(Topic ID: 217570)

Does pinball help the lonely?

By swampfire

1 year ago

Topic Stats

  • 20 posts
  • 18 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 1 year ago by Frippertron
  • Topic is favorited by 1 Pinsider


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    #1 1 year ago

    Serious, non-trolling question. Have there been times when you’ve felt less alone because of the people you’ve met in the hobby? Have you talked to people who seemed lonely or isolated when you were at a pinball event? We always talk about the “physicality” of pinball, but I think what’s really driving pinball’s comeback is the modern reality of loneliness, and our primitive longing to gather around the fire. ball.

    #2 1 year ago

    i have made a few good friends from getting in the hobby. so yes

    #3 1 year ago

    While I have made some acquaintances at work, my real friends since moving to California have come through pinball.

    #4 1 year ago


    #5 1 year ago

    Depends. Does give common ground. Yet can remain hard to introduce yourself and get into an already formed group of friends.

    LTG : )

    #6 1 year ago

    Sometimes the people I've met make me wish I was more lonely.

    #7 1 year ago

    Strangest post of 2018?

    #8 1 year ago
    Quoted from TheLaw:

    Sometimes the people I've met make me wish I was more lonely.

    Hey, you are famous now. You have to take the good with the bad.

    Fans, groupies, pinballrazzi. No turning back now.

    LTG : )

    #9 1 year ago

    Kind of sad to see this one die on the vine. So I’ll answer my own question and then drop it if others think it’s a dumb topic.

    Pinball builds communities that didn’t exist before. Even this, Pinside, is a community. I found “my people” around 2002 with a local mailing list, and my friendships have grown exponentially since then. I was a lonely kid, and sometimes I still get lonely as an adult - mostly when I’m working out of state. I’m never lonely in GA - there’s always something to do, people I can hang out with.

    Pinball is social, it builds new bonds. Gottlieb coined the phrase “It’s more fun to compete”, but what they also meant was “it’s more fun to share pinball with a friend.” I’ll take a step farther. Pinball helps our teenagers become men and women. They play pinball with other adults that aren’t their parents, and they even engage in conversation - this is huge. A teen in a pinball league is probably less likely to commit suicide or shoot up a classroom, because he knows that he has adults he can talk to.

    One of my son’s college classmates (a kid from Korea) shot himself in the head in his dorm room, because he got an ‘F’ in one of his classes. He was isolated, didn’t talk to anyone before he did it. Loneliness can be deadly. Pinball isn’t the only solution, but I think it’s a small part of a much bigger picture.

    #10 1 year ago

    I've always been more independent than most and a lot of times prefer the peace and quiet of being alone.

    That being said I find it is better fun to play pinball with other people. So Pinball + People = Fun/Less Loneliness.

    #11 1 year ago

    I think that there is a terrific social aspect to pinball that you don't get by sitting in your house playing video games. The way we interact face to face is a lot different than how a lot of people interact online. At my first tournament, people introduced themselves and shook hands. Lots of compliments and positive words would exchange. Conversely, a lot of online communication during a game like Call of Duty can be negative.

    Pinball is just one example of the fact that whatever you are into, there is a group of people out there who are really into it. It's important to find those people.

    #12 1 year ago

    I have never felt lonely in my life, so I really can’t answer that question. I do enjoy interacting with people who share a similar interest though. I have made a lot of good friends over the years after sharing a common interest in pinball and arcade games.

    I still have a few friends from high school, but we don’t really have any common interests anymore, so I really enjoy talking about this stuff with newer friends.

    I am also 100% ok being alone.

    #13 1 year ago

    A pet is likely a better companion than pinball. Social isolation from digital era walls is part of the issue, but some people just have general difficulty with starting and maintaining human relationships. Pinball might help, but it might not.

    #14 1 year ago

    Do not have a definitive answer.
    Would have to say I don't know.
    What I do know is I bought my first machine back in 2013, almost five years ago.
    Hard to believe.
    Time flies when you're havin'
    fun. So...I guess yeah, pinball does help the lonely by passing the time.

    #15 1 year ago

    If pinball helps you meet people or just gets you out of the house, that is a good thing.

    #16 1 year ago

    I think it is mostly something to feel some purpose with, which is a good thing. While community can happen as a result, I think pinball can be something to do, something to talk about, and something to connect over.

    #17 1 year ago

    I found that pinball gatherings (especially the ones where I don't know anybody there) gets me outside of my comfort zone. It kinda forces me to interact with others especially people that I have not met. I think this builds character (by getting over your fear to break the ice) and allows you to build your ability to socialize. I am not a lonely person and have not had problems with loneliness in my life. Pinball leagues and pinball themes like (PinGolf) allows you to play with groups of people and helps you network with others. Although it may not be the cure for loneliness, it's definitely a step in the right direction.

    #18 1 year ago

    Pinball was therapeutic for me when I was dealing with depression- gave me something to do to break up the negative thoughts in my head. I did meet friends out of it too!

    #19 1 year ago

    Helps me be more broke.

    #20 1 year ago

    Pinball is by its nature a very social thing and a very mechanical thing in this digital world, which explains its recent resurgence. Any non destructive hobby can help with loneliness.

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