Beyond the “normal” bingo that you and I play online, or at a land-based live Bingo event, there are lots of Bingo type games on the periphery. These games are not normally played for money, but are often designed to educate, while having fun.
Instead of numbers appearing on the Bingo cards, words, pictures or phrases appear. Sometimes the cards are all identical, the idea being to mark off what you think is the appropriate word or picture answer, in response to questions, and to NOT mark anything off if the right answer isn’t on the card. The card is checked when someone yells Bingo, to make sure they have marked all the right answers. With this version of the game, everyone has the same chance of winning- there is no luck, only skill in getting all the right answers and not marking off any wrong ones. This is ideal for learning purposes. For other games, the cards are different, and therefore the luck element enters- do you have the right answers on your card, as well as knowing what the right answers are?
Moving on to the themes and subjects of these games, there are a bewildering variety of games. These can range from the fairly obvious ones for helping children learn English, or foreign languages, such as “verbs” or “adjectives”, to really specialist somewhat bizarre ones, such as types of yachts, and parasites of the world!
An interesting one I came across was in preparation for a televised political debate earlier this year. The idea was you had one of four cards each marked with well-known (if not hackneyed) political sound bites. The cards had the same phrases/words on them, each in a different colour relating to the political colour of the four parties engaging in the debate. Each time one of the leaders said one of the phrases, it was marked off on the card of the person holding that political party’s card. Now here’s the twist. The idea is to have the least phrases marked off on your card indicating that your political leader can engage in political debate without over-use of rhetoric and buzz-words.
The words included the following:
Fiscal advantage, climate change, soft on crime, economic growth, social exclusion, building blocks, inflation, and banking reform.
Other games include those with pictures representing things you may see on a car journey... a coach, a petrol station, a cow, a bridge, a roundabout. If you see it, you tick it off. This one strikes me as ideal to keep children occupied during longer journeys, and lessen the “are we there yet?” phenomenon!
What subjects would you like to have on your own variant Bingo cards, I wonder. Or perhaps you prefer just to play the game of Bingo “straight”!