Almost all businesses, products and industries face a constant need to evolve, especially when it comes to battling the competition or remaining relevant in a world that is always changing.
But it’s not just the usual suspects that are coming up with and applying innovative ways of staying ahead of the crowd. In the gaming world, one in particular stands out as using a variety of methods to make its presence felt on the modern stage.
That’s right, bingo. Every OAP’s favourite pastime is using music and comedy to reinvent itself as a staple of the millennial entertainment diet. Has it been successful, so far?
Bingo’s transfer to the online sphere
Like many games, it’s easy to see that bingo has translated well into the online and virtual world. A look online will show that the game has been easily ported into a digital counterpart, much like its physical predecessor.
From there, there have been tweaks to attract newer audiences, too. As bingo was often seen as belonging to a generation not well-versed in the use of the internet or mobile devices, a push was made to introduce new elements of gameplay in order to capture the mobile-first audience and enable a demographic shift in its player-base.
This is perhaps best evidenced by the fact that you can play bingo slot games, which essentially act as a crossover between two traditional gambling games. Also known as slingo, these games tap into two separate audiences, bringing them together and allowing a crossover. From there, providers can use different themes, such as Deal or No Deal games, to increase engagement.
The rise and fall of a bingo hall
Why do people play bingo? Do people play it for some of the theatrical elements? Or do they enjoy the competitive nature of it? For the older generation, it provides an opportunity to be social. And this isn’t lost on those trying to reinvent the game for the 20-something age group.
Across the UK, bingo halls were once at the forefront of communities and a social scene but this popularity has obviously waned in recent years. However, while the traditional halls of yesteryear may not take pride of place on every high street or in every community anymore, that doesn’t mean that socialisation isn’t front and centre when it comes to the games newer iterations.
Bongo’s Bingo, perhaps the most talked-about example of new bingo, is played in theatres and concert venues across the UK. It has also become hugely popular, containing a mix of bingo with elements of a rave and even a stage show. There’s evidence that they are attracting people who might be otherwise going to nightclubs or music events. Its popularity has seen it move into other parts of the world and the operators are now performing at events such as Ibiza Rocks and in other parts of Europe.
Comedy breaking bingo boundaries
Away from Bongo’s Bingo, another event that is revolutionising the game is Drag Queen Bingo. With the recent boom in popularity that drag acts are seeing, it is unsurprising that this has also been introduced into the area of social gaming. It’s evidence that comedy and theatricality are seen as future avenues for the game to fully go down.
Bingo as a game will always be popular but it has developed since its early beginnings, and it now has more competition in terms of other leisure activities. This could partly explain the popularity and demand for these hybrid events across Europe. People still enjoy playing the game but like to mix things up a bit.
It will be interesting to see if the game can inspire others to follow suit. Could we see the music and comedic elements of those events added to other classic games across the world?