I would have to say that pinball entered my life while camping at a state park about an hour from where I grew up. I LOVEd being outside, fishing, riding my bike, and meeting new kids. But on the rainy days, or when I was tired of being eaten alive by mosquitoes, I would head to the arcade. I have to admit that the video games often drew me in more than the pinball games....but there was always something about those games and how physical they were. I loved sci-fi and longed for the days we would have interactive video games (Kinects aside we're still waiting) but pinball was.....pretty much that. It was real. And with a little imagination you could put yourself into the machine to fight the Black Night or fall down that Black Hole. You would set up dates with Xenon or Bride of Pin Bot, you could pal around with Funhouse or let Gorgar haunt your dreams. It was real.
Pinball definitely took a back seat once I hit my late teen years. But....as many things do...my love for it was only just under the surface. My brother-in-law has been into pinball for a number of years and kept prodding me to check it out again. While we were on a family vacation we dropped in an arcade along the boardwalk...that feeling instantly came back to me as I played T2 and Fish Tales. It was amazing....and then I was HOOKED ;)