Never Satisfied

I think it’s obvious that in our modern society we are never pleased, we always want bigger, better, faster. But our impatience is not a new thing.

Take for instance the game of Bingo. According to Wikipedia, the game of bingo can be traced back to a lottery game called “Il Giuoco del Lotto d’Italia” played in Italy in c.1530. There was no translation for the exact phrase, but my Italian heritage helps here as it means “I’m bored, whatever you can think of to play will work.” By the eighteenth century, the game had matured, and in France, playing cards, tokens, the reading out of numbers had been added to the game.

Hugh J. Ward standardized the modern game at carnivals in and around the Pittsburgh and Western Pennsylvania areas in the early 1920s. He went on to copyright “Bingo” and author the rule book on it in 1933. The rule book. Ah there’s the culprit. You see when people are given rules the first one they adhere to is to break the rules. And that’s when Bingo went nuts.

Bingo couldn’t be played with simple hand drawn cards, there had to be special pre-printed ones which of course someone had to charge for. The original beans were replaced by “tokens” which would later morph into special plastic containers that made an ink mark and therefore you couldn’t use the card again, which got back to more money.

And the people that played changed as well. Once upon a time the family gathered around to laugh as they played and talked, but modern bingo moved into church basements which everyone knows can be a breeding ground for pettiness and jealousy. That coupled with the growing number of colors one could wear on their head in the form of a hat or wig took the game from its simple roots and catapulted it into its only natural outcome-Las Vegas.

So you see a simple game becomes a billion dollar industry. Up next-virtual bingo, after all, we’re never satisfied.

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2 thoughts on “Never Satisfied

  1. I agree, perhaps because it takes so long to get the basics now a days that all our needs tend to crash into each other. Never been a huge fan of bingo, but you are right the simplest ideals usually have the biggest impact.

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