What Do Horror and Bingo Have in Common?

February 17, 2021

Written by Ella Rebecca Horton

Ella Rebecca has been in love with the horror genre since an early age. The Bride of Frankenstein began her love of the classics and she's been writing and collecting since.

This might seem like an odd question, but it has been something I’ve been thinking about recently when it comes to how different media evolves. Horror is as old as time, where the arrival of mass media allowed it to flourish like never before. Bingo, while not as old as the concept of horror, has similarly succeeded by evolving. Taking a closer look at these arms of their respective industries, we want to explore the elements that these seemingly disparate ideas share.

Adapting to Modern Technology

In the most contemporary sense, the most obvious changes to horror and bingo have come from how they leverage technology. In the horror scene, this has been illustrated recently by the arrival of VR gaming. Horror has long leaned on the ability to draw people into horrific worlds, but with VR, a person can be placed directly within a horrific landscape. An experience too terrifying for some to be pleasurable, this step illustrates how well horror can integrate with new technological achievements.


In bingo games, the biggest recent changes come from internet offerings like jackpot bingo. These titles like Bounty Raid and Rhino rampage lean on the connectivity offered by the internet, to vastly increase possible player bases. It used to be that physical proximity was needed for bingo games, but with the internet, bingo is available practically anywhere and anytime.


Reflecting Cultural Identities

If you watch a horror movie from half a century ago you can appreciate it on an artistic level, but rarely will it create the type of terror that a modern movie can. While there are multiple factors at play here, significant thanks are owed to how each generation of horror reflects different cultural ideals. A movie like Unfriended, based in the age of social media, would be incomprehensible just a few decades ago, and the same applies to some movies from the past today.

In bingo, changes again follow the path of contemporary social culture. Physical casino parlors are increasingly turning to digital devices, some clubs are integrating bingo into their theme nights, and online communities are on a constant uptick. Life is more fast-paced than ever before, and the forms bingo takes to reflect that. Reliance on Everlasting Appeal Rounding out the major similarities is how both horror and bingo derive continued success from ideas that never age. In horror, the appeal is found in its ability to thrill, to frighten, and to push into the animalistic part of our brain that is scared to look, yet —- look away. As long as we remain human, this will always be a part of us, no matter how the specifics change.

Bingo travels a different path, instead of relying on our need for community and socialization. Playing together in friendly competition has always been a big part of the game, and has kept it popular for centuries. Just as with horror, we can change the specifics of how we engage, but the central tenants remain strong.

Looking back at the shared components of bingo and horror we left with one burning question – what comes next? As forms of entertainment that are so tied into evolving socio-technological culture, there is no doubt that both with continue to grow. In fifty years, there is no telling what either of these could look like but we bet, at their core, they still maintain the same base appeal.

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