As technology has evolved so has gaming. Once the remit of the hard-core gamer, pretty much anyone can now access any game they want, from anywhere. Games that used to have to be played on a console or computer can now be carried in a pocket. Where the internet used to be wired into a single device in the home, now every device can be connected at all times, and from anywhere.
This has led to changes in the type of gamer and has seen the rise of the casual gamer. The casual gamer looks for fun games that they can dip in and out of and looks to use the game as a way to connect with others. The social aspect of the game is as important as the entertainment value of the game itself. It could be said that they join for the game but stay for the chat.
One of the most social games available is bingo online. Bingo has used advances in technology to reinvent itself and offer new and exciting twists on a traditional game. The move online has given it scope to offer variations not possible in bingo halls, spot prizes, and moderator led games in forums and chats. Players are also able to meet other like-minded individuals and without the worry of missing a number being called out can engage with their fellow players.
As previously mentioned, one of the most well-known sociable games is bingo. The game is most popular in the UK, with over 3.5 million regular players online. It offers all the psychological and social fulfilment needed for a social game to be successful.
A game of bingo was well known for its social aspect especially back in the 60’s and 70’s where many Brits would head to a bingo hall for a night out with friends and family. Bingo halls saw many bingo lovers visit the venue weekly for a sociable game of bingo, where they met others from the community to share the same love for the game.
The rise of the internet welcomed online bingo, a game which many people believed the social aspect of offline bingo would be lost. However, online bingo providers have strived to keep the social aspects of the game online by introducing features such as chat rooms.
The role of chat rooms enables bingo players to communicate during their game of bingo, creating an online bingo community. Players will often use the chat rooms for support and encouragement and to congratulate winners. Some players will also use the live chat features for hints and tips from other players. Many bingo providers have included chat room mini games for the chance to win prizes to encourage more people to get involved.
For those who are worried they may miss their numbers whilst chatting on live chat, providers have created a feature for numbers to be marked off, so players do not miss out on a bingo win!
Offline bingo is also seeing an increase in popularity amongst the younger generation with the arrival of bingo party nights. These nights are designed to target a younger audience by incorporating games of bingo with a club night theme, reviving the social aspect of the offline game.
Why is social gaming popular?
Humans are naturally social creatures. From the dawn of time, humans have lived in groups for protection, social interaction, and companionship. This has led to the developments we have seen throughout history, including the family unit, friendship groups, clubs, and societies.
Whilst there will always be a market for solo playing; after all, single-player games are hugely popular and allow players to immerse themselves in an alternate world, social gaming is going from strength to strength. 80% of Americans have played some form of social game in the last six months, and many developers are focusing on releasing games that foster a community spirit.
Most offline games have now transitioned online, encouraging more people to get involved with multiplayer games. Traditional boardgames such as Monopoly and Scrabble are now commonly played online where players can compete with others around the globe. As more social games are now easily accessed via the internet, more people are now partaking in these types of games.
It has been found that social games satisfy humans intrinsic needs of:
Autonomy: sense of freedom and choice
Competence: Feelings of achievement and success when overcoming challenges
Relatedness: Having shared experience with others
Many gaming providers have noticed this trend in social gaming, and many developers, big and small, are focusing on creating a range of different immersive, fun, and new games that cater to the social gamer. There are MMOs on the market, puzzle games that allow players to join clans and share lives, most games have some sort of chat function, and many games that were solo games now incorporate some element of community.