Quoted from TreyBo69:
It's because of toxic masculinity that has ingrained into society that men can't openly enjoy things like knitting. It's that simple.
But you're right to a degree, it's a product of the broader American culture. There was a lot of segregation in arcades, where they were placed, and how easy it was for different demographics to visit them (eg the "good mall" in the suburbs vs "the dangerous mall" in the city core). There are simply a lot of minorities that did not grow up with the game during the heyday, which was exacerbated by how few public locations were left to play at.
A bit of a scattered rant, so bear with me...
Why would a mall in a city be any more dangerous compared to one in the suburbs? What makes it dangerous? If I think I get what you are saying, wouldn't that just be perpetuating what you are saying you are against? This is confusing to me. Seriously.
Back in my day, the city malls around my parts ALWAYS had the best arcades, with the latest games, and that usually meant us younger folks had to wait for the older people or kids to move on to another game so we could play. Conversely, the arcades in the 'burbs always had the older or less popular games.
Perhaps you are suggesting socio-economic barriers to pinball?
I guess at the end of the day, people are tribal; they like to do what they are familiar with, with those they are familiar with. People generally like to conform. This cuts across all races, backgrounds, classes...it's literally instinctual.
Small examples, but examples nonetheless:
My wife's parents (who happen to be a mixed race couple, but that's not what I'm getting at...) happen to be of a religious persuasion that like to (annoyingly) knock on people's doors to tell them about it. They tend to socialize with other "door knockers".
A neighbor of mine is a proud Italian. He is what most would call a "paison"; in fact, if he likes you, he calls you a "paison" as well. Guess what he does literally every Saturday? He plays cards in the back of a fellow Italian immigrant's barber shop with other Italians.
I like to play pinball. Guess what I do every Monday night when covid isn't in town? I play pinball with other pinball people! And it's a pretty fun, and welcoming to ALL that show up. And it's a diverse crowd, pretty much the entire gamut of the the human condition (gay, straight, trans, liberal, conservative, black, white, short, fat, ugly, pretty, rich, redneck, bougie, extrovert, introvert, poor, etc., etc., etc.) Maybe it's like cats and dogs getting together, but we all have a good time, and we even bust each other's chops too! Crazy!
Maybe the "scene" is different up here in the Northeast, but pinball might actually be one of the most people "diverse" things I do!
Pinball not welcoming? I haven't seen it...not saying that YOU haven't, but most people I talk to tend to agree.
Maybe I just wasn't looking, but I didn't see a group of nazi's/black panthers/mafiosos/etc. out in front of Pinburgh last year trying to scare people off.
I'm well aware of of all the world's tragedies, but I find that if you do what's right, treat others with respect, and generally not be an asshole, it gets you pretty far.
I'll probably regret hitting "post", but I come here to ESCAPE from the world and discuss pinball, with like minded pinball people. But here I am. I guess I just take for granted the disproportionately large amount of kind people I've met in this hobby. From ALL walks of life. Or maybe I just like to type. I don't know. I'm out.