The Spock Lizard Metagame

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One of the first games we learn as kids is Rock, Paper, Scissors. I think it comes shortly after Candyland and Chutes and Ladders. The rules are ridiculously simple, it’s quick and it will settle arguments of any kind within just a few seconds. Although sometimes it does escalate into a best 2 out of 3 situation, but nothing good can come from following that route. Where does it end? At what point do you just accept that you have lost and move on? Let’s just stick with the premise that in a matter of seconds, any argument can be settled with this spiffy little game. And then came Sheldon.

I am a fan of The Big Bang Theory. I get most of the Geeky references, except the science ones and for that I luckily have my Science Geek husband to explain the joke. Lucky, or cursed, depending on your point of view and just how much you wanted to see a Venn Diagram with post-it notes and a flow chart suddenly pop up in the middle of your living room. Still, I do love the show and see shades of myself and my friends in the characters. In fact, upon first viewing The Lizard-Spock Expansion I vowed to learn this version of the game. I memorized the clip and nearly purchased a cover for my iPhone with the flowchart emblazoned on the back. Then, out of nowhere, I overhear my kids playing the original version.

I hopped up from the computer, ran into the living room and told them about the Lizard and Spock. They did not like the lizard because lizards are icky (they’re little girls, what did you expect) but they loved Spock (they’re Geek Kids, what did you expect). I had long ago taught them to properly form a Vulcan salute fulfilling one of my obligations as a Geek Parent. Combined with a viewing of The Trouble with Tribbles sometime shortly before Kindergarten and their indoctrination into the Cult of Star Trek was complete. So, they sat down and started playing the improved version.

This was all well and good until Christmas. As we sat at dinner, the adults still eating and the assembled children growing restless, a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock broke out at one end of the table. My niece and nephew, unfamiliar with this variation, were quickly schooled by my children. But, they all decided the game needed something more. I suddenly see that a Volcano has been added to the mix. This destroys everything and is the trump card of the game. Shortly after, a Palm Tree. I know this bashes Spock and the Lizard in the head, but I’m a little fuzzy on the rest. By the time we got to dessert, there was even a Chainsaw and darned if they didn’t all have rules everyone understood. Everyone except me. I’m not sure if I should cry, or be proud. My children have learned to Metagame!

This article was reprinted from Total Fan Girl, a blog written by Nicole Wakelin.


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