Tuesday, October 23, 2007

The $6B dollar casual game

What casual game is:
  • a 'clone' of its predecessors (as opposed to 'original and innovative')?
  • in its current incarnation, invented by Edwin Lowe, same guy that invented Yahtzee?
  • in itself a $6B industry?

I am of course talking about Bingo!

Some time ago, I posted about a couple casual-game related documentaries I'd seen: Word Wars (about Scrabble and its enthusiast/pro communities) and Word Play (about the NY Times Crossword and about crossword puzzles in general).

This past weekend, I rented another similar doc called Bingo! The Documentary about, you guessed it, Bingo.

The film looks at the game's history, growth, culture, and the 'business' that has grown around it, from church basement games to 24-7 bingo halls to dedicated Bingo-specific carribean cruises. There are even (and you never thought you'd hear this combination of words) bingo-playing drag queens.

More than anything, it's a backhanded indictment of those that prey upon the poor and the weak, and a stark view of gambling addiction in many of its forms.
I found it to be quite sad at times, and not nearly as well put together as Word Wars, but still a good rent for those interested in gaming in all its forms.

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