(Topic ID: 258315)

Ever fall out of love with the hobby

By majicman110

3 months ago

Topic Stats

  • 28 posts
  • 26 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 81 days ago by cyberslunk
  • Topic is favorited by 3 Pinsiders


#1 3 months ago

Ok, I considered posting this in the "Serious" category but it is related to pinball. This is a serious topic for me and I don't mean to use pinside as an emotional dumping ground, but I figured that I don't personally know any of you, so it might be a "safer" space to share.

6 weeks ago I was blindsided by the fact that addiction had been impacting a member of my immediate family. It has been a stressful time, but not a hopeless one. The addict in my family has been attending rehab meetings, and I have been going to Al-anon meetings for myself.

Things could easily be MUCH worse and at every meeting I attend, I meet people that are hurting more and have lost much more than me, so I remain very grateful.

Where this ties into pinball is that I have had several friends tell me I should "get away" and de-stress by going downstairs and playing pinball, or going out to a barcade with friends. I have plunged a couple balls and immediately think to myself "this is stupid. What am I doing? This isn't going to make anything better." etc. I just don't get any joy out of it and don't feel like I care if I ever play another game.

I don't want to make this about me. But I have learned that there are more people that deal with addiction, depression, and mental illness than I ever realized. So lets have a discussion about US. Have life events ever left you feeling like you lost your love for pinball? Did it ever return? Was it ever the same? Did you sell off your collection and regret it? Did you keep a game or two only to later wish you had kept then all?

Once again, I am not looking for non pinball advice regarding my situation, nor do I want to make this about me and my problems.

Sorry if this is too loathsome or dark for this forum, but like I said, these problems seem to be more widespread than we realize.

#2 3 months ago

Over the last 10 years there has been two times when I stepped away from the hobby for 6 months or more. Eventually I got excited about pinball again and jumped right back into it. Dont sell the pins unless you haven't touched them in a year or more.

#3 3 months ago

I've always been big into whatever my main hobby happens to be, and have had issues with depression since I was 11. Have definitely had moments of complete apathy toward everything, despite my love of pinball. Have looked at my machines and have had my heart sink, realizing no spark for them at the moment and not knowing if I'd feel normal again.

I attempted suicide a few months before I started offering pinball mods...endured a week of hell (sleeping 18-22 hours a day) trying to stay positive during any hours awake (generally asking friends to come by). Managed to push myself to set goals (at first, finished some songs I had been writing and did some open mics). Tying myself into the hobby with mods when I had no pinball friends to share the hobby with made a huge difference. Ultimately found the love of my life a year later and am happily engaged (girl I had known for 11 years that I was with before my suicide attempt was a poison I should have separated from ages before as well).

I think many of us can be lonely in our niche hobby, and forcing ourselves to get out and play pinball usually isn't the answer. Competitive friends can help, but are hard to find in some areas (particularly for introverts such as myself).

Fortunately there are other ways to stay involved with the hobby and connect with others that share the passion. Aside from modding, many have started podcasts, streaming channels, Youtube shows, or even started charities through pinball. I've questioned if websites such as Meetup could be used to bring people together that may not have even thought about getting into pinball that would love it.

Pinball isn't always about playing the games.

#4 3 months ago

Came here to make fun of poor spelling of thread title...now feel like a douche after reading first few posts.
Sorry guys, Leaving now

#5 3 months ago

I feel you - pinball is a happy hobby for me. When things are heavy in my life I don’t play at all. So there are definitely times where I do not play and yeah, it feels dumb when I try to force myself to do something fun when I’m not feeling it.

Sorry for what you’re going through. When you’re going through hell, keep going...

#6 3 months ago

I have had this happen in other hobbies. The difference, IMO, with pinball machines versus other hobbies is the cost/space issue. If you don't play online games or go to the gym or whatever your hobby is, it isn't that big of a deal. If you burn out on pinball you not only have money tied up but you get to see it everyday and it takes up so much room.

It's very normal to need a break from something from time to time. Other things in life will take priority or you may find another great hobby. If you can afford to keep the machines I would do that. If it turns out you never get the pinball bug again then sell.

#7 3 months ago

I have several different hobbies and rotate interests throughout a year or over the years. There are periods where I don’t touch a pinball machine for months or more than a year. It feels natural to me. I can’t fixate on one thing indefinitely, it gets boring. Anything would. Take a break from pinball for a while. Maybe you’ll come back to it later. As long as you remain curious about life or some hobby that’s the key thing. If you’re not curious about the future or any interests whatsoever that could be a sign of bad depression and look for help from family or pros.

#8 3 months ago

I have been through immersive hobbies all my life, a small part of each still manifests itself at times. Antiques, furniture, wooden boats, guitar building/repair, dozens of others. I have learned so much about pinball that now there are very few machines I would actually consider pursuing. In any hobby you become refined where you know what is good, what is not and the Ultimate. The latter becomes a sort of Grail, it keeps your interest piqued but its elusive.
So kept 3 machines, 2 EM and an SS. My Family playing them Christmas day was worth their rent, but it will probably be another year before before that happens again.
So keep one or two Players around and move on. Take care.

#9 3 months ago

Believe it or not -- I have many passions in life.

I keep my finger on the pinball hobby pulse by browsing Pinside a few minutes a day...

The last two years, I've made perhaps 1 pin change in the collection per year, and the other 11 months I've been focused on other life projects. It helps that I have a collection I really want, and I'm chasing fewer pins voraciously each year. I'm settling down.

Nothing wrong with that. It doesn't mean I love pinball any more or any less. It means I'm more focused on balance.

Lately my focus has been on writing and exercise and other things. I'm in my best shape in the last 15 years. I'm gonna ride that focus as long as I can!

Balance makes me feel good... For a few years there my life was out of balance, and pinball had most of my attention -- too many projects died or withered on the vine.

Not playing or restoring pinball for a few months or even a year or more -- it doesn't have to "mean" anything. It can just be how you are allocating your time. Balance. Priorities. The passion can still be there 100%. Doesn't mean you have to act on it every day.


#10 3 months ago

Great advice !

#11 3 months ago

I fell out of a moving car once.

#12 3 months ago

Oh yeah I quit playing competitively a little bit more than a year ago. A couple of reasons why which is your spending like $30+ playing 10 hours and you probably won't get your money back. However you just wasted a $1 a game, food, alcohol, gas, hotel stay or wasted your entire Saturday playing pinball. Competitive pinball isn't really that social in a certain way as well. You typically see the same people in these tournaments in your area and those same people win.

For me with my last job it gave me carpal tunnel or something and my right forearm/wrist hurts and I get bored now after 1.5 hours. Luckily I don't have that terrible job now. I used to be IFPA ranked 896 in fact.

Since quitting competitively I have noticed numerous things I never knew existed but were there the entire time. The people that you considered "friends" or your "pinball family" really were never your friends. They never were! They rarely contact me on Facebook and when I do see them it's visiting a friends house at a tournament. Even then they don't acknowledge me like "oh he gave up playing so I don't know him". The ones however that I actually gained as true (probably lifelong) friends were never that good at pinball and never took competition that seriously. They still play though occasionally when we go out for drinks on the weekend.

There are certain people that are well known in the pinball community that setup tournaments for the sole purpose of gaining gas money for the week and to farm WPPR points. You can travel quite far to NY or wherever and to some people that is what they do, they spend their entire weekends devoted to such a thing. Sure the tournament max pay is $60 and the travel is a 1.5 or hour long drive. Sure the tournament was 8 hours. You totally crushed those folks and got gas money for the week and now your rank X however!

For me though that got quite old and I saw what it was doing to me on a social and physical level and I gave it up. Look at the really big IFPA players and you will see like a bajillion events they were a part of this year and they are actually part of the industry whether it's making games or part of a podcast. They live to play pinball, lol.

#13 3 months ago
Quoted from o-din:

I fell out of a moving car once.

I rode my 10 speed into a parked car @ 20mph once.

But, on a serious note to the OP, I have times when I’m really into the hobby, and sometimes not so much at all. But I know deep down pinball will always have a place in my life.

#14 3 months ago
Quoted from cosmokramer:

Came here to make fun of poor spelling of thread title...now feel like a douche after reading first few posts.
Sorry guys, Leaving now

Thanks for pointing that out. I knew there was zero chance of me not screwing up something in the original post. I deleted stuff and retyped multiple times because im not much at expressing myself thru written word. Sorry if it is a bit of a jumbled mess.

#15 3 months ago

I sold all my games once when I went through life-changing things. Told myself I would never own another game because it was stupid and I would just play on route.

Started a route w a buddy and have had a lot of fun with him working on and chasing games. If you aren't on hard times financially, it might be worth it to save a game or two. Sometimes playing pins is a great escape, and sometimes it's not. Leaving that door open to a world under glass might not be a bad idea.

#16 3 months ago

I've grown bored of hobbies too, but with pinball it's ever changing. Dont like a game, sell it. Tired of theme, try another. Em. Ss, and dmd all different. Great hobby!!

#17 3 months ago

I've been in this hobby for 30+ years now and have never lost interest. In part
because there is so much to offer. The earliest mechanical pins right up to current
models give many thousands of different types and features to research, find,
restore and play. If I were just a player, would have dropped out long ago.

Like many others here have other serious hobbies and switch between them
as new things show up or interest wanes.

BTW, loosing interest in something you once were very passionate about
is a classic sign of depression. I've dealt with that a few times, usually due
to stress at work, and pinball offered an escape.

#18 3 months ago

I was questioning the whole thing a few weeks ago when we had a party which included a bunch of people who wanted to play pinball. I got my 3 machines all checked out, cleaned up, and tested them. I played and played them. I played them in the morning, I played them at night, I played a few games, I played a lot of games. They all were working perfectly, not a hiccup in sight.

When the people got in there and started playing, 2 of the damn things were down and out within 10 minutes. What the hell? It was really annoying. They were minor things that I got fixed, but I had to pull the glass, f around with them in front of everyone, and all that. Have to admit, I wasn't in love with pinball at that moment. Luckily I do like to work on them so I guess I recovered.

Just to add a bit more that more directly relates to the original post. The last few years have been rough, really rough. Mainly due to that damn big C. It has come slamming through and taken out so many that are close to me. That does put everything in perspective, and for long periods of time I did nothing with the pinball machines because of it. But it wasn't really the fault of pinball, and it was somewhat helpful to the psyche to go back to that hobby for a break away from that stress.

#19 3 months ago
Quoted from hool10:

A couple of reasons why which is your spending like $30+ playing 10 hours and you probably won't get your money back. However you just wasted a $1 a game, food, alcohol, gas, hotel stay or wasted your entire Saturday playing

Sounds like you are describing golf

#20 3 months ago

To answer the question I remember once early on when I had several people over to play the thought crossed my mind we were a bunch of robots standing in front of these things and isn't there something else we could be doing. Then I woke up.

It's just too much part one my routine now to think I will ever stop. When you only work three days most weeks, there are just too many worse ways to fill your time and probably big periods of boredom than fixing and playing. I go out to the garage almost every night and play until I'm done. Rain or shine. Sure I have to deal with other things, but there is still plenty of free time.

Been out there all afternoon making sure they are clean and in top tune for when the guests arrive tonight. The only thing I can think of that might put a break to it would be a major injury, or death.

#21 3 months ago

It sounds like you love pinball but you have no support. Always remember to balance things(money family and friends). Anybody who is not into pinball will not get it. Pinside will come at you pitchforks and torches every once in while but all in all they are mostly good people. The solid thing that has kept into hobby is @who-dey! Just some guy on pinside who posted a lot(maybe a troll). I agreed with 100% of his posts. Well we are close friends now. If you don't have someone to talk to this (rare) hobby seems pointless. Don't be afraid to take break. Pinball is stressful hobby! Feel free to send me a pm if you like drunken nonsense.

#22 3 months ago

Pinball comes in strides. I used to enjoy playing a lot more a few years back. Especially when my kids were into it. I had a lot of fun. When my kids started
getting older, they video games and friends won. So, they don't get the game play they used to. I have 12 pins and 2 vids. I'd say 2 pins are played right now.
Mostly because I'm shopping out, trading or selling others. I enjoy working on pins more than playing them sometimes. But it all balances out in the long run.
People have collectible cars to admire them. They only drive them maybe 1-2 times a year. I play pins a lot more than that, but it doesn't have to be a
daily, weekly or monthly thing. We're getting older and not as interested as we were 5 years ago. That's ok too. Because when we turn them on, nostalgia kicks in and we're reborn again.

#23 3 months ago

OK everyone, get out the pitchforks.

I was a kid in the 70s and early 80s. Grew up playing some pins, but mostly video games. I started working 80 hours per weeks in the late 80s, 90s, and the early 2000s.

Had a family during that time and started to get into DMD pinball machines. Kids liked them and we had some fun playing. I have bought and sold 40 or so since then and have had fun. Bought some old video games as well and restored them. Also was very involved in aviation and would get real heavy into flying, flipping planes, instructing, etc. I literally was sleeping 3 to 4 hours a night and working, playing pinball, or flying.

About 10 years ago I realized my kids were now young men, I had made a good living, and did whatever I wanted to; however, I wasn't happy. I was simply chasing one addiction after another hoping that the next adventure would be more thrilling than the last like a meth addict chases that first high.

OK, now use those pitch forks... I started going back to church and found a small church with nice common people and got back into reading the Bible. Once my focus was on God I no longer needed the next new thing to make me happy and instead found pleasure in Him which made me content with what I have.

I still fly and play pinball along with other hobbies, but I no longer measure my happiness with my hobbies and entertainment. When it comes down to it we all will leave this earth with exactly what we came into it with. Enjoy the hobbies God has provided, but don't make them your life anymore than you would make alcohol. Moderation is the key to everything.

#24 3 months ago

All those things about addiction and the big problem....yes. I lost my daughter this past summer.

As far as the pinball part goes, and really any hobby in general: if its not making you happy then that is not the time to be doing it. I tried going fishing, after my daughter passed. I couldn't even see the lake through my tears. There are times of pain and times not, and my life continues to march on. I still have other children, family, and friends, and am blessed every day that I still here for them. Now my wife and I are planning the next chapter in our lives and I have just sold a majority of my collection, just taking two to the new home. I am not even going to question what my next phase of pinball will be, or whether I will play them. My joy is more under the hood than playing anyway.... and the two I am keeping, they'll be there for family and friends, or myself - for when the time is right.

#25 3 months ago
Quoted from wayout440:

I lost my daughter this past summer.

So sorry for your loss, life seems so unfair at those times in our lives it's hard to see the light that's ahead in our lives. Our hopes and prayers are going out for you and your family as you begin a new chapter in your lives. Hoping you enjoy the new home and find some peace of mind through it all.

#26 3 months ago

I love this hobby and it just never gets old to me at all, not even a little bit. I dont really play that much but i think about pinball 24/7. For whatever reason i just love it. I dont have to be playing to love it, i can read about it, watch pinball steams, troll pinside, talk to my pinball friends about the new games that are coming out etc or whatever. Ive also met some really nice people that makes me want to stay in the hobby also. Im not even going to name names in fear of leaving someone out but as Gunnut stated, me and him have become great great friends.

With that being said though if you don’t enjoy it then you just dont enjoy it. You are obviously going through tough times right now so I wouldn’t make any snap decisions at this moment, give it six months and see how you feel about pinball then and make a decision if you should stay in or get out of the hobby.

Addiction is a bad thing and i wish you and your family the best. My girlfriend recently lost her grandson and is in great danger of losing another one right now. It has caused her medical issues, physiological problems, it hurts our relationship and it has basically ruined her life and many other peoples lives in her family also. I really hope that things get better soon for you and your family.

#27 3 months ago

Heck yeah man this is the first time in years I didn’t go rushing for a new le at announcement . Hobbies come and go time
To find something newer maybe get into recycling . Unless they announce a back to the future !

1 week later
#28 81 days ago

Not pinball, but I've recently been falling out of a lifelong love of video games. That's part of the reason I'm so into pinball right now, is that I find it more fun to me than video games right now. It's easy to pick up and play as well as put down. I play pinball arcade on the crapper and can go on with my day. Nowadays video games have changed so drastically into something I no longer enjoy nearly as much. To make matters worse, I work in the video game industry! Talk about being sick of your job... But yeah I totally feel you OP, just currently not for Pinball but something I loved dearly basically my entire life. It's really depressing and I often find myself really bored, but that's why I picked up Pinball. My suggestion to you is to find a different hobby for awhile and your interest will likely pick back up. You also sound like you could be depressed, but having this major life shock can do that to you for a short time. I also go through these phases with other stuff like music. Sometimes I will be really into music and other times I don't care to listen to anything, sometimes for really long periods of time. It's an ebb and flow rather than a dead love. Wish you all the best.

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