The digital world and the physical world are more blended today than ever before – and we can see this through the world of gaming. Land-based gaming events have grown in popularity as a direct result of their success online. Bingo, for instance, has been transformed from its traditional roots into a canvas for excitement and tension. This is reflected not only in the online version but in how the online version has inspired greater excitement in physical bingo events. Similarly, online gaming itself has been given a boost through the interconnectivity afforded by eSports. But what does this mean for the future of online entertainment?

Bingo Gets a Boost

Bingo as the basis for an event has been steadily growing in popularity. There are comedy bingo nights to raise money for charity. There are bingo and chili charity nights which use the idea of dozens of people gathered together to add a dining element to the experience. There are even growing drag bingo nights, which feature drag queens performing in intervals and issuing comical responses when calling the numbers out.

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The UK saw a spate of bingo-themed club nights as Bongo’s Bingo turned the bingo game into a nightclub experience. Of course, there needs to be little excuse to gather revelers together but underpinning the experience of dancing with a game of bingo helped give structure to the nights and provided something for people to do. It became an experience, which is what younger audiences are always on the lookout for.

This has been inspired by the success of online bingo, which has thrived and found new audiences who want to engage through the digital platform. One of the major successes of online bingo has been the fact it has replicated traditional bingo but given it a makeover.  According to Harrison Score of WDW, ‘Online bingo sites, like those we feature at WDW Bingo, offer players the camaraderie and community of the bingo hall experience at home.’ Indeed, the online bingo experience has been designed to replicate the tension of the bingo hall while also using digital technology for a new, modern experience.

Online Casinos in General

This follows on from the success of online casinos, which took the inspiration of the casino and provided it online. They used techniques to both showcase the digital nature of the products while also evoking imagery and feelings of the casino experience. The global online gambling industry will be worth $127.3 billion by 2027 with a compound annual growth rate of 11.5%, showing its soaring success.

The gaming community is expansive and has many different facets. The success of online casinos could lead to new generations – who engage with gaming through spectating, social media communities, and streaming on Twitch – finding and enjoying the games on offer. The best way to harness the potential of new audiences is to appeal to them in a way they would enjoy.

eSports Growth

Sites like Twitch have exponentially improved traditional gaming. Players no longer engage at home alone, but can do so on the streaming platform. This helps them cultivate a fanbase and even turn gaming into a career. As streamers gain subscribers and viewers, they boost their own reputations in their specific games.

eSports tournaments, for instance, show just where this future of gaming is heading. Rather than being niche forms of modern sport, tournaments and eSports fixtures are featured on ESPN, and many professional athletes also dabble in competitive gaming. The accessibility that Twitch and other streaming platforms provide helps to legitimize eSports as the future of gaming. There are a wide range of eSports tournaments across the world – from the EU League of Legends Championship Series to the Arena of Valor World Cup.

As we’ve seen with other games in the digital sphere, a feedback loop of physical and digital could be beneficial. Taking traditional concepts like bingo, casino games, and eSports and improving them through digital means enables more people to engage. Constant reinvention helps keep each industry fresh.

Anthony Dennis
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