It wasn't until about 2003, when I was 22 years old, that I realized just how much pinball meant to me and how unaware I was on the impact it had been making on me my whole life. I was on my way home from a road trip with some really good friends when we stopped at a truck stop for gas or food or something, and stumbled onto a Cactus Canyon. Of course none of us knew at the time what this machine meant to the pinball community, we just knew that we all responded to it and we're going to make a point to visit our nearby arcade a bit more and invest some time into the 30 some machines there. It got me wondering what it was that made playing such a comfort, and I realized it was because I had been playing it my whole life in one form or another.
Going backward in time, I spent a good chunk of my teenage years playing game after game of Sonic Spinball; my early teenage years playing Creature, Addams, and T2 at the bowling alley clueless about the rules; had a miniature Super Mario Bros. pin that just had three bumpers and Mario on the playfield; had a Tiger Electronics handheld pinball in elementary school, and would glue myself to the tv during Sesame Street always waiting for the pinball song to come on. I was obsessed with watching the silver ball roll up and down ramps, bump off targets and drop into the holes.
Flash forward back to 2003. Equipped with my new hobby, my buddies and I spent countless hours and quarters at Castles n' Coasters trying to decide which ones we wanted to buy first. I decided on Theatre of Magic and Indiana Jones, whichever one presented itself first. In early 2005, a smoking deal on a Twilight Zone came up and my first pin was purchased. Indiana Jones followed shortly after. Content with my two machines and a couple upright arcade games, Jurassic Park was eventually added to the gameroom in 2010.
After 7 years, Indiana Jones left the collection in favor of Attack From Mars, which brings us to today where I'm just as nuts over these machines as ever. Next up, Lord of the Rings.