Everybody’s favorite family game becomes a way for audiences to engage
Everybody knows bingo is a fun game to play. And when taken seriously enough and with appropriate gains of salt, it can be woven into the fabric of our lives. After all, bingo is one of the original social games ever played — with different people, all looking at different cards, but similar enough within the rules that there can and always will indeed be a clear winner.
With so many eyes in the United States and around the world on the Democratic National Convention in Philadelphia this week, the Los Angeles Times has made a game of it. No, not a drinking game (necessarily) but rather a good wholesome fun bingo game. The idea was a bingo card with squares made for things that the LA Times had a “hunch” might happen or be seen at the 2016 DNC. These have included squares like “Hillary wears blue,” “Black Lives Matter,” or “Spotting of a Funny Hat.” Other fun ones were that the Rocky theme music plays or that Vice Presidential candidate Tim Kaine’s eyebrow twitches. All sorts of stuff and all in good fun. The paper is offering up new cards at the press of a button as you hover over the squares and click to make the otherwise pre-programmed event more exciting even in between bouts of planned or unplanned excitement.
The LA Times and DNC aren’t the only ones to understand the awesomeness of bingo. The sports media team at SB Nation have done something similar (coincidentally?) for Northwestern University football’s head coach Pat Fitzgerald’s Big Ten Media Day press conference, with a bingo card set up for the semi-LOL predictability of the coach’s opening day for Chicago’s Big Ten Bingo Board. (“Defense wins championships,” “family,” and “Wildcat way,” are among the predictable winning phrases.)
These lessons for audience engagement have not been lost on the LA times, because they come from bingo. Bingo players and bingo organizers have long known the thrills of properly covering your card, and hearing the exciting callout. That’s why bingo is becoming more and more popular, all around the world. And if you can’t get to a proper bingo hall, that’s why we now have the online game. Just as you can play Democratic National Convention bingo at home and in front of the TV, making your everyday life more excitable, don’t miss on online bingo if you haven’t given it a chance (and are in a proper jurisdiction to play).