These days, with technology conventions making national headlines, movies based on comic books breaking box office records in their opening weekends and entire sitcoms dedicated to jokes about science and social ineptitude, there can be no denying that the geek have inherited the earth. With Hollywood and Madison Avenue alike working geek and nerd cultural references into everything from soda commercials to children’s cartoons while technology, scientific and entertainment gurus coming into the field with personal stories of geeky childhoods and all that that entails, it’s never been cooler to be a geek.
Some things, once existing on the fringe of Western society, have become more popular than ever, ranging from role playing games to Japanese animation, getting mainstream appeal for the first time in decades. Other cultural constructs have been re-purposed to entertain geeks. From video game references in professional wrestling to entire prime time network dramas dedicated to laced with fantastical elements such as vampires and aliens, nerd entertainment is growing more common. One particularly surprising place where geeks have modified things to suit their peculiar tastes is inside of the game of bingo; no longer just for older people, bingo has be claimed by geeks as a new form of entertainment.
Geeks and bingo are an unusual phenomenon. Most commonly, geeks play bingo offline or on online with specialty bingo cards meant to reflect things geeks enjoy or in some cases detest, ranging from science fiction movie tropes to ridiculous internet arguments to events that happen at nearly every convention. Each space has their own item customized to the activity at hand, from mocking sexism online to watching movies, ranging from “Stormtroopers missing a shot” to quoting trite arguments to a specific convention incident such as a visibly uncomfortable celebrity guest or obviously intoxicated convention goer. Whenever this item occurs during the event, be it a video game review, nerd friendly sitcom, players mark off the spot on their card, whether the villain of the film calls for the hero’s head, two furries get snuggly or a Klingon throws up in the hallway. Sometimes these bingo cards resemble parodic drinking games, where all too common happenings are recorded and then marked off as a means by which to make light of the things that make geeks annoyed, uncomfortable or frustrated, with marking off spaces on a bingo card replacing having a drink.
Most famously, custom bingo cards have become a popular way of expressing common yet oftentimes absurd occurrences in geek culture, from self absorbed political arguments to crying children at a card game tournament to overused clichés in bad movies. While this is basically an elaborate form of mockery, it is a thing that regularly occurs among geeks, particularly online, though also oftentimes at conventions focused on anything from general science fiction and fantasy party conventions to large scale entertainment industry events where the latest television shows and movies are first revealed, all of which are rife with absurd, irritating and at times just plain bizarre events. With all this in mind, it’s clear that bingo is no longer just for old people and geeks love it as well.
Photo: Play Among Friends