Game Art from Long Ago

gameart gameart1Original link – http://www.krysalyn.com/ascii.html

Large collection of ASCII art. Still waiting for the dragon section to finish loading! (My original note when I found this in 2004).

There is  big collection but it’s not available without using the Wayback Machine now. I had contributed some of my own art here and it is still there. (Tends to happen on sites that wander off into never never land). Too bad. But, change is good too, sometimes.

Documenting the Decline of the Bingo Hall

Documenting the Decline of the Bingo Hall
From thriving social clubs to piles of rubble.

abandoned bingo
(Image credit: Forsaken Fotos via Flickr)

The rough-hewn simplicity and rustic charm of traditional land-based bingo halls have captivated the imagination of thousands of people throughout the decades. Indeed, brick-and-mortar bingo halls are teeming with vibrant characters and interesting personalities that bring life to a time-honored establishment. So it’s not too surprising to learn that a few talented photographers have devoted their time and energies to document the humanity inside these old-school bingo halls. Washington resident Andrew Miksys was exposed to bingo at an early age. His father published the daily Bingo Today newspaper, which Miksys then delivered to bingo halls and convenience stores across Seattle. Miksys eventually toured America’s bingo halls to present a respectful look into the communal spirit that’s part of a bingo hall’s character.

There’s even more proof that the time-honored game is a veritable treasure trove of expressive portraits. German photographer Michael Hess is a structural engineer by training and a self-taught photographer by choice. Currently residing in London, Hess lived near a bingo hall in Southampton in 2005 and always wondered what happened inside. One fateful game in that same bingo hall was all it took to motivate Hess to travel to almost 70 bingo halls in the UK for the next four years. The result was Bingo and Social Club, a good-natured and graciously rare peek into the enigmatic society of bingo halls.

However, bingo halls are believed to be not long for this world, with many different bingo halls now closing all over the world. The classic game has found its new home online, where various companies have begun to launch online bingo portals which are much more convenient and easy to play. The Virtue Fusion software that runs the games on Betfair Bingo also allow for a variety of themed games to be held simultaneously, and land-based bingo halls just cannot keep up. As such, many bingo halls have shut down, their doors closing as though to keep their memories nestled within.

While they’re no longer visited by the average bingo player, these abandoned bingo halls have made for some truly evocative images, inspiring wayward photographers with the stories they seem to tell. Web Urbanist has even come out with a collection of haunting photographs of abandoned bingo halls called “Punched Cards”. The selection of photos has everything from dilapidated signage to the remains of old bingo cards and the remains of old structures that have now been reduced to rubble, and they make one think about all the history and memories that have been made in these places. Where people once crowded and fought to shout, “BINGO!”, there lies nothing but shambles and old signs. But often, these are exactly what the urban photographer is looking for.

Historically Interesting Casinos in Canada

Canada does not have a long history of actual buildings being made as casinos. We do have gambling far back in our history. John Cabot (circa 1497) noticed the native Canadians used sticks and pebbles to play games of chance.

The Canadian Criminal Code banned every form of gambling in 1892.

However, during  the days of the Klondike Gold Rush (1897 – 1899) Faro was a popular game of chance. By 1900 charities were holding bingo games and raffles. Next came horse racing and by 1925 agricultural fairs and exhibitions were permitted to hold gambling events.

Lotteries began in Canada in 1969. The government amended the Criminal Code to allow themselves to fund special projects from money made through lotteries. In 1974 the Olympics in Montreal were funded with lottery money.

In modern days most provinces have casinos.

Some are still government run, it depends on the province. Canadian casinos can be partially owned by private enterprise, government and the native Canadians who have special rights set out by the government. If you look for casinos in Canada you may find more online casinos than brick and mortar or land-based casinos. Like working from home you don’t actually have to get dressed up (or dressed at all) to play when your casino is online: www.gamingclub.com/nz/online-pokies

history of gambling in Canada

I grew up in the Toronto area where my family and I would attend the CNE (Canadian National Exhibition) each summer at least once. My sister’s favourite part of the CNE were the games. Although the midway games had to gear down for children to play, there was a casino for the adults too. I never saw the inside of it. Each year it would be packed up again and disappear until the next summer.

Now I live near the Barrie casino, the Georgian Downs. I see the horse and buggy races now and then. In season you can drive right by on the main highway through Barrie and pass close enough to Georgian Downs to see the horses racing, warming up or exercising.

My plan was to write about historical casinos in Canada but once I started looking for them I found there aren’t any which are very old.

The first commercial casino opened in 1993, located in Winnipeg, Manitoba.

The second to open and credited as the largest casino is in Montreal. It’s called The Montreal Casino and is located in Montreal, Quebec.  Open 24 hours a day, to those who are 18 years of age or older,  since October, 1993.

Indoor Playground for Sale (Ontario)

indoor playground Have you always wanted to run or own an indoor playground, games for kids with prizes and birthday parties every week? If you want it, you can buy it from my sister. Would help if you are somewhat local to Newmarket, Ontario.

She has been the sole owner/ proprietor for about 11 years. Opened a second location in Barrie, laser tag, mini golf and likely something else I’m forgetting. A Mom with 4 kids ranging in age from 18 to 4 herself she has done a lot. Time to focus her energies and she wants more time to play some tennis too.

If you happen to be up for it – take a look at the listing and see the photos. You might even talk to the real estate agent and make an offer.

How was that for a sales pitch?