Character advancement: Point distribution
A method of character advancement in RPGs and other games where arbitrary points are used to "buy" stats, skills and such as soon as gained or through external intermediaries.
The first video game about Character advancement: Point distribution was released on August 10, 1987.
The "external intermediaries" bit refers to NPC trainers, hardware/software upgrade machines, and whatever else you only find occasionally or in specific places (e.g. in safe zones).