From Rock, Paper, Scissors to Street Fighter II: Proof By Construction

Yotam I. Gingold
In Proceedings of ACM Sandbox 2006, Boston, MA, July 2006.
(Best Paper Award)

Paper: PDF (3.5M)

Presentation: PowerPoint (7.1M) | PDF w/o notes (12M) | PDF with notes (11M)


Competitive fighting games, where players choose a rapid sequence of actions designed to trump an opponent's simultaneous actions, are more complex, real-time adaptations of the well-known game Rock, Paper, Scissors. We present an analysis of Rock, Paper, Scissors's gameplay, as well as real-time variations. These variations comprise a constructive argument that competitive fighting games, such as Capcom's Street Fighter II, are indeed also variants of Rock, Paper, Scissors.


  • If you're only interested in the analysis of RPS and SF2, skip sections on variants 1–4.
  • In hindsight, I should have made a stronger statement about the graph of player choices: that it should contain no sinks whatsoever (sources are OK). This is the statement I make in my presentation.

Video MP4 (15M):

BibTeX can be found on the ACM page.