Bingo and Netflix Party: the Unlikely Duo Bringing Multiplayer Experiences out of Gaming
Even since the turn of the new millennium, online multiplayer gaming has formed an increasing part of the global entertainment consciousness. This dominance might soon be coming to an end, however, as established series and methods are being challenged by newcomer Netflix Party. Looking back at the history of multiplayer forms of entertainment, we want to explore where they originated, why games such as online bingo have been such large contributors, and why the future in the likes of Netflix Party is undoubtedly a more open one.
The Origins of Online Multiplayer
The very first versions of what we could call online multiplayer games arrived in the early ’70s, but what we think of as modern forms weren’t born until the late 90s. Here, games such as the MMORPG Everquest and FPS Counter-Strike proved revelations in communication, cooperation, and open competition.
Over time, these outgrew their confined roots where they were seen as niche pursuits, eventually becoming unavoidable components of the greater entertainment landscape. There has been something of a limit, though, on the communication front. While chat in many games is encouraged, actual tools within games to support party talk are notoriously limited, creating a high demand for third-party systems like Discord.
Bingo Building Bridges
Approaching this problem from another angle were online bingo games. Whether through traditional forms of bingo like 75- and 90-ball, or new bingo slots online like Fire Joker and Crusade, the in-game chat was always understood as a cornerstone of the experience. This focus on communication first is probably due to the disparity which has existed between bingo and traditional video games.
At its core, bingo has always been a game about community. You don’t just play to win, you play to spend time with others, ever since the game’s origins hundreds of years ago. Video games, on the other hand, have long approached the community aspects of their games as optional. Even when a video game is built around multiplayer, there has always been a very opt-in approach to chat, and this has often left communication possibilities underdeveloped.
The Arrival of Netflix Party
Netflix Party operates by effectively mirroring the at-home experience of simultaneous watching, but over a distance. By using a specialized app, friends and family can experience movies or series together while also being provided access to live chat of the sort which has already proven such an enormous hit in online bingo.
Essentially, this system gives people the ability to hang out from a world away, which offers some major advantages given our highly social nature. Undoubtedly, the initial success of this system will encourage other major streaming services to take note, so don’t be surprised to see the likes of Hulu and Amazon soon borrowing from the Netflix and online bingo playbook.
Looking further into the future, we would expect this form of communication to only grow further. Expect live video chat to become a standard feature of this idea, with the possible addition of VR or AR integration somewhere further down the line. However long this might take, the influence of traditional video games and online bingo is clear, so perhaps we should look to these to see what will come next.