Flipping The Switch: Finding My Community Through Pinball

By redxshirt

June 14, 2024

This story got frontpaged on June 19, 2024

35 days ago

As a kid, holidays meant family gatherings at my Uncle's house and hours spent playing with my cousins throughout the home, particularly in the game room. My uncle had an Adam's Family and I have fond memories of flipping on that machine with no idea what the lights or DMD actually meant. No rules, no objectives, just fun.

Time progressed, I grew up, my interests shifted, pinball was never much of a thought. Until one day, I went on a date with a nice girl to a local bar arcade. Ironically, the arcade was holding an IFPA tournament that night and we both decided to participate. I was hooked from the start, tournaments helped me play better and more importantly begin to understand the rules and objectives of many machines that appeared random from the outside looking-in. I began hanging out at the local bar arcades multiple nights a week. 

Like any game, pinball is a series of objectives that creates competition and captivates. Although routinely competing with myself, the challenge of better play and completion of objectives is never perfected. In addition, it's fun, it always keeps me coming back for more. My father plays golf, but for me it's pinball.

Years pass, that nice girl is now my wife. I recently purchased my first machine, a Stern James Bond Pro, and pinball has moved from a hobby to apart of our living room. I'm just 28 years old and while I never grew up putting quarters into machines or going to local arcades, bar machines manifested an interest and hobby that I didn't know existed. Moreover, the pinball community has become my own community. The tournament regulars are my friends and we socialize all the time at bars, house parties, local get-togethers, and our discord. 

I believe there's a million other zillennials just like me, captivated by the silverball, and the modern trend in barcades is the new catalyst. IFPA had more tournaments last year than ever before. We are everywhere. 

Story photos

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30 days ago

We are lucky you are part of our community!

29 days ago

Nice story! Thanks for sharing!

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