I never played pinball as a kid. I honestly never understood the game and in the 80’s, it appeared the machines were “reserved” for adults as they were the only players I ever noticed.
When home systems (like NES, SNES, PlayStation, etc.) came out, I never really went to arcades anymore. I believe most people were in this camp and that is why the volume of arcades has vanished.
When I was in my early 30’s, I found a pinball machine in a bar. I typically don’t hang out in bars so finding one was sort of strange. It was South Park and I stuck a few bucks into it. There were a few issues with the machine so I searched for another. I found only a few and they all seemed to have issues with displays, a flipper not working, or were filthy inside, outside or both.
I always wanted to own an arcade because when I was a kid, my mother was paranoid that arcades is where all the “bad people” were hanging out. You know... selling drugs and kidnapping between quarters. (Sarcasm). Anyhow, I knew that wasn’t the case and it was just a scare tactic to be cheap.
Well, the pinball machines in general were always visually attractive to me like trying to figure out how to finish a maze with a ton of mechanical question marks... I wanted to learn more. Well, last month, after months of looking at/playing titles and researching where to get troubleshooting help, I finally took the plunge and bought a Big Guns. I’m super happy with it and it has a few quirks I’ve been tinkering with. Sometimes the fixing process can be even more satisfying as playing it! Needless to say, I’m enjoying my purchase a great deal.
My gameroom is in the basement. For the last two years I have been finishing the whole basement... about 900+ square feet. The pinball machine shares the same space as the playroom for my four boys. They all love the pinball machine and I think I’m going to start paying them for chores again. First off because it’s time to try that strategy again, and because now that I’ve got the coin slots working again, I’m just going to get most of the money back again if I take it off freeplay.