Professor Wu's Rulebook

Have you played YouTube Bingo? If not, then you should

"Chinese Whispers with music videos" - an introduction to YouTube Bingo, the latest coronavirus lockdown sensation

So you’re in lockdown. And you’ve been in lockdown since the dawn of time. Yes, okay, maybe shops and zoos are opening up, but what if you don’t want to shop for an anaconda right now? You’ve completed Netflix, you’ve downloaded and watched every series of ‘The News’, and you’re tired of drinking alone in the corner of your bedroom.

Well, it’s during these moments that perhaps some of the greatest inventions stand to be made. We’ve already seen the dawn of new cultural entertainment events like marble racing and dog watching, but here’s something else that – even better – you can do with actual, real-life, other people, too…

We’re talking about YouTube Bingo, the invention of photographer, philanthropist and general all-round sexy person Mike Dodson, and started as Chinese Whispers with music videos. The idea is to share songs that bring something to the table – whether the music itself, or the video.

How does it work?

From a practical point of view, the best number of participants is about six.

Someone – it could be you-  is hosting. In lockdown, this can be done in houseshares, or people you’re ‘bubbling’ up with. Whoever is hosting has a moral duty to ensure that there’s enough seating, a massive telly to play YouTube on, and nibbles. Guests should bring whatever they’re drinking, and a bottle for the host.

There aren’t any rules, though it’s worth limiting song times to under 6 minutes, because no one except you wants to sit through a 23-minute Mongolian nose-flute solo, however moving it is.

During proceedings, plenty of liquid refreshment needs to be available for all parties.

  • Flip a coin to start, or just kick off with Alan.
  • While watching Alan’s choice, Betty will be inspired by an aspect of either the tune itself, or the video, and so on her go, she will be passed the remote control, and will put that tune on.
  • The bass line of Betty’s choice will remind Chaz of Bette Midler’s 1976 cover of Satan Ate My Goatherd, so for his go he puts that on.
  • Davina will notice that the girl in the video for it was also in Duran Duran’s Chauffeur so that goes on when it’s her turn.
  • Repeat until close.

Lockdown Variations

We’ve found that creating a WhatsApp group can replicate the group dynamic quite well. Download WhatsApp to your laptop and connect it to the telly, so that you can cast links across.

You all agree a time, and all parties should ensure they have plenty of liquid refreshment.

You then take your agreed turns, instead of having the remote, you send YouTube links on the WhatsApp group, and everyone listens to your tune on their home machines, at the same time.

You can then chat on the WhatsApp group.

Tips for Lockdown Variation

It’s generally worth having a few tunes pre-selected for the Lockdown version, as the administration of typing into WhatsApp can be a bit unwieldly. While it detracts from the spontaneity, everyone still gets a jolly good crack at things, and you can finally share that weirdo DJ Hedfuk remix featuring that guy who used to be in Eastenders.

Be nice – everyone’s got a different taste in music, and yours is no better.

You may find that you are up until the early hours. This is normal.

About the author of this post

The Goatman is a 45-year-old git with a slight drinking problem.

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