The paradox of pinball is that older enthusiasts, like me (I was born in 1959), lack the attention span to play modern games extensively. We are the Generation Z of the 1970s.
In contrast, Millennials (who are known to lack the depth of deep attention) are drawn to games with complex rules sets and ramp-laden playfields: modern games with toys aplenty. The nuanced rules of these new games require great attention during gameplay. Equally, they demand an investment of considerable energy to both learn the rules and to endure often painfully long ball times. Many of us old-timers simply don't wish to devote that quantum of energy to an activity which we essentially view as a stress reliever. I know that I don't.
Many of us Baby Boomers (born 1946 - 1964) are at a point in our lives where we are either paying college tuition for our kids, retiring empty-nesters or somewhere in between. Relaxation for us includes a "contemplative" element engendered by older games, from the prewar era to solid state. Perhaps pitch and bat EMs most represent that sensibility. The player knows exactly what to do the moment the coin drops, without any mandatory study whatsoever. Pitch the ball and bat it into the bleachers. Do it and you win.
It's midnight on a typical Tuesday. I am awake and restless. The dogs need to go out and the family is asleep. The credit card bill was overdue yesterday. Income stream is down at work. My daughter's car just broke down again.
I descend into my basement gameroom and reach into my pocket. I walk up to a wedgehead and gaze at the coin. What the pandemic fuck! There's a bat image on the 2020 American quarter in the year of covid19. My stress level rises another notch. I drop the cursed coronacoin into the slot.
The melodious chimes of Gottlieb Strange World quickly lower my blood pressure. Three minutes later, more relaxed, I move on. Next, the sight of a physical Ferrari Dinky car racing a Maserati in the backbox of my Midway Flying Turns reflexively turns the sides of my mouth upward. Next, the mechanically flipping Rockola Jigsaw puzzle pieces serve as a final salve to my anxiety. I am a peripatetic guest in my gameroom, populated exclusively by dozens of games with relatively simple objectives. It's nirvana.
My gameroom once had ECLEWOZ, as well as DMD era games like CFTBL and TZ. A Beatles Gold currently resides next to a Bally Expressway and Bally Skyrocket. Nevertheless, pinball for me, like any recreation, is primarily a stress-reducing escape exercise. While I enjoy playing the complex games of today (on location and at Pinfest), my home arcade is a shangri-la, where all of the world's troubles instantly evaporate. FB_IMG_1593878283306 (resized).jpg