Why Do Kids Need Strategy More Than Math Facts?

In historical China, children played a game that involved a rooster, a man, and a worm.

  • Man eats rooster
  • Rooster eats worm
  • Worm eats man

You may recognize this game as rock-paper-scissors, also known as Roshambo.  The origins of this game are hard to track as almost every culture has had a version of it.

It has been used to settle differences of every sort from chore duty to who gets the last piece of pizza.

But why is this game so effective?  Why is it used so widely, and with such seemingly random results?