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March 2018 Retro Gaming Article

March 16, 2018 Retro Gaming Blog Post:

After reading Cline's, Armada, I needed the “Raid The Arcade” mix-tape detailed in his novel

Raid The Arcade mixtape from Armada
I was stoked to realize I already owned almost all of the songs from the mix, so I created it on CD for myself!
Ater reading Ready Player One - coming to theaters in a few weeks - I was hungry for more and delved into Ernest Cline's next novel, Armada. I wish I could say I was a prolific reader, but I often don't find time to sit down and eat, let alone read. However, recent weather conditions changed that via several mulit-day power outages. After 3 savage storms, the first of which put a tree on my roof, I powered through 4 novels as daylight faded and my desire for more continued via candle light.

Armada Cline's first novel was full of great pop-culture references from the 80s. In Armada, Zack Lightman has always wished the world could be a bit more like the movies and video games he loves. His father was a product of the 80s and passed that passion on to Zach. Part of it involved a mix-tape titled, “Raid The Arcade” comprised of obscure songs from his father's youth.

Coincidentally, I recently began a project of re-organizing my CD collection and have been creating a listing of my music. As I looked through the songs on the Raid The Arcade mix-tape, I smiled knowing I owned most of these songs already! Music has always been an important part of my life. There are so many songs that instantly remind me of specific events, after hearing only a few bars. Music is powerful and impacts us more than we may realize.

I like mixes - especially recreating ones not necessarily connected directly to me - like the Raid The Arcade mix! In my youth, we often had Van Halen blasting out the windows of a Camaro as we cruised to the local arcade each weekend. Those were great days! So, the idea of listening to someone else's mix intrigues me. I liked the mix-tape element of the Guardians Of The Galaxy soundtracks. Cool idea to take that age old concept forward in this day and age.

Music can be very powerful. The right mix tape can change your world!
Of course the Raid the Arcade mix is a good match for a 90 minute cassette, but doesn't fit as neatly on a single CD. In fact it requires two CDs to complete. As a fan of physical media, listening to this mix on Spotify - which doesn't offer one of the tracks - doesn't cut it. I needed it on a CD. I still have a tape player, but the notion of "taping" all the songs from my CD collection is one of those things that doesn't fit into my inexplicably scarce free time.

As I introduce my son to bands I grew up with, I make him a "greatest hits" mix CD of the highlights. I like the idea that the Mix-Tape still has a place and purpose in today's world. While most people have let go of their stereo systems and load digital music on their smartphones, some of us like the tactile feeling of a tape of disc and the decision of which albums should we play in the car today? :)

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