It appears that 2022 is set to be all about the metaverse. While companies such as Decentraland, Sandbox, and Epic Games have been working away for years, it is Facebook that has brought the concept of the metaverse to the masses. Not content with just building its own metaverse, Zuckerberg and co had to go one step further. They had to rebrand the entire company in an attempt to dominate the space. The tail end of 2021 saw goodbye Facebook and hello Meta. Suddenly, we were all about to get an insight into what the metaverse was all about.
What people can’t have failed to appreciate, is the potential that exists when it comes to the metaverse and gaming. Whether it be the likes of Fortnite and League of Legends or online casino games, the metaverse is set to offer a whole new gaming experience for those who are willing to embrace it. One game that is set to undergo monumental change, thanks to the metaverse, is bingo. While traditional bingo sites have long provided an alternative to physical bingo halls, what the metaverse is set to offer may spell the end of bingo halls altogether.
What even is the metaverse?
Before we take a look at whether the metaverse could be the death of bingo halls, it is worth taking a look at what the metaverse actually is. The term itself is vague and leaves many people struggling to understand what it is and what it is likely to offer. One important point to note is that Meta is not the be-all and end-all of the metaverse. There are several companies working on the concept and it may well be that these interlink at some point. Facebook’s change of name was merely an attempt to rule this space.
The metaverse itself is hailed as the biggest development since the advent of the internet. The main difference is that, in itself, the metaverse is not a new technology as such. Instead, it is something that is set to change how we interact with tech that already exists, as well as that which we will experience in the future.
What the metaverse is set to offer is a virtual world. This is virtual reality taken to the next level. It will allow each of us to exist in virtual spaces. These virtual spaces will continue to exist and develop even when we leave. As we re-enter, we will be aware that time has carried on since our last visit. It is almost akin to a secondary existence outside of the physical world.
The state of online bingo halls in 2022
You can not have failed to have noticed what the world has been experiencing over the last two years. The Covid-19 pandemic has seen us all having to adapt to change. It has, thanks to lockdowns, left many people housebound, and in turn, led to the closure of numerous businesses. One of the businesses that have been affected is bingo halls.
Bingo halls were not classed as an essential business through lockdown. This saw the doors closing and players having to find alternatives. The obvious choice was to turn online and enjoy all that is offered at bingo sites. While many may have been eagerly awaiting the reopening of physical bingo halls, others quite liked the switch that they had made.
For some bingo halls, the impact of lockdown was too much. This saw major operators exiting the scene by closing permanently. This meant that the damage was done to physical bingo halls before the metaverse even had chance to become a serious threat. For those who have weathered the storm so far, the metaverse may pose challenges anew.
What does the current online experience have to offer?
Virtual Reality is not a new phenomenon in the igaming space – regular online casino sites have started offering some VR features to users, with some looking to attract new players and interest in the phenomenon by weighting them with the best casino bonuses. But so far, it is yet to really take off into mainstream publicity.
As we have seen, many bingo fans turned to online bingo sites during lockdowns when their favourite bingo halls were closed. Many of these have never looked back. They have found that the online experience has much to offer and is on par, if not better than the bingo hall experience.
For many, bingo is a social game. Yes, it is ultimately about winning, with hopes of winning big, but this is not where the attraction ends. It could be argued that other casino games have a social aspect to them, but the reality is that none of these compares to bingo. A game of bingo is something that is enjoyed with groups of friends all over a laugh and a joke. Online bingo sites managed to recreate this experience.
As well as offering an array of different bingo games, online bingo sites also offer the chance to interact with other players. Chat rooms can be found in the various games as well as in time out areas where players can take a break from the action. Adding this social aspect is what has allowed the online space to provide serious competition to bingo halls.
What does the metaverse have in store?
Whereas online bingo sites have tried to match all that a bingo hall has to offer, there are certain elements that they are unable to recreate. Yes, there is the ability to talk to other players, but you can not see these players as you would in a bingo hall. The metaverse is set to see this change.
What the metaverse will offer are online bingo halls where you literally walk in. By using virtual and augmented reality, you will enter a virtual bingo hall. You will talk to other players who have also entered. You will even be able to sit in a bar and enjoy a drink with friends. This takes online bingo sites a step further and allows them to recreate all that people love about bingo halls.
With fears of Covid likely to be around for some time, many will opt for a virtual bingo experience. When you can experience all that a bingo hall has to offer with all of the risk removed, surely it makes sense to opt for the virtual experience. Add to this the element of convenience, and it becomes clear that the metaverse poses a real threat to bingo halls.