Gamification is the new “cool thing” in business world. We all are talking about how gamification has entered in day to day corporate processes. So have you ever wondered where this “Gamification” came from? Well it has a very interesting story.
Yes, it’s very known to us that the term “Gamification” was coined for very first time in 2002 by Nick Pelling. However, the roots of games are as old as human civilization. Famous Greek historian Herodotus mentioned in his work that Games, particularly the dice games were invented in Lydia 2500 years ago and the very first dice designed by human being were made of sheep knuckles. Herodotus mentioned that during very critical situation of famine, how King of Lydia had made games as his ground-breaking solution to kingdoms’ most crucial problem. What he did was amazing. He made a policy that everyone in his kingdom will eat one day, and the other day they would play. And the next day they would eat and the next, they would play. And the best part was it actually worked. The games were so engaging and people got so immersed in the feeling of blissful productivity, competitiveness and sense of achievement was so strong that they ignored the fact that they don’t have food. According to Herodotus, they passed 18 years this way surviving through famine. Crazy, isn’t it!
But the exciting part is yet to come! According to Herodotus, the famine was not getting any better. So, the king decided to play one final dice game. They divided the entire kingdom in half and made two teams. They decided that whichever team wins, would get to go on an epic adventure. They would leave Lydia and would go out in search of a new place to live, leaving behind just enough people to survive on resources available. This way they could take the entire civilization to somewhere else where they could prosper.
This sounds crazy as it may be, recent researches shows that the Etruscans, who later led to the Roman Empire share the same DNA as the ancient Lydians. And the evidences have proved that the global cooling, which lasted for nearly 20 years which explained the famine. So, researchers suggested that the crazy story explained by Herodotus was actually true. Ruler of Lydia had actually saved their society and culture and by the end the entire civilization, just by playing games.
Since Lidian civilization, Games have emerged a lot along with the human kind. History has been recorded, how various companies have experimented with Gamification from 1890s even before the term “Gamification” was invented. But the purpose remains the same. We still play games to bring people together, to motivate them and earn their loyalty. We can use games to help people to dream, dream about how they can achieve anything in real life just like they can in games. Because it is believed that while playing games, we become the best version of our selves.