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Musical chairs being played at a party
|Random chance||Music stoppage may seem random to players, but is under the control of the leader|
|Skill(s) required||Quick reaction time|
Musical chairs is a game of elimination involving players, chairs, and music, with one fewer chair than players. When the music stops whichever player fails to sit on a chair is eliminated, with a chair then being removed and the process repeated until only one player remains.
It is also a metaphor for pointless shuffling of personnel in an organization; a fruitless, repeated scavenger hunt-like experience; and cyclic replacement of political leaders, as in multiple cabinet shuffles.
The term "playing musical chairs" is also a metaphor for describing any activity where items or people are repeatedly and usually pointlessly shuffled among various locations or positions. It can also refer to a condition where people have to expend time searching for a resource, such as having to travel from one gasoline station to another when there is a shortage. It may also refer to political situations where one leader replaces another, only to be rapidly replaced due to the instability of the governing system (see cabinet shuffle).
In mathematics, the principle that says that if the number of players is one more than the number of chairs, then one player is left standing, is the pigeonhole principle.
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