A late bloomer

By Hougie

July 23, 2016

This story got featured on July 25, 2016

5 years ago

Hi. My name is Jason. I am addicted to pinball. Everything from the gameplay to the collecting. It pretty much hits on everything that makes me tick. I happen to love anything that is challenging and difficult to master. Pinball obviously fits that bill. I know how to practice at something difficult and not quit (I actually share my Master's in Music Alma Mater with Chris Granner.. but that's another story) I just get pinball on every level. As a kid? Well, let me start there.

Circa mid 1980's:

I was playing tons of NES and SNES at home. Mostly Contra, Ninja Gaiden, Castlevania, Mario, Punch Out, and Mega Man. In the arcades I had always been a video game kid, typically gravitating toward rail shooters and fighters. I could put in a quarter and actually last a long time. On SF2 and Tekken I was particularly deadly. I didn't put my prescious tokens/quarters in pinballs because they beat me up and took my lunch money. The only game I remember playing from this time period was KISS. I was a huge KISS fan so it totally lured me in and I didn't really get it.

90's - 2000's:

I had become pretty competitive at games like Tekken 4, James Bond (N64), Mario Cart 64, Halo/Halo2, Call of Duty 4 Modern Warfare, etc.. One particular friend and I were good enough at a few of these that some of our friends refuse to play these games to this day :) One friend threw his shoes out of a dorm window due to an epic Tekken beatdown. He still won't play Brian or me in a Tekken 4 match. We share an unhealthy level of competitiveness. What do you know? Later on he grew to love pinball also.


One fourth of July my wife and I were hanging out at a friend's house playing Champion's Pub. Both of us were having a blast and talking about how awesome it would be to own "a" pinball machine. We played as many as we could and settled on Medieval Madness or Tales of the Arabian Nights. Little did we know that these were crazy expensive games and everybody wanted them. I called every vendor that we could find and wound up with a project Stargate. Neither of us were really SG fans but it was a game that we could afford. I knew squat about fixing pinball games but am incredibly obsessive in nature and got it working in no time. Stargate is a keeper for us now.

Less than one year later:

As a huge Lord of the Rings fan I HAD to have a LOTR pinball. I bought a project one from Wolfman out in CO. Fixed it up and have it playing and looking beautiful. The game truly is something special. I have been through several others and I can say that this one is never leaving.

Fast forward to 2016:

I now have ten games in my possession and a RZSI on order (remember how we wanted "a" pinball machine, lol) We are buiding a house with a pinball room that can house twelve games and I am worried that the gameroom is a little small. Does that mean that I have a problem?

Pinball is easily my favorite hobby now. I play pretty much every day. I love meeting pinball people, playing, collecting, and repairing (in that order). The lure of the silver ball is something special. Each game has a unique art package and feel. I love them all from EMs to DMDs. They are all awesome. I guess I have turned into a pinhead!

That's my story and I'm sticking to it.


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5 years ago

Nice! Thanks for sharing!

1 year ago

Just caught your video with SDTM and love the banter back and forth between you and Greg it was awesome. Your collection at the time of the video 2017 was killer. I love the same games you do too. Wife and I have a nice sized game room thats empty and this xmas we will be adding our first pin and I couldn't be more excited. Going for a Tales From the Crypt, Dredd or Bram Stoker Dracula for price and art/style. If i had more cash I might have a few other pins in mind like Rob Zombie (Love the adult theme) or maybe a Walking Dead? Anyways just watching you guys got me fired up to start collecting pins. Thanks for the great video it was inspiring and your pins are awesome. That Centuar is killer love the artwork and the sounds are amazing too.

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