Home > Author blabber > I Got a New Game, I Got It Good: Dollar Bin Mix CD Game

I Got a New Game, I Got It Good: Dollar Bin Mix CD Game

Like many folks who enjoy musical variety and have a computer, I have created quite a bit of my share of mix CDs.  I believe that my first one was created using my speedy 75 MHz computer and included such gems as “Ice Ice Baby” and “Just a Friend”, both obtained from those early days of Napster.  My brother seemed to like the mix but others I gave it to likely stopped returning e-mails.

Before that I cobbled together tunes for mix tapes, which was always a challenging task.  I had a double tape deck where I would play the game of timing by trying to make sure a recordable track starts during a pause while I ready the Record button for the other tape.  Since I didn’t bother with math much at the time, the most frustrating aspect of making a mix tape is running out of tape!  Getting songs chopped off was the worst.  Nowadays one can at least see the disc space accumulation as each mp3 is added to a mix list, but back in the old days it was a lot more effort.  I will spare you any discussion regarding 8-track mix carts … whew.

(By the way, thanks to this site for the image of the mix I wish I had made.)

So now that I’m inundated with more music than I can listen to on a given day with all of these dollar discs lying around, I was thinking there might be a fun way to combine both of these hobbies of mine in a game format.  I admit, I borrowed a little bit from the idea of a Magic: The Gathering randomized deck competition (yo, don’t hate), but I think this could work.  What you need is a few people who like making mix CDs as well as an interest in experimenting with music.  Oh, and of course, lots of dollar bin discs.

The goal is this:  make the best mix CD possible given a random collection of dollar bin CDs.

Each participant will be given 15-20 discs and are expected to create a mix CD that has at least ten tracks on it with all different artists.  Doing the math, not every dollar disc will be used to help create the CD.  This is because it is highly likely that many of the CDs will be horrid.  For those who like a good gamble, cut down the total CD amount to 12-13 for each person.  Most likely someone will be forced to get creative with their track inclusions.

Setup:  Depending on how many discs are assigned, each person will be required to spend at least a dollar per disc.  It’s probably a good idea to find places to get the cheapest discs possible, or even to negotiate with a record store to buy a large quantity at a reduced price.  Hey, what are they going to do with all that dusty stuff anyway?  There are even a few places that sell CDs to be less than a dollar a disc.  Send me a note if you find any of those.  (grin)

For the CDs, it would be best if they were scooped up without discrimination.  Therefore, it may be best if one person buys all of the CDs in bulk.  This person would then either have to send the discs to each participant via mail or have everyone gather at one place to get their random collections.  The latter might be more fun as people see what they get stuck with.  Of course, if each person is honest about their random collection of dollar discs (or if people live far apart) then leaving it to each person might be more practical.

The Game:  As mentioned before, each participant will be responsible for at least a 10-track mix CD with the collection they were given.  These ten tracks should include at least ten different artists, so if the participant wants to double up on an artist (shocker!) then they will need to have at least eleven tracks on the disc.  Each person can make the disc as long or as short as they want in regards to time.  Also, to add even more creative flair, it would be stylishly important to include mix CD cover art of some sort.  If it ain’t pretty to listen to, at least make it pretty to look at.

The Mix Final:  If possible, everyone gets together and hands over their creations to the rest of the group.  Those at a distance can send via mail.  At this point, the game could go either way.  If people are just happy to sample people’s mixes and talk about them then no final vote is necessary.  However, if the group is interested, after a listening period they could vote who has the best mix.  There could also be subcategories such as “Worst Mix”, “Craziest Track Inclusion” and “Best Artist Track, But Probably Gotten From Worst Artist Album” to add a little more inclusion.

Variants:  Instead of getting saddled with your collection of discs and having to make something work with some of them, another idea is to exchange a few like the card game of Hearts.  Everyone gets paired up with someone in the swap group.  Each person then chooses three or so discs that they don’t think they will be able to find anything on to use for their mix.  These discs are then traded with someone else in the group so that everyone gets a small influx of new music to consider.  Granted, these discs are likely quite awful since they were given away, but you never know.   As with the game of Hearts, what one person deems as terrible is someone else’s idea of greatness.

Since dollar bin discs could contain records that were popular once during a previous decade, one could also make a rule so that no songs on the mix can contain big singles from the past.  One could say that throwing on an old single is a cheap way to fill some easy space, so this restriction would force the participant to be more creative with their choices.  This restriction would also save all listeners from having to deal with that 4 Non Blondes song or those Spin Doctors making their overexposed selves pop up again.  Note that this does not mean you can’t include a different song from those artists on the mix, just not the big ones.

Summary:  This mix exchange game not only adds a little more fun to the thought of listening to a whole lot of forgotten music, but it also gives people a chance to experience new tunes for a purpose.  Participants could also trade off albums that other people may particularly like based on their responses regarding the mixes.  Ideally, each mixer will keep a disc or two that they otherwise wouldn’t have found in the forgotten CD dust bins.  In the end, everyone ends up with some new music in the form of mixes and albums, which for music lovers is a fine prize no matter what.

Given that many non-purchased dollar bin CDs are inevitably tossed or recycled, I figured this game might give the records one last hurrah before meeting their fates.  As a silver lining to the cost of it, consider the fact that the money spent goes towards supporting a local record store’s propserity.  Considering that the business didn’t think they were getting anything for most of the discs, it would be a nice financial bump to help them along.

Alright, I am just going to say it.  Since participants and music stores both get something out of the mix game experience, I declare that this new game is the greatest game ever invented since baseball!  Okay, okay … since “Magic: The Gathering”.

Disclaimer:  If this game has already been invented on a previous site or book, ah, er, add the new rule of “Participants MUST wear a chicken suit when making their mixes.” to ‘The Game’ section.  There.  New game.

  1. No comments yet.
  1. No trackbacks yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: