Seeing the World of Bingo Through the Images of Michael Hess
“How the game of bingo inspired this Berlin-based photographer”
Bingo is a game that has captured the hearts of many people because of different reasons – some were fascinated by its vibrant social scene and others were attracted by its huge rewards. Even the former structural engineer, Michael Hess , who has always dreamed of making a book of his photography, was inspired by this traditional game.
Michael Hess shared how he got into bingo with Andrew Pulver of The Guardian. He said, “I’m from Germany, and we don’t have bingo there. But in Southampton, where I used to live, there was an amazing old cinema – a huge art deco place with neon lights. One day in 2005, I went in to see what was going on. Inside, I found dozens of people playing bingo. I was fascinated straight away, and I thought, ‘I have to come back and capture this’.” Since then, he started shooting more than 60 bingo halls for four years; and finally launched his first book on photography called “Bingo & Social Club”.
Known as a social game, bingo has become more interactive as technology improved through time. Even bingo sites have extended their services through social networking. Early this year, social gaming subsidiary Win.com helped CheekyBingo premiere a new service on Facebook in partnership with game developer Murka Limited. Aside from the bingo site’s Twitter account, Cheekies can now get the latest news and promos through Facebook. According to the CEO of Win.com, Barak Rabinowitz, “We are passionate about bringing the most fun to our players.”
The Berlin-based photographer has been able to capture the people of the bingo community since according to him, “Bingo halls are not just about gambling; they’re about human beings.” No wonder many people are getting fond of this game because of the people that they meet in every hall or bingo site that they join in. The main goal of Michael Hess was to make people feel like they’ve spent a night at the bingo hall through his photos. His first photography book was exhibited at Cardiff’s Millennium Centre, Londo’s Host Gallery, and London’s Book Club. You can also get a copy of the Bingo & Social Club at Amazon.co.uk.