(Topic ID: 166957)

Can you buy happiness with a pinball machine?

By jasino313

3 years ago

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  • 126 posts
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  • Latest reply 3 years ago by Luppin
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There are 126 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 3.
#1 3 years ago

It's a bit of a philosophical question, but it's one that has been on my mind lately. Some general advice that I've heard (outside of pinball) is "spend money on experiences-not things".

Now, for some additional context. I've enjoyed playing pinball since I was a kid. And now, as an adult, I continue to have fun playing pinball on location. I like to talk pinball with anyone that also enjoys the game.

However, I've never owned my own machine before. After much deliberation (and negotiating with the wife) I'm about to buy my first machine- a NIB ghostbusters pro. I've played it on location in a few places, and I've had a blast. I would imagine that having my own machine will give me: the convenience to play when I want, the ability to dial back the difficulty a bit (it's a hard game and I'm a lousy player), and the enjoyment of sharing my hobby with friends and family.

Since many of you have your own machines, you probably have them because they bring you happiness. But when you made the switch from non-owner, to acquiring your first machine - is there anything that about the process that decreased your happiness? Likewise, were there any unanticipated benefits to having your own machine? Anything insightful that you can share with "non-owners" such as myself (and others new to the hobby) would be appreciated.

#2 3 years ago

Yes. You will be 30-36 percent happier after you purchase a pinball machine.

#3 3 years ago

Pinball means 100 different things to 100 different people. One person's happiness is another person's misery, and vice versa.

Pinball is fun, so theoretically - having one to enjoy whenever you want should bring you immense happiness!

Personally, I started with buying beat up used games, learning how they worked, and fixing/repairing/restoring...bringing a game back from the dead made me really happy. These days, I'm burnt out on it - but the knowledge I learned is still there, so fixing minor things isn't a big deal. If you're just jumping in with a new machine, if anything needs tweaking or fixing, that could affect your happiness - unless you're open to learning and willing to jump in and fix things yourself. "If it aint broken, it ain't pinball"

#4 3 years ago

Yes, but not machine itself
The people I have meet though pinball
Having a problem with a machine,and ffixing it myself


#5 3 years ago

read my shirt

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#6 3 years ago

My machines make me happy, I enjoy playing them and maintaining them and just even looking at them. If you are talking about someone that has personal issues or depression though then I would say no a pinball machine will not cure all of your problems and make you happy. A new pinball machine certainty wouldnt hurt though and maybe could help a little bit I would think.

#7 3 years ago

The NEXT pinball machine brings me happiness.

#8 3 years ago

Will buying a pin bring happiness? You bet! Will the wife be happy when the 2nd - 10th show up once the sickness sets in? Highly unlikely. On a side note i would spring for the premium on GB, much more forgiving and fun in my book.

#9 3 years ago

There are plenty of things that make me less happy about owning pinball machines. I do love the hobby, but there are challenges:

They're expensive, and now I worry that something might happen to them.
They're heavy as hell and hard to move.
They're complicated.
They break down.
It's frustrating when you encounter a problem you don't know the solution to right away.

But obviously the benefits of having a hobby where there's a lot to do and learn, and entertainment, and the ability to share the games with friends and family are very positive.

I wanted to own pinball machines because I could keep a piece of the thing that brought me a ton of joy in my younger years alive. Pinball is still hard to find relatively speaking. If pinball was as easy to find today as it was in the 1980s/90s I don't think I'd own them.

#10 3 years ago

I feel like this is a very philosophical question. Are you conflating happiness with enjoyment? Can owning a pinball, or any machine for that matter, contribute meaningfully to "happiness?"

#11 3 years ago

You wanna spend money on the experience, not things? Get an old EM project that's been sitting in someone's garage for 20 years and try and fix it. Involve the kids/significant others/friends. Guarantee an experience.

#12 3 years ago

I know a lot of miserable bastards who have plenty of machines. There are a few on Pinside as well.

So the answer to the question is no...the happiness pinball brings you is temporary but does nothing to address deep-seeded sadness or anger.

#13 3 years ago
Quoted from jasino313:

Since many of you have your own machines, you probably have them because they bring you happiness.

Happiness and to help reflect on our youth at arcades.

#14 3 years ago

I have so many reasons why pinball makes me happy-

I have made a lot of friends of all different backgrounds since buying and being involved in the pinball commumity. I enjoy casual and light competition with friends. I enjoy playing solo - man vs machine and I don't quit until I have one good game. I enjoy connecting buyers and sellers of games in the community. I love helping newbies. I enjoy talking and reading about pinball in the forums - "what game is next?". I like having something different in my house I can share with folks who are interested. I enjoy looking for "the next" one.

Other people love to fix pinballs, mod their games and compete on a world wide level.

So many ways to make yourself happy with pinball. Get GB, find your happy place and settle in for a long, fun ride.

#15 3 years ago

Now happiness is only attainable through yourself. If pinball is something that makes you happy than owning one will add to your happiness. I know I sold my machines off when I was with my ex, and I regret doing so. Owning a machine is a great experience. Much better than playing on location. You get to know the mechanics of the machine, and probably will become a better player. Starting with a nib is probably a good idea if you're afraid of delving into fixing the machine yourself. There will come a point where something needs to be fixed. Maybe even right out of the box. That's part of pinball. Don't be afraid to ask on here for some help. I recommend getting a used beat up machine for your second machine (there will be a second). It will give you the experience of having to fix issues, that may come up again later on.

#16 3 years ago

Personally if you have the space I would take that money you are going to spend on just one machine you will get tired of and buy 3 or 4 older machines. I don't care what single machine you own you will never have as much fun playing one machine as you will owning several. Personally I love Williams System 11 and Data East machines - lots of "bang for your buck" and there are a lot of great titles that can still be purchased for under $2500 (many under $2000).

Bottom line is new or used - pinball machines break and you will end up fixing them or paying someone to fix them. If you plan on fixing them yourself it is better to make mistakes on something cheaper.

If you have the space I would grab something like a Firepower, a Pin-Bot, an F-14, and Diner. You can likely buy all 4 or those (or similar machines) for less then you will pay for Ghostbusters and you will still have money left over.

If you survey pinball owners that own just one machine I would be willing to bet all (or at least a high percentage) will tell you they got tired of that one machine fairly quickly. There is nothing like having a variety of machines to walk up to in your house. I can tell you that from personal experience.

#17 3 years ago

Happiness is a new pinball machine. The novelty of an older one always wears off for me after time.

#18 3 years ago

This kind of existential questioning makes me feel all haiku-y

happiness will be
but a fleeting memory
when your inserts ghost

#19 3 years ago

Having a pin at home is awesome, I can play whenever I want and it makes me happy. It comes with a price though, you need to be prepared to maintain and fix them and in some cases your spouse may not be on the same page with you. Also, in many cases one is not enough and before you know if you are trying to fill the house with pins

So be warned, it's awesome and generates at least moments of happiness but can lead to trouble and unhappiness as well. Still, at least for me the positives outweigh the negatives

#20 3 years ago

If the pinball machine somehow landed on top of Crazy Levi, then hell yes, pinball can buy oh so much happiness!

Preemptive to that edgy, in every thread muhfuh

#21 3 years ago

I like philosophical questions like this. I'd say that yes, buying a pinball machine can be equal to buying happiness, though not in the direct sense.

I think buying anything will increase your happiness, due to the reward centers in your brain kicking in the moment you achieve a personal goal or satisfy a craving. However, studies have shown that happiness-inducing events (such as winning the lottery, for instance) will only temporarily increase your happiness. In short, people can get used to pretty much anything pretty quickly. So buying an object can only boost your happiness for a little while.

The fun thing about pinball, in my mind anyway, is that it's not a one time happiness-increasing event. In part this is because of the social aspect of the game. However, one could imagine the ensuing pinball nights with friends after acquisition might become the norm quickly enough as well. So what makes pinball so different than other social gatherings?

In my experience, owning a pinball machine increases your happiness because it motivates you to constantly expand your skill set. I'm not even talking about playing skills, but about fixing skills that are applicable far outside the pinball field. When your machine eventually breaks down, it provides you the opportunity to learn skills such woodworking, electrical engineering, and so on. Small problems get you started on soldering skills, while large projects such as full restorations can enormously expand your skill set in various areas. This, in my opinion, is what can lead to a slightly elevated sense of accomplishment, a more positive self-perception, and thereby a larger chance of experiencing moments of happiness.

So I would say that in order for you to figure out if buying a pinball machine will make you happy, you could ask yourself what your perception of problems normally is. Are problems great weights that drag you down, or do you see them as challenges?

#22 3 years ago

I like to collect. Pinball is great because you can collect machines, play them, restore them, fix them, trade and sell them, and not lose any money! That makes me happy.

#23 3 years ago
Quoted from Blackjacker:

This kind of existential questioning makes me feel all haiku-y
happiness will be
but a fleeting memory
when your inserts ghost

Oh, bravo good sir, bra-fuggin-vo!

#24 3 years ago

Soon enough, working on pinball machines will make you even happier.

#25 3 years ago

Pinball will bring you pleasure. Pleasure does not equate to happiness. Spending time with family and friends playing pinball can bring great satisfaction which could potentially lead to an increase in happiness.

#26 3 years ago

I pinball, therefore I am

#27 3 years ago

I've seen pics of Hugh Hefner playing pinball surrounded by hot girls and he looks pretty happy. So, yes.

#28 3 years ago
Quoted from Cornelius:

If the pinball machine somehow landed on top of Crazy Levi, then hell yes, pinball can buy oh so much happiness!
Preemptive to that edgy, in every thread muhfuh

Regardless of the disagreement or confrontation, I don't believe that Levi would feel the same way about you.

#29 3 years ago

The only happier moment than getting another machine is when you find the right person to take it off your hands.

#30 3 years ago
Quoted from o-din:

The only happier moment than getting another machine is when you find the right person to take it off your hands.

I've always heard that about boats. The happiest two days of your life are the day you buy one and the day you sell it.

Happiness is where we find it, but rarely where we seek it.

#31 3 years ago

Asking the question alone suggests it might not in your case. If your one to wonder or frequently experience buyer's remorse, then that might be a challenge. I'd instead focus on what you personally think will prevent you from being happy with pinball and deciding if it really matters or worth the short remorse phase.

I will offer that you should be confident that you have some insurance in buying ghostbusters, its a known popular item and you can minimize your impact should you need to sell it immediately or down the road. You might loose some money, but doubt it would sit long at a discount from new as long as it still looks and feels new (ie.. no ghosting - see the are you serious stern thread if your not aware) At that point think of the money lost as 'rental fee' for the time you did have it, and I'd imagine it would turn up positive.

I've played both, and if the cost difference isn't a driver, then the premium is easier to play, the pro changes are a bit harder shots along the right side.

#32 3 years ago
Quoted from zr11990:

Regardless of the disagreement or confrontation, I don't believe that Levi would feel the same way about you.

#33 3 years ago
Quoted from beelzeboob:

I know a lot of miserable bastards who have plenty of machines. There are a few on Pinside as well.
So the answer to the question is no...the happiness pinball brings you is temporary but does nothing to address deep-seeded sadness or anger.

hey!!!!. I resemble that remark... LOL

and AMEN! well said brother.

for the record, I have purchased way too many in the last 10 months. and am I happy while I play them? yes, but playing pinball only masks my sadness for a short amount of time. sorry.

but do purchase one, it is really nice to be able to just turn the thing on and play when you want to, as another poster stated, they are really fun to turn on and just look at!!

#34 3 years ago

I have them because they're fun to play so they provide a function for the space they take up, unlike most collections of "stuff". They are also works of art that touch many different disciplines - graphic arts, music, lighting, mechanical engineering. So much better than a static painting on a wall.

I also like to build and restore stuff, so they scratch that itch as well (in spades).

The machines themselves don't provide happiness per se, as much as an experience that can make me happy. I have a particular mindset that lends itself to pinball collecting, so this hobby is very specific to that mindset and someone else may not get the same enjoyment from it.

#35 3 years ago

Pinball makes me happiest when I see others enjoying the games...

#36 3 years ago

When I have a new game coming, I literally feel like a kid waiting for Christmas, and I can't ever remember feeling that way since I was a kid. That is almost happiness I have a hard time putting a price on.

#37 3 years ago

It makes me happy to watch a light show in attract mode.
....to diagnose a problem and fix it, or bring a machine back from the dead.
....to learn new skills like soldering, paint touchup, etc.
....to take rusty, dirty, or broken parts and clean, repair or replace them so my machines look & work better.
....to listen to the dinging of an EM or (especially) the electronic sound effects of an SS pin.
....to appreciate the artwork of a Morrison pin like Genie or a badass painting like Faris' Centaur backglass.
....to meet new people who share the same love for pinball.
....to relive a part of my life that I really, really enjoyed.

#38 3 years ago

Of the many aspects of this hobby that are fun, the chase of new/different games is my favorite. The collection is like a garden in that a few are prized but many are temporary and subject to being moved around when the next one catches my eye. Kind of the same way I view vacations -> the anticipation is the juice.

#39 3 years ago

Happiness = The number of machines you own + 1

#40 3 years ago
Quoted from Rarehero:

"If it aint broken, it ain't pinball"

+1000 it will break.

#41 3 years ago

Turn down the lights, crank up the volume on your KISS Pro, crack a beer and yell back at Gene when he give you shit for a quick ball drain. Yes, pinball makes you happy.

#42 3 years ago

I've found that when the meaningless of my existence resulting in overwhelming ennui is failed to be overcome by pinball magic that about 20 feet of car jumper cables between the bumper relays and my dog does wonders for my outlook.

#43 3 years ago

OK jasino313 here's what you really need to know. That shiny new Ghostbusters you like to play may not go over well with family and friends. Why? because 99.9% of the population can't play pinball at all and won't share your enthusiasm. One or two games and they will walk away. Too complicated I suppose.I've tried to explain to people how to play and they don't get it. They will continue to bang the ball around and won't grasp the rules of the game. Multiball blows their mind. Don't get the wrong idea. I think you should get one and have fun.

#44 3 years ago

Great thread!

I agree. "Experiences over possessions."

But one does not necessarily preclude the other.

If budget allows, do both. If not, alternate. Or work out some other arrangement.

Happiness? Comes from within. Ommmmmm.....

#45 3 years ago

As for "the process" -- it's like any other major purchase.

For me, that means research. Then, once decided and flipped the switch, no looking back. No regrets due to picky shit. Contentment. Enjoy.

Yeah, I'm feeling extra Zen today.

Time for a game!

#46 3 years ago
Quoted from Sammy31:

Pinball makes me happiest when I see others enjoying the games...

This... 100x over

Although i'll admit that by holding this sentiment, i kinda/sorta feel like the guy that derives pleasure from watching other people bang his wife...

While i alone enjoy my games most frequently - they are absolutely not just for me.

#47 3 years ago

I am guilty as sin for buying happiness,fun and education thru pinball. I can also tell you without reservation that pinball has made my family more fun. Some play board or card games for family night--we yell at pinball machines and freak out over who is Grand Champion. However there is a flip side...it's expensive and addicting. Best wishes

#48 3 years ago

To me it depends on the machine.

Restoring a machine to factory new (or beyond) gives me far greater happiness than buying a pinball machine that needs minimal to no work done to it. On that note, buying a NIB machine that needs work done to it straight out of the box makes me decidedly unhappy.

Most of my spare pinball funds goes into buying individual machines domestically or importing machines from overseas in bulk that are suitable restoration candidates.

Having a so called trophy piece like a BBB for example is great to look at and play occasionally when people come over but that is the extent of it and in retrospect the greater thrill was in the hunt itself scouring the globe in finding one still available as a NIB years after PMI made them. New players to the hobby don't know and don't care between an as new BBB and a heavily routed container import FT even if you explain to them the history behind the former.

Seeing a new player walk up to one of my machines and watching their face light up as the castle explodes or the ringmaster pops up from the playfield is equally as rewarding as putting the finishing touches to any restored machine (if not moreso).

#49 3 years ago

After 3 months of owning your new pinball machine, the honeymoon will be over. Will you need to get a divorce and upgrade it to something you like better? Will the marriage excitement continue on? Or will you want another machine to take care of a different passion that was lacking with the other machine? If you read through threads on here and look at people's pinball owner history and wish lists, you will see that some people keep some for life, and others just want to play and learn the latest and greatest, then move on. You will find out what kind of loyalty you have to a pin soon enough. There is nothing wrong with moving from one pin to the next - if that's what makes you happy. Yes, it will bring you happiness. (You ask this on a pinball site that breeds addiction.) If not, the divorce will not cost you a large sum of money. Lately depreciation is not that extreme on the pins as the hobby is becoming popular again. Some of the rare pins you can make a profit on when you sell them.

The best part for me is that my wife is just as much of a pinball addict as I am. It gives us something to do when we are bored at home. We loved pinball since we were both teenagers many years ago. We bought our first pin right after we were married 28 years ago. Some excitement, competition, and comradery that we share. We have just recently renewed our pinball loving vows with some new machine additions now that our kids are grown and going in different directions with their interests. When my wife turns away from our machines after playing them with a smile on her face, and maybe even a skip in her step, that's happiness. So yes, for me, there is happiness in owning my own machinessss ... whether I am playing them, or watching my family enjoying them. You will eventually want more than one pin. That is ok ... and socially encouraged on this social site.

#50 3 years ago

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