(Topic ID: 187614)

Does Playing Competitive pinball take "some" fun out of Pinball ?


By golfingdad1

1 year ago



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  • Latest reply 1 year ago by Thrillhouse
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    #1 1 year ago

    I have played competitive pinball leagues for about 3 years now. I have been playing pinball since I was in third grade , so let's say 1977ish and an owner for the first time about 4 years now . I LOVE playing pinball . I love the machines , the art, the sounds , the lights the skill it takes to actually understand and master the game . I love the social aspect of getting together , talking pins, what's new , who's getting what and having a few beers along the way . Love It ! But ....
    Almost every time I go play competitively , tournaments , league etc , I always seem to say why am I doing this ? Even if I play well or make the "finals" . I get angry with myself for missing the shot or whatever it happens to be,
    It just becomes different for some reason and I'm not sure I like it .

    #2 1 year ago

    There seem to be very few 'social' meets these days. When I started playing pinball just a few years ago (badly, I might add), all the meets I went to were social gatherings with a few drinks ( or lots ), there were a couple of regulars that might only play one or two games but enjoy the company.
    Now everything is about points and it is certainly not as enjoyable to me.
    Some people are just too intense, bring back the non IFPA events I say. As soon as I finish restoring my Centaur I will have a meet, the first person that asks about points will be banned

    #3 1 year ago

    I like multiplayer games or competition at parties, but nothing more than that. Never was a fan of competition in pinball or video games. Seems lame. Also really brings out the assholes and egos. (and "armchair celebrities")

    #4 1 year ago

    I would say if you didn't know anybody in the tournament that it maybe would take the fun out of it, but if you knew most of the people and everybody was cool then it would be a blast. It probably just depends on the people that are involved. If you have guys taking it too serious and getting mad and yelling and cussing then I'd say that wouldn't be fun.

    #5 1 year ago

    Great question.

    I'm not a great player, very ok though. I am a very competitive person by nature. I enjoy the hell out of pinball for completely non-competitive reasons. I like that it takes me back to when I was a kid. I like that I can turn everything else off, tune out & just play pinball without outside distractions. I like playing with my kids. I compete at so many other things. Pinball for me is a fun area that I think would be ruined by competition. Now, playing multi-player games with friends & family, I'm not counting. But having pinball be another area to take too seriously, I have no interest in that.

    More power to all those that enjoy that tournament aspect...but I'm keeping my experience out of that silly realm. It's just pinball

    #6 1 year ago

    This is a question i have been thinking a lot about.
    For me, the competition brings out some things that I do not like.
    In the beginning, the tournaments where just a bunch of friends having a good time. After a while, the whole IFPA
    thing took over, and people started taking it very seriously. I did as well, and I got angry on myself when I lost, and
    hoping that my friends would have a bad ball so I would win. Stuff like that...
    I had to take a step back. I stopped playing in tournaments and started to have fun again.
    When i play in tournaments now, I only see it as a day where i get to hang out with my friends and play pinball.
    Another thing is that you play the games differently, you only play it for points. Like Josh said in a podcast, it fuined TZ, and other
    games like it. All you do is trying to get the most points, and disregarding the fun of the game.
    So for me, yes, tournaments takes the fun out of pinball.

    #7 1 year ago

    I think as a person gets older that they don't care as much about winning either, most people at least. I have always been very competitive and I still am to a point, but not to the point that I'm going to get mad. If my friends come over to play pinball, I am going to try to beat them every single game the entire night because that makes it fun. If they were to beat me every game though the whole night I wouldn't really care honestly.

    I have one buddy that comes over and he's the most competitive person I have ever known, and he was always talking about how he was gonna beat me in pinball etc. He's been over several times and got his ass handed to him every time and it really bothers him to the point that he gets frustrated. I like the fact that he wants to win so bad and tries hard but he's kind of a douche about it also. I just laugh at him and rub it in and tell him that he will never even get his name on any of my machines and it makes him furious inside and I can see it, so now instead of saying I'm a better player than he is he says ......if I had a pinball machine at my house you wouldn't be able to beat me on it either. I just say yes I would because I'm better at pinball than you are. I find it hilarious that someone cares about winning a game of pinball that bad.

    #8 1 year ago

    If playing competitive pinball takes any of the fun out of it for you, you should definitely stop.

    I love it personally. I might even love running competitive pinball events more. Fun to see that competition. I'm a big sports guy, so I love to see those crazy situations develop and even crazier endings.

    One ball sudden death playoff with winning the tournament on the line? Yes please!!

    I take pride in making them as fun for everyone as possible. Yeah you'll get some people taking it too seriously. But if you just talk it over with them, they usually change their ways and end up having a lot more fun in the end. Great way to meet more people too.

    #9 1 year ago

    No
    I love seeing people get frazzled and upset. I just laugh out louder and take the living piss out of them. I guess this is why I have no friends ha ha ha

    #10 1 year ago
    Quoted from raysco:

    There seem to be very few 'social' meets these days.

    I'd like to suggest taking the initiative to start. For years, I played my own games, by myself all the time. I tried leagues, but never really felt comfortable.

    A local pin collector invited a few people over to play his games, and I had a great time. I have become very good friends with some of those people, and now, five years later, we are still having meets semi-regularly. Occasionally, at my house, and more often at a very generous friend's house.

    Sometimes, I play a lot of pinball, while others, I'll play a few games, catch up with my friends, have some drinks, watch some sports, and just relax. No pressure to perform or even play if I'm not in the mood.

    #11 1 year ago
    Quoted from Axl:

    After a while, the whole IFPA
    thing took over, and people started taking it very seriously. I did as well, and I got angry on myself when I lost, and
    hoping that my friends would have a bad ball so I would win. Stuff like that...

    Very good points, when I compete I take it seriously and when I choke I get mad at myself and hope my competition does worse. Why ? I don't know . It's just for fun right ?

    #12 1 year ago

    Tournaments force me to think about the game from a different perspective and learn new ways to play it; for me, this essentially doubles the fun for each machine. My local competitive scene is full of great folks who can kick my tail and be cool about it.

    #13 1 year ago

    I love watching people put their headphones on and get super serious about a game just to have a house ball and freak out. Very few things give me more pleasure than people that take things too seriously.

    #14 1 year ago

    Managing self-directed anger is a skill in itself, whether it's pinball or any other competition. The best players still miss shots and get house balls. The ball always drains.

    Competition can make otherwise boring games interesting, and occasionally pulling off that great game when it counts helps offset the disappointment when I bomb. It's a net positive for me.

    #15 1 year ago

    I must admit that house balls seem to show up a lot more often when the game counts.

    #16 1 year ago

    Yeah it does, there's a thread with over 1100 posts about $1

    #17 1 year ago
    Quoted from bangerjay:

    Yeah it does, there's a thread with over 1100 posts about $1

    Everybody in that thread is having fun.

    #18 1 year ago

    I enjoy playing against friends for the best score but I do think what little I've seen from so called tournaments, count me out. Lots of attitudes and crying/bitching. That dude "the Storm" and people like him are why I don't like it.

    #19 1 year ago

    It's more fun to compete

    #20 1 year ago
    Quoted from pinkid:

    I enjoy playing against friends for the best score but I do think what little I've seen from so called tournaments, count me out. Lots of attitudes and crying/bitching. That dude "the Storm" and people like him are why I don't like it.

    Some people simply can't handle the intensity of The Storm.

    #21 1 year ago

    To the contrary, I would always RATHER play in a competitive group of four because it is MORE fun, not less.

    Even if playing solo, you still make mental notes of your scores, compared to the GC score. Score is just part of the game.

    Emotions, intimidation, scoring exploits, and tilt through type factors are certainly all part of competitive play. If you don't care for it, you don't have to participate. Overall, I would say that these things are more isolated and don't detract from play. Even though, I can certainly understand how it would remove the fun for some. For me, it does not.

    #22 1 year ago

    I quit my local league decades ago because it stopped being a social event and was more about winning. I think once it grows beyond, say, 20 regulars it's hard to keep it social.

    #23 1 year ago

    It's all the waiting and not playing that turns me off. Especially at a show, I'd rather spend time playing...

    #24 1 year ago

    Most times it does. When you avoid features or modes that are "fun" to play any other time, but during competition they aren't lucrative enough to play so you just stand there cradling a ball and timing them out, you have lost some fun. That's fun under the glass.

    However, if paying exorbitant amounts of cash trying to qualify for high-pressure performance situations makes up for that lost fun, you're still ahead.

    #25 1 year ago

    I think there are pros and cons to competitive pinball:

    Pros:

    * It forces you to dive deep into a game you might otherwise have ignored. Many people appreciate games more having been engaged with them in combat.

    * If the tournament is done right, it encourages camaraderie and teamwork, sharing information and making friends

    * It adds another dimension to pinball. Competitive pinball is different than casual, often with different play styles.

    * It's good for self-esteem (if you do well.. lol)

    * Ideally it should promote good sportsmanship

    Cons:

    * Competition can sometimes bring out the worst in some players, who care more about winning than being good sportsmen

    * If the tournament is not done right, it can cause players to be frustrated, alienate each other and be un-friendly towards fellow competitors

    * Competitions often take long periods of time and players end up having to wait quite a bit for matches

    * Competitions at other events often require players to stay in specific rooms or competition areas and they don't have as much of an opportunity to see the rest of the convention/area/exhibits

    Notice nowhere in there, IMO is money a factor.

    For me, I enjoyed the challenge of competition as a way to fine tune my ability to perform consistently under pressure and on demand. Pinball is more like tennis in this respect: it's about not making mistakes more than making kill shots. And I think there's an art and a skill to being able to perform "grace under pressure" that spills over into things other than pinball, and for me, I liked competing to hone my ability to "win", to set goals and achieve them.

    The downside however, is that pinball is inherently not a completely fair sport in the general sense. With modern machines, winning often has more to do with knowledge of the game than raw pinball skill. This isn't as much a factor with high end competitions as it is with casual matches. But those who have better access to the games are at a significant advantage over those who don't, so it's not like basketball or baseball where basically anyone can access to the tools, work hard and become great. If you don't have access to a machine used in a match, your ability to win is significantly less.

    So I'm torn on the issue. I think in some ways it's really useful. In other ways it can be frustrating.

    Ultimately, you reap what you sow. I think everybody should try competition if they haven't, and if you have a bad experience, try again in a different circumstance. There are some very fun styles of competition like PinGolf that are worth trying that most people enjoy.

    #26 1 year ago

    Personally, I have no interest in competitive playing.

    I dont even really care about my scores, unless that killer games happen, and then Ill look.

    99% of the time its the escape, the fun, the modes/events/accomplishments.

    Nothing wrong with competitive...I just cant see the time investment to be as good as the players
    out there today.

    #27 1 year ago
    Quoted from golfingdad1:

    Very good points, when I compete I take it seriously and when I choke I get mad at myself and hope my competition does worse. Why ? I don't know . It's just for fun right ?

    Are you the same way on the golf course?

    #28 1 year ago

    Unfortunately I am sometimes. Very similar .
    When i am playing golf with people i know and and just playing to play I love it, but as soon as it means something my demeanor completely changes.
    Pressure does funny things to people.

    #29 1 year ago
    Quoted from PinballHelp:

    Notice nowhere in there, IMO is money a factor.

    My number one rule when it comes to golf and probably applies to pins as well.
    No quicker way to loose friends than a friendly wager .

    #30 1 year ago
    Quoted from golfingdad1:

    My number one rule when it comes to golf and probably applies to pins as well.
    No quicker way to loose friends than a friendly wager .

    I can play competitive pinball for fun, but with golf, it's a lot more enjoyable to me when there is something on the line. It doesn't matter what it is, whether a beer or $100 a hole, that gets me going. I don't like to lose, either in pinball or in golf, but that competition is what it's all about. If I do poorly and lose, off comes the hat, I shake hands, then head out to practice and get ready to do it again. Just the way I'm wired.

    #31 1 year ago

    In my experience, anything I do for fun is no longer fun when I get too serious about winning or losing. I don't play in tournaments because I don't want to take the fun out of pinball. I quit playing fantasy football because of that. It took the fun out of just watching and enjoying the game. It all became about player stats, not fun. It changed the game for me

    #32 1 year ago
    Quoted from raysco:

    There seem to be very few 'social' meets these days. When I started playing pinball just a few years ago (badly, I might add), all the meets I went to were social gatherings with a few drinks ( or lots ), there were a couple of regulars that might only play one or two games but enjoy the company.
    Now everything is about points and it is certainly not as enjoyable to me.
    Some people are just too intense, bring back the non IFPA events I say. As soon as I finish restoring my Centaur I will have a meet, the first person that asks about points will be banned

    I'm with you 100%, I don't go to meets anymore because they are all competition based.
    I miss the days when a meet was just catching up with some fellow pinheads, having a few beers and playing pinball just for fun.

    #33 1 year ago
    Quoted from bangerjay:

    Yeah it does, there's a thread with over 1100 posts about $1

    Just have to say that qoute tickles my funny bone

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