‘Future Shock’ and Online Bingo

In college we had to read a book titled ‘Future Shock’ by Alvin Toffler. The author thought societies were suffering from ‘too much change in too short a period of time.’ The book became a best seller and was popular with sociology professors. The book was written in 1970 and the internet and personal computers have not yet been created. Toffler looked at the technology and media of 1970 and painted a bleak picture of the future.

Today technology is more ubiquitous than Toffler could have predicted. Instead of harming societies technology has enhanced our lives and made things easier. We have not been isolated by technology as Toffler predicted and the global nature of the internet has given users the chance to interact directly with other cultures. The internet has changed the way people do business, gather news and information and play games. Basically people have the sum total of human knowledge at their fingertips. To survive in today’s world it is necessary to be computer literate.

It was probably inevitable that gambling would go online. In the 90’s poker sites appeared and in the mid and late 90’s several online bingo sites were launched. Poker was an instant hit and many players made a decent living playing online. Internet bingo became particularly popular in Great Britain. The game has been popular in Britain for decades and is considered an integral part of British culture. In 2004 there were about twenty online bingo sites and today there are over 350 and most of them target a British audience. Industry growth has been rapid and a new technology has been added to the mix.

Gambling on mobile devices is a relatively recent phenomenon. A new report by Juniper research predicts the number of mobile gamblers will more than double during the next two years.  In the online bingo industry most of the recent growth has been driven by the use of smartphones and other mobile devices. There were technical difficulties which were quickly overcome and today some online bingo sites say that over half of all players registered using a mobile device and play exclusively with mobile devices. Given the rapid pace of technological development it would be interesting to see what Mr. Toffler would say about our computerized world.

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