When it comes to gaming, the best memories are often enshrined in nostalgia. Depending on your age, your experiences may vary. The older gamers among us will fondly remember titles such as Space Invaders and Pong. At the same time, the new generation will look back more affectionately at the sidescrolling capers of Donkey Kong and Castlevania. In any case, we all secretly long for the days when beating end-of-level bosses was the biggest of our worries, and it’s showing. Retro and traditional games are continuing to make a comeback in a big way thanks to this need to revisit our past, as well as changes in both technology and societal norms and attitudes.
The Right Kind of Board
We may live in a digital world, but there’s an ever-increasing demand for face-to-face social entertainment and interaction. Between the pure, unbridled joy of rolling a die and a longing to spend a little time unplugged, some of the more traditional board games are making a comeback. The mere mention of the term “board game” can evoke memories of evicting your family and friends in a hard-fought game of Monopoly. However, there’s also been an absolute explosion of brand-new games over the last few decades and various twists on old favorites. Games such as Spyfall, Rock Paper Wizard, and Pandemic are proving to be massive hits with gamers of all ages. Despite many titles available for next-generation consoles, such as the PlayStation 4 and Xbox One, millennials are putting down their controller and smartphones in favor of a more intimate gaming experience.
Eyes Down, Look in – Bingo Is Back
On the surface, there really isn’t too much to a game of bingo, and ten years or so ago, it seemed that the game was dwindling. However, bingo is back in a big way, and there’s a new breed of young card-dabbers getting in on the action. The game’s pitfalls are also its strengths – the simplicity of bingo allows for plenty of social interaction. As a game in which everyone can participate and win, even the less skilled participants feel that they’re getting a fair shake. Innovative new ventures such as Bongo Bingo have allowed the game to enter the modern age, reversing its “terminal decline”, and new technology such as bingo-slot hybrid machines have added the bells and whistles needed to facilitate this. It’s a revolution that the online world has turned into, as well. Various online providers are regularly offering numerous bonuses and offers to tempt players online, and as a result, online bingo continues to soar in popularity across all demographics.
Anyone for the Arcade?
Those of a certain age will remember the arcades with great fondness. Back when games consoles were nothing more than a pipe dream, the arcade was the only place to get your gaming fix. Thanks to the rise of gaming and eSports bars, arcade games enjoy newfound popularity. While the US has its fair share of such bars (Player 1 in Orlando, with its vast range of available gaming systems, springs to mind), countries such as China and Japan are also getting in on the act with 1980’s themed cafes. Ultimately, these bars and cafes are great ways for like-minded people to connect and reminisce about the halcyon days of arcade gaming. Technological advances have also meant that old machines have been given new life leases. In their reconditioned states, they’re once again ready to have their buttons bashed in.
Should We Be Surprised?
The concept of history repeating itself and fads coming back around again means that we probably should have seen this coming. However, with the current generation more dependent on technology than any other in history, many feared that more traditional games would be lost forever. Thankfully, this isn’t the case, and the repercussions of this will be felt well beyond the gaming world. With face-to-face interaction and communication seemingly a thing of the past, it is hoped that the board game and bingo renaissance will encourage people to interact and reconnect with one another. That said, it’s time to dust down your copy of Jenga or Cluedo and invite your loved ones over for some family-friendly fun.