My first memory of ever seeing a pinball machine was in the game room at the Don CeSar hotel in St. Petersburg Florida. My family was on vacation, it was 1981 and I was ten years old. They had a Black Knight and Gorgar machine along with a few other video games. The backglass on the Gorgar and Black Knight machines called to me like Iron Maiden albums called to me in the record store. Then I heard the voices emanating from those machines! WUT?! Was it Satan? Was it a robot? Was it Satan’s robot? In comparison to video games, pinball machines seemed dangerous. If video games were a car, then pinball would be a motorcycle. Video games had bright and cheery colors and the objectives were usually obvious and linear. Pinball had dark imagery with a heavy steel ball bearing that slammed about the playfield in a chaotic manner. The prospect for success was intimidating since scoring and objectives were hard to decipher. The method of how to control the shiny chrome ball with precision and how to capitalize on this precision was such an elusive talent, that to truly know this, one would be bestowed an elevated mystical name such as…….WIZARD! Video games were safe and contained within the hum of a CRT monitor. Once you engage a pinball machine, it violently comes to life as it slams the steel ball into the shooter lane. It dares you to take the plunge. You must defy the resistance of the spring. Pull back. Release. Now try to contain what you have unleashed. Pinball is the perfect mash up of art and engineering. It’s where the paint brush meets physics, electronics, popping solenoids, ingenious sound design and glowing lights. It’s tactile. It’s physical. It’s a fusion of man and machine. No two games will be the same…..and no person will ever be the same once they pop that first quarter in the coin slot and hear that sweet KAAACHUNCK!!