What the ancients called a clever fighter is one who not only wins, but excels in winning with ease.
—Sun Tzu, The Art of War
Leaderboards are older than video games themselves. The leaderboard, as we know it, goes back to the days of the original pinball games of the 1950s. The makers of these pinball games soon realized that adding a high-score list increased competition, which translates to more time played and more money earned.
During the 1970s, when video games began to emerge, leaderboards were quickly adopted into these new games, making their first appearance as early as a game called Sea Wolf, released in 1976 (see Figure 3-1). Since then, they have played an integral part in the gaming culture. Leaderboards ...