I started playing pinballs, as many have, in local arcades. The main ones (possibly the ONLY ones) near me were at a dollar movie theatre and in a mall. They certainly weren't impressive, but coming from a struggling single-parent household, I was lucky to get to go anywhere. I did build a love for arcades and pinball machines, and I have very fond memories of playing The Addams family and Twilight Zone.
I have always been a gamer. Video games, arcades, board games, cards, pool, darts...you name it. I have always enjoyed passing time alone honing my gaming skills (I had plenty of alone time growing up in my household), and meeting up with others for games and activities as well. As such, I have always wanted a game room. You could say it was a bucket list item. [See what I did there? The title...] Well, life kind of came at me fast. I am in a business that kind-of chose me, instead of the other way around, and it doesn't have a lot of guarantees when it comes to money...or even having much stability. I didn't play too much pinball during this time, but the hope of a gameroom was always there. I got married and we had 3 kids (and you think pinballs are expensive? HA!). At this point, I was doing well to just pay the rent.
After what seemed like a lifetime of struggling, we finally realized our dream (another bucket list item) of buying our first home 11 months ago. Well guess what? It has 2 gamerooms!! I'm not saying that was the reason we bought it........well, let's get real. It didn't hurt.....O.K. it was a major selling point, alright? Don't judge me. Lol.
I've had arcades in the past (and i still do), but they weren't nearly as intimidating as pinballs...and moving frequently would have made it a pain as well, but now I had a gameroom. 2 of them! I set out to save, and I finally bought my first pin. It is a Data East Hook. It's not a high-end machine, but it's a theme I like, I enjoy playing it, and...most important...I could afford it.
I have had a resurgence in pinball mania. Pinballia? Pinballitis? I don't know what it's called...but i got bit by the bug. Hard. I'm not a wealthy guy by a long shot, but I am doing my best to procure some games and play as many as possible. I am fortunate that I live in a large metropolitan area with TONS of places to play. Arcades, barcades, pinball bars, etc. are aplenty. I have played approx 80% of pinside's top 100 machines, not to mention many others. I have been attempting to build my pin collection as well. I just paid for a Jurassic Park pin, and I am having it shipped. I also reached out to a friend to get another pin at the Texas Pinball Festival ( I hope I learn self control before TPF. It is very close to my house. Oh, who am I kidding? My wallet isn't fat enough to get too crazy anyway).
My gamerooms are coming along nicely, albeit on a budget. My kids are loving it all, and my wife is even really getting into pinball...except the prices. She thinks they cost WAYYYY too much. Well, to each their own.
I will admit that playing games like medieval madness, monster bash, lord of the rings, JJP pirates of the Caribbean, and more make me really wish I could get one of those for the house...but im thankful for what I have. It feels good to have a gameroom.
If anyone has any tips or tricks for me (buying or even playing for that matter...I need to get better), I'm all ears. I look forward to talking with everyone on the forums!