Switch that I’ve since sold was a special Splatoon 2 edition with pink and green joy-cons.

    1. Even if you don't have Splatoon, what do you think of Rock vs. Paper vs. Scissors?


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