History of Gamified Solutions

“It’s everywhere” and “It’s been around for a long time” are sentences you often hear when gamified solutions are discussed. But has is really been around that long? Well, yes.

Games have been around practically from the beginning of society. Dice have been around for over 3000 years. Better yet, there is a board game in Iraq called the “Royal game of Ur” of which a copy exist that was made around 2500 BC; and it is still being played today! 

Of course, games are not equal to gamified solutions. Gamified solutions often take the form of “problem + game elements = success” or “behaviour + game elements = desired behaviour”. Now let’s take a look at a slightly macabre example from the Romans: Gladiators. 

Like the weapons they fight with, the gamified solution of gladiators is a double-edged sword. On the one hand, death row prisoners were given the chance to fight for their lives. In a weird way, this made their imprisonment more fun. On the other hand, by adding these gamified elements, public executions also became more fun. This helped to reduce riotous behaviour of the citizens of major cities.

Naturally, you could question if this is an ethical way of using gamified solutions, but it does show just how old gamified solutions are. And, as they say, when in Rome…..