My Pinball Story and Re-Discovery

By Jase1979

January 06, 2023

This story got frontpaged on January 09, 2023


25 days ago

The first time I played a pinball machine when I was 4 years old in 1984. I found the mechanical aspect and excitment of the lighting and anticipation fascinating. When I got a but older I would go to my local Arcade with 2 of my best friends. This was in 1992-1995. The local arcade only had 5 or 6 pinball machines but they were all in good condition and were all new release machine including Street Fighter 2, Getaway 2, The Adams Family, Twilight Zone and Fish Tales. My friends and I always gravitated to the pinball machines. This was at the height of Arcade games like Mortal Combat & Street Fighter 2.

Most days after school we would go to the local arcade with not much money. Back then it was 60 cents for one game and $2 for 3 games. We never had any more than $6-$8 when we went there.

I remember the Arcade always had their machine set on the highest decline possible & on the highest  highest sensitivity so the slighest nudge would cause the dreaded "Tilt" and anyone who got caught causing a game to Tilt would be kicked out. Due to this to this day I never nudge a pinball machine as I leant to play without nudging the machine.

By 1996 I was no longer regularly playing pinball for many reasons, mostly increaed life commitments to other things and my best friend moving away. In 2004 I was diagnosed with depression and anxiety (but I have suffered from it my whe life) and it is a daily battle and will be a daily battle as there is no cure just strategies to reduce the symptoms and effects.

In the last couple of years I have has an interest in pinball but never fully committed to play regularly. After playing a lot of sport my whole life and having 8 surgeries in the space of 6 years to fix sport related injuries by chance I re discovered pinball and now play every chance I can and have committed to turn my double garage into a games room. This is a long term goal and progress is dictated by cash flow but my goal is to own 4 to 5 pinball machines.

Re-discovering pinball has done me a world of good as a long term sufferer of depression and anxiety it is a great escape from real life problems. About 12 years ago I psysically could no longer play sport and was also very disenchanted and jaded with organised sport (cricket & football) Due to this I really had no hobbies or recreational interests outside of work and normal life commitments.

I play pinball for a couple of hours twice a week if my work commitments allow. I have found a great pinball parlour that is a 15 minute drive from where I live and to date it has been a real saviour. I am also hoping to enter a few pinball competitions initally for fun and as a part of the hobby. This has been very fulfilling and meaningful. Pinball is something I can see myself enjoying for many years to come.

My only concern with being involved in the pinball community (please anyone reading this do not misinterpret the following) is coming across or being exposed to any type of "politics" Its hard to explain in text but what I really enjoying about pinball is just enjoying the game and challenging myself to do better. 

I hope to "keep it simple" and just enjoy pinball, maybe enter a few competitions and encourage a few friends to come along to the local pinball parlour. My way of thinking is if I "keep it simple", I will continue to enjoy the world of pinball.

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Comments

1 day ago

I enjoyed your story. Glad to hear that pinball has helped you to deal with depression. If you have a bad game, you can always just start another one. If you are not having fun on one game, just move to another. How simple. Don't worry about the politics thing. It doesn't seem to be a big deal anywhere connected with pinball, IMO. I don't think you will ever find a game that has anything to do with politics, although Cyclone's backglass has an illustration of Ronald and Nancy Reagan taking a ride on the roller coaster. Has anyone else ever seen a US president in a pinball game? Oops, don't want to get political here.
Anyway, best of luck with your garage gameroom idea.

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