Online Bingo: a Social and Entertaining ExperienceThursday, March 07, 2013 Mary Anne Velasco
People play games for all kinds of reasons – from a bit of relaxation away from “reality” to a social experience playing with or against their mates, while others play professionally or to win a bit of cash, depending on the nature of the game and their own ability of course!
Whatever your reason for playing, and whatever type of game you play, you probably understand that gaming is a social experience as well as a form of entertainment. The modern gamer can play “online” and “offline” from their games console as well as playing over the net in a normal fashion using their PC, laptop or tablet; and now they can play games on their phones too by downloading apps and playing wherever, whenever.
In the past gaming was just for people sat in their bedrooms or living rooms playing against the computer with no social interaction whatsoever. The only discussions you might have had were with your parents, partner or house mates as they come to offer you a cup of tea! Today, however, things have changed dramatically and gamers around the world can communicate in text, video and verbal formats.
The online bingo world has grown almost out of nowhere, and almost overnight too. From an industry that very few were aware of, and even fewer were actually a part of, online bingo has developed to become one of the most popular pastimes, if not everyone’s favourite game, on a global scale, with all kinds of people logging on each day to get their bingo fix, getting the chance to play against other online gamers, their friends and win money too if they’re lucky!
Such is the global appeal of online bingo today that many sites are now spending thousands on television advertising, appearing in the commercial breaks of some of the biggest shows, such as soaps, game shows and even the news, helping sites reach out to all audiences to attract them to a game for all kinds of people. The common misconception is that bingo is “a game for old people who have nothing better to do.” Far from it in fact!
Go down to any bingo hall and take a look inside, you’ll see young and old, male and female, upper class and working class, all interacting with each other and having a great time marking their numbers as they’re called out and feeling that adrenaline pumping as the card fills. The same is now happening online.
People have less and less free time, with busy family lives as well as coping with everyday tasks at work and around the home. Kids need to be in five places at once and you need to be in ten – you can hardly go down to the bingo hall. When you do get a spare few minutes to put your feet up it might be too late to go out, and your friends might think the same. Therefore, meeting up on an online bingo site is the ideal solution. Many games – bingo and others for that matter thanks to the web – allow live chats to happen during the game, helping people to catch up and talk about the game they’re playing – how close they were to winning the last card, their stressful day at work or for a general chat!
You can literally play anytime, anywhere. The mobile and online gaming networks have developed to such an extent that you could be playing on the bus to work on your smartphone, while relaxing on your day off on the family laptop whilst watching the omnibus or catch-up episodes of your favourite show, or while your partner is watching the TV in the living room – shouting at the overpaid footballers for example – you could be in the other room playing on the PC.
You might think that bingo can only be played in one way – filling up the card as the numbers are called out. To some extent, you’d be right, but each website develops new styles of games and works on their user experience to ensure that there is something fresh all the time that encourages users to keep coming back for their daily, weekly or monthly fix. The traditions still remain in place, otherwise the “traditional bingo player” would lose their interest and the game would lose its identity. To many, just the addition of the live chat can make for a whole new experience, picking up hints and tips from their friends and more experienced gamers along the way.
That leads neatly into another benefit – unlike many other games, such as Call of Duty or FIFA, there is no ‘beginner’ or ‘expert’ groups, mainly because it doesn’t matter at all if you’re playing for the first time or the one hundred and first time. There are no real strategies to bingo, it’s the luck of your card mixed with the order that the balls are called out.
The game itself, as already mentioned, has grown dramatically in recent years. This is partly due to the availability and “play anywhere” concepts, but also because of the speed of people’s broadband connections. Online gaming used to be for those with super-fast Internet connections and those who had “standard” connections tended to stick to their consoles, board games and hand-held devices. Today, however, even what might still be called “standard” broadband connections are fast enough to support the online gaming community meaning that less games ‘drop out’ and the whole experience is much cleaner and more efficient.
You also have the added appeal of the various prizes associated with online bingo. If you go to a hall, you might win cash prizes – quite substantial ones on special occasions or in the last game of the night, depending on how many people are involved – but online you are given the opportunity to win dream prizes like cars, holidays, laptops and other expensive items people can only dream of.
As the Internet continues to develop, online gaming is only going to become more popular, and the current generation are going to be at home with the web, allowing them to play whenever, wherever and whatever they like – including bingo.