Gamification (9): The History of Gamification

Before modern industrialization was established, businesses experimented with many ways to market and ignite customer loyalty. Decades later, companies are still searching for the best method to produce better results for their brands by re-establishing behaviors in purchasing, user engagement, and gamification.
The term “gamification” is the implementation of both game-design and its principles in circumstances outside of games. Gamification is utilized to stir human’s native desires to socialize, learn, master, compete, achieve, express, raise status, and more. It is the best way to improve user engagement, organizational productivity, flow, learning, crowdsourcing, exercise, rehabilitation, etc…
For the first time, gamification was widely accepted in 2010 when the word was referred to as applying social and reward elements into the software.
Now how in the world did gamification become so popular? What is the history behind it?

Gamification Timeline

1824 — Kriegspiel

Kriegsspiel represents a wargame genre that was developed by the 19th-century Prussian army. It displayed powerful battlefield tactics to its officers, or players, playing the game.

Source: Image of Kriegsspiel in Play

1896 — S&H Green Stamps
S&H Stamps was a trading stamps brand that grew popular in the United States from the early 1930s to the late 1980s. Founders Sperry & Hutchinson first partnered with U.S. retailers in 1896. Their biggest retailers were supermarkets, gasoline filling stations, and stores. Their stamps needed to be first issued in denominations of 1, 10, and 50 points, and then perforated with a gummed reverse. With the stamps collected, shoppers can moisten the reserve and mount them in collectors’ books provided by S&H at no extra cost. Each collector’s book had 24 pages where one page required 50 points to fill, which totaled to 1,200 points for the entire book. Once filled, these books were used as exchanges for premium goods like houseware from the Green Stamps store. All premium goods had specific values that reflect their worth by the number of completed stamp books. Easily, these books became a marketing selling point for retailers to reward loyal customers.

Source: Image of a S&H Stamp

1908 — The Boy and Girl Scout movement
The largest scouting organization and one of the largest youth organizations in the United States are Boys Scouts for America and Girl Scouts of the United States America. The Boy Scouts have about 2.3 million youth participants and about one million adult volunteers, whereas the Girl Scouts also have about 2.5 million young female members and 750 adult volunteers. Being a scout has proven to be highly beneficial in terms of teaching children about morals, honor, and survival. Scouts could earn badges for becoming skillful in certain activities.

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