Some call the game scavenger hunt, and others treasure hunt. Whichever term you may be accustomed to, you know how fun this activity is. Not only does it make your adrenaline rise, but it also gives you the chance to test your problem solving and teamwork skills. However, where did scavenger hunts come from?
Scavenger hunts are attributed mainly to traditional folk games according to Markus Montola, a game scholar. Many communities used to hunt for food before that age of industrialisation. When civilisation happened, hunting activities ceased. Time went by, and people wanted to track their roots back to ancient days. The best way of doing so was in games. This is how scavenger hunts became a thing, especially in parties.
In the 1930s, Elsa Maxwell held a series of parties in New York and scavenger hunts were apart of the games that kept the parties alive. The movie, My Man Godfrey, released in 1936, is another example of how scavenger hunt found its way into the entertainment world.
Scavenger Hunts in Media and the Internet
With time, the internet became a place where everyone in the world met. Website developers started looking for ways to lure people to their sites, and solving an exciting puzzle was one of such activities. Businesses too picked up the idea to get people engaged on their websites. The very first internet scavenger hunt went live in 1992, developed by Rick Gates. The hunt aimed to get people to find and explore new resources online.
Scavenger hunts online have now become very popular, and even have made some people like Misha Collins famous in the Guinness World Book of Records for constructing GISHWHES. This is the biggest virtual scavenger hunt that brought together 14,580 participants, 972 teams, representing 90 countries. With new technologies like artificial intelligence and augmented reality, then we can only guess what scavenger hunts will look like in the future.