Stan Carey's Usage Peeve Bingo game is getting a lot of play in language-blog land, so once again I've been wondering: Does anyone ever try to play these games, or are buzzword bingo and its variations just gag ideas? (A possibility Stan acknowledges when he writes,"If you search Google Images for "buzzword bingo", you’ll see how popular a game (or pretend game) it is.")
The question persists because I never see anyone discussing how such a game would actually work. In old-fashioned bingo, the point is to mark off a row on your card matching the numbers announced by the caller. It's purely a game of chance -- a slow-motion lottery, in effect. And that means (almost) every player's card must be unique; otherwise the whole room would be shouting "Bingo!" in unison (and sharing the pot).
So if you really wanted to play Usage Peeve Bingo, you couldn't just print out Stan's 6-by-6 card; you'd need to plug it into a randomizing program and generate cards with the words in different positions. Finally moved to research the question, I learned that it's actually easy to do: here, for instance. I'm still not sure how you'd stage the game -- around the copy desk, maybe? -- but I've done enough peeve-hunting already to last a lifetime, so I'll just watch, thanks.