I’m of the age that arcades we’re a pinnacle part of growing up. Going to the mall was a special treat on the weekends and I saved up my allowance to buy records and then tapes and then CD’s. The rest of my money would be spent at the arcade.
Ive grown up a career hobbyist. You name it, I’ve probably been engaged for a bit of time in my life. Sometimes I feel this was driven more by a thirst of knowledge more than a source of entertainment.
My whole life I’ve been drawn to pinball. The appreciation of the engineering, art, and sound has always fascinated me. If I walk into a bar or arcade my go to will be a few quarters dropped into a Ms. PacMan to try and beat the high score. But I will then gravitate to pinball. And if lucky an old mechanical crane machine. Oddly I’ve never been that big into console gaming. I’ve always owned the lastest and greatest system but I tire quickly of console games.
However it wasn’t until recently that I have started searching out pinball to play and very recently purchasing my first pinball, Baywatch. There were a two major events that led to my recent purchase and heightened interest in pinball.
First, I’m a radiophile and listen to a lot of podcasts. My top two podcasts are co-hosted by one Chad Dukes who recently started a podcast called the Pinball Sh*theads. At first I listen to the podcast simply because Dukes was involved but quickly I started searching out pinballs locally which brought me to Pinside and the map.
Secondly, I bought an Oculus Rift S for my kids. I had little interest in the Rift until I stumbled across Stern Pinball Arcade. I was never a fan of console or computer pinball but VR took it to the next level. Soon I was building a PinSim cabinet which to the VR pinball experience even deeper. Before long I was wanting a real pinball machine and very recently decided to bite the bullet on a Baywatch from The Pinball Company. I’m sure I over payed but as a new owner I decided I was ok paying a premium knowing I was going to have good customer support should I run into any issues. Plus it will be a learning machine for me from the maintenance/ repair aspect of ownership. So I saw value in knowing that when my machine arrives (it has not yet been shipped) it should be in great working order.
Owning a pinball seemed like a no-brained as I build tube amps and speakers, collect vinyl and love all things analog. The pinball will fit in nicely with my other hobbies.
As a note to Pinsiders in the Northern Delaware area, I work at a makerspace and have access to CNC mills, laser cutters, water jets, and commercial printers.all so have wicked soldering skills and test equipment so as I learn what makes these machines work internally hopefully I will be able to give back to the community with repairs and troubleshooting.