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(Topic ID: 45766)

"Getting Women and Kids interested" ???


By navajas

7 years ago



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    There are 175 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 4.
    #1 7 years ago

    I keep hearing the above as a goal/motivation/hope pinned on Wizard of Oz. In my experience what is required to interest women and children in pinball is to show them one and allow them to play. Sure a lot of women are going to prefer Adams Family to Scared Stiff (though many aren't) but in general is this really an issue?

    I know pinball owning families are not a good sample space here, but even on location in Seattle I see plenty of kids playing, and I don't know, maybe 60/40 men/women. I see women pulling to games like Lord of the Rings (nerdy as hell), World Cup Soccer (sports, complete with prominent goofy ass sex pot ref in hot pants), Black Knight 2000, etc...

    Seems to me, interesting women and children in the activity/hobby is more about location and access than theme and pretty colors. How wrong am I?

    #2 7 years ago

    Right now the key is anything other than 40 year old male themes. That is all Stern makes.

    #3 7 years ago

    Just like in Chess Championships, women are about 5% of the competition.

    #4 7 years ago

    Some pins did well on location with children due to their themes.

    Family Guy, South Park and Simpson Pinball Party. (not that these cartoons are the most child-friendly.)

    #5 7 years ago

    Sell them and plan a vacation. More time with the family and less wasted down in the basement

    #6 7 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Just like in Chess Championships, women are about 5% of the competition.

    Yep. So they represent 95% of the GROWTH potential.

    Off topic: thanks for your polishing recommendations, vid. Just got the grand wax in the mail and will give it a shot next weekend!

    #7 7 years ago
    Quoted from Rick432:

    Yep. So they represent 95% of the GROWTH potential.

    Great way to look at it, but there must be some genetic/hormonal/societal components to it too.

    Quoted from Rick432:

    Off topic: thanks for your polishing recommendations, vid. Just got the grand wax in the mail and will give it a shot next weekend!

    I'm sure you will be very pleased with the durability of that wax.

    #8 7 years ago

    I am female and while I think WOZ is pretty, I don't want to just play pretty. I want to play fun. I have Predator ordered and no intentions of buying WOZ. All my female friends that come over love the pinball machines, but there are none in our area to play. I wholeheartedly agree that access to machines is much more prevalant than theme. Yes, a WOZ in this area would be great. But so would a T2, SS, Playboy, DW... anything to play beats nothing to play.

    #9 7 years ago
    Quoted from navajas:

    I keep hearing the above as a goal/motivation/hope pinned on Wizard of Oz. In my experience what is required to interest women and children in pinball is to show them one and allow them to play. Sure a lot of women are going to prefer Adams Family to Scared Stiff (though many aren't) but in general is this really an issue?
    I know pinball owning families are not a good sample space here, but even on location in Seattle I see plenty of kids playing, and I don't know, maybe 60/40 men/women. I see women pulling to games like Lord of the Rings (nerdy as hell), World Cup Soccer (sports, complete with prominent goofy ass sex pot ref in hot pants), Black Knight 2000, etc...
    Seems to me, interesting women and children in the activity/hobby is more about location and access than theme and pretty colors. How wrong am I?

    Oh, also, the theme alone won't do it. That might get them to play ONCE, but if the experience delivered isn't good, then they might sour not just on that particular pin, but ALL pins.

    That's why WOZ really better be good for JJP AND Stern's sake: if fun, it will increase potential customers all around.

    Your observation about access is understated and VERY important. New players will not have a positive experience if they don't know what they're doing. So the LCD becomes much much much more important not so much as a feature to enhance gameplay, but to TEACH new players how to play.

    I really really hope that during attract mode, the woz has videos of pin basics. Most importantly, WHERE THE START BUTTON IS, and HOW TO USE A PLUNGER!!!

    Seems silly and basic, but anyone who has watched someone approach a pin for the first time knows that they invariably get hung up on those two things unless someone is there to show them.

    Otherwise, they'll walk away from the game 75cents poorer, and unwilling to give pin another chance, JJP or Stern. That would be bad for the hobby and all of us.

    #10 7 years ago
    Quoted from ChadTower:

    Right now the key is anything other than 40 year old male themes. That is all Stern makes.

    Are you saying that only 40 year old men enjoy themes like Iron Man, Spiderman, Tron, Avengers, X-men, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Dark Knight and Star Trek to come later this year? Seems like great kid themes to me. Comics may not be as big as they were when we were kids. However, Stern has to please both the 40 year old man who has the money and the younger generation on location too. I think they have done a great job.

    Pappy

    #11 7 years ago
    Quoted from blondetall:

    I am female and while I think WOZ is pretty, I don't want to just play pretty. I want to play fun. I have Predator ordered and no intentions of buying WOZ. All my female friends that come over love the pinball machines, but there are none in our area to play. I wholeheartedly agree that access to machines is much more prevalant than theme. Yes, a WOZ in this area would be great. But so would a T2, SS, Playboy, DW... anything to play beats nothing to play.

    +1

    #12 7 years ago
    Quoted from blondetall:

    I am female and while I think WOZ is pretty, I don't want to just play pretty. I want to play fun. I have Predator ordered and no intentions of buying WOZ. All my female friends that come over love the pinball machines, but there are none in our area to play. I wholeheartedly agree that access to machines is much more prevalant than theme. Yes, a WOZ in this area would be great. But so would a T2, SS, Playboy, DW... anything to play beats nothing to play.

    Yeah, I don't want my opinion to be oversimplified. I think your posts really represents the bottom line: the game has to be FUN, regardless of whatever gender or generation it targets. A fresh type of license will encourage some new blood (but not you! Thank goodnesd you and your friends are already onboard, regardless of whats on the translite!). But the fresh license won't KEEP the ne blood unless the gameplay and INNOVATION is there.

    #13 7 years ago
    Quoted from ChadTower:

    Right now the key is anything other than 40 year old male themes. That is all Stern makes.

    Exactly.

    #14 7 years ago
    Quoted from PappyBoyington:

    Are you saying that only 40 year old men enjoy themes like Iron Man, spiderman, Tron, Avengers, X-men, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Dark Knight and Star Trek to come later this year? Seems like great kid themes to me. Comics may not be as big as they were when we were kids. However, Stern has to please both the 40 year old man who has the money and the younger generation on location too. I think they have done a great job.
    Pappy

    How is this working out for them so far when it comes to attracting new children to play? If they were great kid themes then kids would be playing them.

    Pinball isn't a kid's game. It's too complicated. Kids these days expect immediate gratification. That's why they will dump $10 into a redemption game with one button and a prize payout of $.35 in Tootsie Rolls.

    It isn't redemption that is keeping kids away from pinball. It's the learning curve. Most nonpinhead adults aren't going to bother to figure out Avengers nevermind a kid.

    #15 7 years ago

    Hello kitty pinball

    #16 7 years ago
    Quoted from ChadTower:

    Right now the key is anything other than 40 year old male themes. That is all Stern makes.

    That may be true now, but it's because of the home buyer. Here's a Gary Stern quote from almost 10 years ago:

    "We basically think we have two markets, two demographics in America. 25 year olds in the bars, plus or minus five years and 45 year olds, plus or minus 5 or 10 years, who are buying games for the home. They're raising a whole new crop of players because now they're 12 and 15 playing in Dad's rec room and when they're 21, or 19 with a phony ID, they're going to the bar playing our games."

    http://www.sternpinball.com/PR_about.shtml

    Now, with less games going on location, why should they try to appeal to any other demographic other than the one that buys most of their games? If you want more variety in themes, play on location regularly and encourage others to do the same. Women enjoy playing and socializing on location just as much as men do.

    'Kids' is a relative term. Kids under 10 are too young for pinball. Both psychically and mentally. There's no reason to go after kids that young. Young kids enjoy redemption games. Kids 10 and older do fine with pinball.

    #17 7 years ago
    Quoted from ChadTower:

    How is this working out for them so far when it comes to attracting new children to play? If they were great kid themes then kids would be playing them.
    Pinball isn't a kid's game. It's too complicated. Kids these days expect immediate gratification. That's why they will dump $10 into a redemption game with one button and a prize payout of $.35 in Tootsie Rolls.
    It isn't redemption that is keeping kids away from pinball. It's the learning curve. Most nonpinhead adults aren't going to bother to figure out Avengers nevermind a kid.

    I disagree about pin being too complicated. Have you SEEN some of these games (video, board, AND card) that these kids are playing. They're more sophisticated in a lot of ways than we were at their age.

    ... But I do agree with your earlier comment about Stern licenses skewing heavily (though not EXCLUSIVELY) towards forty year old dudes.

    #18 7 years ago
    Quoted from phishrace:

    'Kids' is a relative term. Kids under 10 are too young for pinball. Both psychically and mentally. There's no reason to go after kids that young. Young kids enjoy redemption games. Kids 10 and older do fine with pinball.

    I remember playing "Space Shuttle" at age 6, TYVM. I sucked, but to me it was just a different kind of video game.

    #19 7 years ago
    Quoted from PappyBoyington:

    Are you saying that only 40 year old men enjoy themes like Iron Man, spiderman, Tron, Avengers, X-men, Pirates of the Caribbean, The Dark Knight and Star Trek to come later this year? Seems like great kid themes to me. Comics may not be as big as they were when we were kids. However, Stern has to please both the 40 year old man who has the money and the younger generation on location too. I think they have done a great job.
    Pappy

    I can't speak for Chad, but my concerns with that licensing pattern, though I agree it is safe and not unintelligent at all, is that it maintains the sameoldsameold patterns of appeal.

    That's good news/bad news. Good for the correct reasons you posted. But bad because it doesn't open the horizon to anyone else much.

    Anyone else remember back in the 70s, when Honda launched the, "You meet the nicest people on a Honda" campaign? Back then, motorcycles were really thought of as belonging to thugs and gearheads exclusively. Honda changed all that with that one enormously successful campaign, wherein motorcycles were considered fun and wholesome. They were "NICE" and "SAFE" (from a social perspective).

    Themes like Stern's just reinforce the image of pins as being a bar-centered, bad boy, oversexed, prone to violence-type hobby. And for a lot of us, that's okay.

    But that ain't where the growth is. It's in home markets where people can see pin as a chance to bring the family together, entertain without offending, and people can have their friends and kids over to play together without worrying about cleavage, violence, profanity.

    And just to be crystal clear: I'm OKAY with cleavage, (story-driven) violence, and (witty and overrideable) profanity in pinball. But I'm also okay with widening the appeal of the hobby by offering more diversity that changes the image of the hobby.

    "You meet the nicest people playing pinball."

    #20 7 years ago
    Quoted from DarthXaos:

    I remember playing "Space Shuttle" at age 6, TYVM. I sucked, but to me it was just a different kind of video game.

    I'm not saying they can't play. Just that they don't have all the tools yet to be successful at pinball. Sure, you can stand them up on a stool. That makes up for the lack of height. But you can't make up for slower reflexes, their eyesight not being fully developed and most importantly, the lack of patience a younger kid has. Pinball requires a person to stand in one place for a long period of time. Young kids are terrible at that. That's why redemption games are so quick.

    #21 7 years ago

    Pinball has a hard core mystic?.... Omg lol this is awesome I'm running with a bad crowd were gonna do a car jack later and then set the high score on shrek and bon voyage!

    #22 7 years ago
    Quoted from vid1900:

    Great way to look at it, but there must be some genetic/hormonal/societal components to it too.

    Well, yeah, but society changes. Women, thank goodness, aren't in the same place they were 20, heck 10, years ago. They are present and perform well in just about every job men do, even the hard ass ones! And unfortunately, like men, they're smoking more, drinking more, etc. Female athletes get more and more attention. My daughter is much much more likely to want to PLAY basketball than cheerlead for it. They're certainly more present in videogames than ever before (though it remains male dominated, but not nearly as much as it used to be).

    Quoted from vid1900:

    I'm sure you will be very pleased with the durability of that wax.

    You wax about twice a year?

    #23 7 years ago
    Quoted from chas010:

    Pinball has a hard core mystic?.... Omg lol this is awesome I'm running with a bad crowd were gonna do a car jack later and then set the high score on shrek and bon voyage!

    Not as hardcore as Harley (wait... How many different Harley pins have we had?), yes...

    ... But traditionally not nearly as soft as Wizard Of Oz, either.

    I mean look at the last 3-4 Stern licenses. Look at the latest Tron backglass...

    ... Okay, stop looking. You've stared at the latest Tron backglass long enough .

    You get the idea.

    #24 7 years ago

    I do have to mention that my contact with children is for the most part home school kids, whatever that means to you. (And what that means to people usually jumps between the polarities of hopeless idiots and peerless geniuses.) Not one of these kids is over 10, and none of them have had any problem at all understanding pinball. Granted, the one I have the most observational experience with is just our Space Shuttle, but it is admittedly an utterly alien activity to them all, and they grasp the rules with no problem. I can say, "Oh see, 20k is lit, what do you think you should try to do?" And they can tell me.

    I hesitate to talk much about my oldest (7) because I very much dislike bragging parents, but he watches PAPA videos before heading out on location, and I can ASK HIM about the games he's studied. My four year old traps, surveys and shoots. "Extra ball is lit Dad!" As far as comprehension goes, in my experience, age is functionally irrelevant. Most people are dismissive to a fault and certainly to a detriment with children, even other home school parents. Kids get told they aren't capable of something so often they believe it.

    Ha. My folks were over for Easter and my Dad was watching my son play. He had multiball going with one ball cradled and the other shooting for hurry ups, and my Dad exclaimed something like, "My God! Look at that, I'd never have even thought that was possible." And Killian said as he played, "Well, actually Grampa, it's a pretty common strategy." Ha!

    Gender? I think game selection and willingness to play has far more to do with access and location than theme of the game. 40 year old male themes? You ever been to an ACDC concert? I don't know a woman who doesn't love Ironman. I think it's location and access. Pinball games are LOCATED for the most part at 40 year old male establishments. I know my Mom is sure as hell more likely to drop $20 playing pinball at a decent restaurant (or ice cream shop, thanks Bobby!) than in a shitty bar full of drunk assholes who might make fun of her efforts or make her feel uncomfortable.

    Quoted from vid1900:

    Just like in Chess Championships, women are about 5% of the competition.

    That may be, and, it may also be that men have an intrinsic advantage in playing pinball competitively. I don't know. But, I'm not talking about the PAPA championships here, I'm talking about the hobby in general. I'm almost 40, love tits, ass, violence, profanity, porn, metal, beer and tits, but I don't have any better chance at a top level tournament than my 18 year old sister in law.

    #25 7 years ago
    Quoted from navajas:

    I'm almost 40, love tits, ass, violence, profanity, porn, metal, beer and tits, but I don't have any better chance at a top level tournament than my 18 year old sister in law.

    Yeah, but how does she feel about tits?

    #26 7 years ago
    #27 7 years ago

    Around here, Junkyard is the most popular game with women. I think they like the humor. There's also a couple female voices in the audio.

    I think it also helps that it has two very straightforward things to shoot at - the crane and the dog.

    I ran into my friend Jen last night. She really like X-Men.

    #28 7 years ago
    Quoted from Rick432:

    I disagree about pin being too complicated. Have you SEEN some of these games (video, board, AND card) that these kids are playing. They're more sophisticated in a lot of ways than we were at their age.

    You're right about that but the key there is that the theme is something they have chosen. It's Pokemon, it's Yu-Gi-Oh, it's Bakugan, it's Warhammer. It's their theme. It's not a rock band that ceased to be top forty 20 years before their birth. It's not a preexisting platform that starts out complex from the first ball. Their games start out simple and ramp up slowly as the kids age. Pokemon starts out as very simple point and click games, progresses into collecting cards, progresses into card games, progresses into complex video games. All along the way the kids are immersed in the TV show, the comic books, the toys. It's not like pinball where they are walking up cold, seeing something complex, and not getting it.

    Combine that with the fact that the pin is simply too tall for a kid until they have already walked past it a million times. By the time the kid is tall enough to actually play pinball the pins are nothing more than background furniture. They may as well be a condom machine by that point.

    #29 7 years ago

    It is interesting I find that many women are not into pinball. I have friends over with their wives and the wives play one or two games while the husbands play the whole time. I think blondetall is the one in a million who loves pinball-by the way do you have a sister and does she love pinball?-LOL My wife likes pinball but does not love it-if that makes sense? I talk to her about what pins would be cool to make? She said she would like to see a 'Goonies' or 80's Band pinball machine made. She is warming up to pinball over time-but if I was not into it I know she would not be. My nephews and nieces prefer to play Wheel of Fortune-which is like my red headed step child game in my collection? I think the bobble heads and flash on the game attract them like a fly on a turd

    #30 7 years ago

    I'm not one in a million... there are at least 6 girls on the forums now. Rabscuttle above is one of them.

    Yes, I have a sister. No, she does not like pinball. But my mom does to the point that she's bought TAF, RFM, MSF, PM, and Flintstones all since last July. I guess it runs in the family.

    (Mom is dragging me to the Atlanta Pin Swap in 3 weeks too, "just in case they have something else I might want.")

    #31 7 years ago
    Quoted from Rick432:

    Well, yeah, but society changes. Women, thank goodness, aren't in the same place they were 20, heck 10, years ago. They are present and perform well in just about every job men do, even the hard ass ones! And unfortunately, like men, they're smoking more, drinking more, etc. Female athletes get more and more attention. My daughter is much much more likely to want to PLAY basketball than cheerlead for it. They're certainly more present in videogames than ever before (though it remains male dominated, but not nearly as much as it used to be).

    Quoted from blondetall:

    I'm not one in a million... there are at least 6 girls on the forums now. Rabscuttle above is one of them. Yes, I have a sister. No, she does not like pinball. But my mom does to the point that she's bought TAF, RFM, MSF, PM, and Flintstones all since last July. I guess it runs in the family.
    (Mom is dragging me to the Atlanta Pin Swap in 3 weeks too, "just in case they have something else I might want.")

    You're one in a million, blondetall, just not in THAT way! I have multiple female friends of mine that like to come over and play pinball. This whole discussion isn't new to us as women, though. I remember being the only female in a room of like 100 guys in the early Magic: the Gathering days, or being one of like 2 girls at junior high that owned an NES. Maybe all those things will be forever majority-male, but there is a healthy female percentage to all of them now. The times they are a'changin.

    #32 7 years ago

    Honestly,

    Pinball is a traditionally male dominated pursuit.

    I hope the women in my life aren't trying to get me interested in shopping for shoes and the kids wanting me to listen to "One Direction".

    Sure, some women love pinball... like some men love shoes and some adults like One Direction. But there is no way of fighting the relentless messages out there already with regard to what we are "supposed" to like.

    Women and kids aren't 'supposed' to like pinball - so most don't.

    #33 7 years ago
    Quoted from lukex:

    Women and kids aren't 'supposed' to like pinball - so most don't.

    I think that's part of the issue.

    (Odd parallel)
    Im a shooting enthusiast, and shooting sports is a HUGELY male dominated area. However, as a NRA instructor, I can honestly say I've NEVER had a woman take a class or simply come out and try shooting that didn't thoroughly enjoy it and want to come back for more.

    The most common thing I hear is "I never thought I'd like this" or "this is totally different than what my (media driven) perception was of this!"

    Whats the answer? I dont know... but i dont think its about "themes" or pretty colors.... just like pink guns don't draw women to shootings, TRYING it does. I think pinball is similar.

    Host a "ladies night' at the local arcade (or you're local man-cave- vacuum first though). Serve wine and cheese and let them all try it.... you might be surprised.

    But, the reality is- I dont think you can change human nature- and there's some of that at play here...

    #34 7 years ago

    I bet if Stern made a Facebook pin every woman in the place would be in line to try it.

    #35 7 years ago

    JPop games.....my wife and kids love those games (I got CV and ToM that they play all the time)

    #36 7 years ago

    ...in our home we have 2 old pins (60s-70s) that get played all the time by neighborhood kids. moms are too busy chatting and on the iphone to play usually. also today there is NO pinball where kids go to play, sans a few family fun centers and most theatres or amusement places have only vids or redemption as pinball still makes $100 week if that. I can infect them at home, but it stops there. The kids love playing them too. Any pingame that made $200-$300 dollars a week (today) would be front page news by that maker, as ops would maybe get one. So I fear even the newest pinballs rolling off the factory floor can not break that ceiling. Not yet anyway. Jpop

    #37 7 years ago
    Quoted from lowepg:

    I think that's part of the issue.
    (Odd parallel)
    Im a shooting enthusiast, and shooting sports is a HUGELY male dominated area. However, as a NRA instructor, I can honestly say I've NEVER had a woman take a class or simply come out and try shooting that didn't thoroughly enjoy it and want to come back for more.
    The most common thing I hear is "I never thought I'd like this" or "this is totally different than what my (media driven) perception was of this!"
    Whats the answer? I dont know... but i dont think its about "themes" or pretty colors.... just like pink guns don't draw women to shootings, TRYING it does. I think pinball is similar.
    Host a "ladies night' at the local arcade (or you're local man-cave- vacuum first though). Serve wine and cheese and let them all try it.... you might be surprised.

    I've not yet seen a Woz on test locations, but from what I hear, the lines that form are more skewed towards women than other pins, which I consider good news because of the growth potential.

    The DANGER, however, is if pin manufacturers make the easy mistake of assuming they can get growth if they simply put a pin out with a nontraditional theme. They have to understand that the theme will only get potential new hobbyists/fans to TRY, but not necessarily EMBRACE, pinball. The game HAS to be both INNOVATIVE and FUN. Otherwise, if the new players do not enjoy their experience, they won't come back. Not to WOZ, not The Hobbit, not Metallica, not Star Trek, not Mustangs. No matter how genuinely well-playing those pins turn out to be.

    But JJP seem to be taking WOZ seriously on all levels. It does not seem to be just a pretty face, as it is STUFFED with serious pin hardware, and not just beautiful cosmetics. The programming and design team have legitimate pin bona fides and credibility. So I am hopeful that their product won't insult the target demographic of new players (not exclusively, but largely, family-oriented women, family households, and youngish kids who have never played REAL (but probably have seen virtual) pin before. If it does insult their intelligence by not delivering a game with some depth, then EVERYONE, including Stern, suffers.

    Conversely, if it's a success, even Stern wins. We ALL win, even if woz might not be our cup of tea, because of all the new money that would pour into the hobby throughout. It'll boost modding, restoring old pins, diversity in new pins, parts supply, conventions, innovation. Only downside: prices boost as demand surges and more tech is stuffed into newer designs. But again, THIS TIME AROUND, price increases are a sign of health, not desperation, in the hobby.

    #38 7 years ago
    Quoted from Rabscuttle:

    » YouTube video

    Hey, that's me!

    Quoted from vid1900:

    Yeah, but how does she feel about tits?

    Ha! Ok, perhaps that was a bad example! She has adhered to her mother's sickeningly sexist notion that women's bodies are unfit for display, that women are incapable of making that decision for themselves, and that any such images "demean" them.

    Still, in the sample space I've observed, she's/they're a modern exception.

    Quoted from ChadTower:

    You're right about that but the key there is that the theme is something they have chosen. It's Pokemon, it's Yu-Gi-Oh, it's Bakugan, it's Warhammer. It's their theme. It's not a rock band that ceased to be top forty 20 years before their birth.

    I can't tell if it's that you don't have much experience with children, or are being purposefully obtuse to try and prove a point. You say they aren't making themes appealing to kids and only reference ACDC but leave out Monopoly, Roller Coaster Tycoon, Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean, Spider Man, Wheel of Fortune, Shrek (for God's sake), Indiana Jones, Batman, Ironman, Avatar, Transformers, Tron, Avengers and X-Men.

    I don't think it has much, if anything, to do with theme, and I think Oz misses that point. Where I see pinball on location accessible to women and children, they seem to play. I think if you put Oz in one of these places it will, in fact, immediately draw initial interest from all demographics just because it's so obviously different, but I highly doubt it will continue to be played in preference to others next to it if it sucks just because it has pretty lights, sparkly slippers and annoying music.

    Anecdotes are fairly pointless, but so am I, so... Last time I was at the Full Tilt in Ballard, in amongst the chaos of the little kid birthday party attendees running around, a person walked in and used the change machine. She looked quite a bit like Ronda Rousey, bought no ice cream and was; young, fit, attractive, there to play pinball and, importantly, ALONE. She wasn't drug there on a date, she wasn't trying to impress some guy. She put $4 (initially pissing me off as I wanted to play) in Black Knight 2000, played like she trying to save her life, and then left.

    My guess is the chance of her doing that were the machine located at Fat Dick's Sports Bar would be slim, and the chance of that coinciding with the 5-8 year old birthday party, nil.

    #39 7 years ago
    Quoted from lowepg:

    I think that's part of the issue.
    (Odd parallel)
    Im a shooting enthusiast, and shooting sports is a HUGELY male dominated area. However, as a NRA instructor, I can honestly say I've NEVER had a woman take a class or simply come out and try shooting that didn't thoroughly enjoy it and want to come back for more.
    The most common thing I hear is "I never thought I'd like this" or "this is totally different than what my (media driven) perception was of this!"
    Whats the answer? I dont know... but i dont think its about "themes" or pretty colors.... just like pink guns don't draw women to shootings, TRYING it does. I think pinball is similar.
    Host a "ladies night' at the local arcade (or you're local man-cave- vacuum first though). Serve wine and cheese and let them all try it.... you might be surprised.

    Right on! At some point, the question of women/kids in pin (and men in other hobbies) becomes circular: women don't like pinball, so don't make pins that would appeal to them, such that women don't like pinball, so don't make pins that appeal... And so on.

    Again, that might have made sense thirty years ago. But as female posters here have illustrated, that's probably (hopefully) a dated perspective, and pins designed to appeal to other traditionally non-pinhead types (as long as they're genuinely FUN and INNOVATIVE) at this point EXPAND the hobby and are good.

    #40 7 years ago
    Quoted from Rabscuttle:

    » YouTube video

    You're one in a million, blondetall, just not in THAT way! I have multiple female friends of mine that like to come over and play pinball. This whole discussion isn't new to us as women, though. I remember being the only female in a room of like 100 guys in the early Magic: the Gathering days, or being one of like 2 girls at junior high that owned an NES. Maybe all those things will be forever majority-male, but there is a healthy female percentage to all of them now. The times they are a'changin.

    I've ALWAYS felt MAGIC: THE GATHERING would be a brilliant theme because it cuts across SO many demographics, including genders and ages, in a crowd that spends money on strategic entertainment, appreciates art, spends time anchored to common physical locations (imagine a M:tG pin on location at a game store!), and have probably never played a real pin, though are likely tech savvy!

    #41 7 years ago
    Quoted from navajas:

    I can't tell if it's that you don't have much experience with children, or are being purposefully obtuse to try and prove a point. You say they aren't making themes appealing to kids and only reference ACDC but leave out Monopoly, Roller Coaster Tycoon, Lord of the Rings, Pirates of the Caribbean, Spider Man, Wheel of Fortune, Shrek (for God's sake), Indiana Jones, Batman, Ironman, Avatar, Transformers, Tron, Avengers and X-Men.

    Not only do I have kids but I have 15 years of experience as a youth coach and am married to a K/Pre-K teacher.

    Monopoly is an awful game for new players. There are very few Roller Coaster Tycoons on location anymore that actually work. Kids don't care about daytime TV themes like Wheel of Fortune. I have only seen one Shrek machine ever and that's in the back of a beaten up arcade inside an amusement park with a billion better things to do. Never seen a Stern IJ or BDK anywhere. Ironman is a brutal game for new players, Avatar is almost as brutal, and kids didn't care much about Tron. Avengers and X-Men are both complex and a dollar a credit in a lot of places.

    Keep in mind in there is an arcade in my area, that my son and I visit weekly for league play, that has over 90 games. There is another that is specifically high end LE Sterns. It's not like I live in a place desolate for location pinball.

    If those games were good introduction games for new young players they would have performed as such. If they had done so we wouldn't even be having this conversation.

    #42 7 years ago

    My daughter is 7. She loves AC/DC, mainly for the light show and ringing the bell. Or more specifically, making the bell hit the glass... She also loves WHO dunnit. Those are her top 2 favorites, but she kicked up quite a fuss when we let RBION leave the house.

    SO, AC/DC, W?D, and RBION. Probably not the ones people would peg as kid-attracting themes. It's so easy to underestimate what kids are capable of and where their interests lie these days. They like the Wizard of Oz movie, yes, so that won't be a bad thing. But the focus has to be on one thing, and one thing only: fun.

    The difficulty of a pin and the general ball time is a more legitimate area to focus on to try and attract new players. If a new player can make SOMETHING compelling happen in the first session playing a pin, that, above any assumed demographic-targeted theme, will have an impact.

    Avengers is a majorly hard pin for me, but my 6 year old son likes it. And is probably as good or better than I am at it, if the frequency of multiball he gets is any indication. But that's what I'm talking about. He knows it's possible to get to this super cool multiball and Hulk bridge raising experience, and that is a great incentive to keep playing, get into it, gain experience, and maybe eventually start to understand the overall strategy.

    That's a tricky divide. Seasoned pinball enthusiasts want a deeper more challenging experience. Newbies want to make something flash and go crazy in the first 5 minutes. That seems like more of a barrier to me than the theme.

    #43 7 years ago

    I have 2 nephews (ages 2 and 6), and about 12 2nd cousins.

    My GF pretty much likes any pin, but DW and MM are her favorite.

    My nephews LOVE WH2O and FH. The older one likes the ramps in WH2O, and Rudy in FH.

    My FH is at my grandma's house, where it gets played by the family. While it may be the only real pinball there, it gets the snot played out of it, much more than the pitch n bat, pool table, or shuffleboard table.

    #44 7 years ago

    I don't think we can count kids with pins in their home as good examples. They aren't being asked to choose a pin over something else with their limited money. They aren't being attracted by 10 redemption machines. They aren't in a bowling alley or a movie theater. They know something about pinball before they walk up to the machine. The pins in a home are in good condition.

    We can't forget that when we were kids pinball was A LOT SIMPLER. Somewhere in the mid to late 90s pinball became a much more complicated game with a much steeper learning curve. The learning curve alone is a major barrier for new players. How many kids will put their tokens into a pin, play one ball, and then walk away having not even finished their game? Not only are we not getting them interested in playing again they often don't even finish the first game.

    Kids these days expect structured activities run by adults. They literally don't know what to do with themselves, other than watch TV or surf the web, if there is no structured activity. IMO the only way kids today are going to be pulled into pinball is via structured play that has a guide and a purpose. Kids now are different than we were.

    #45 7 years ago
    Quoted from ChadTower:

    Not only do I have kids but I have 15 years of experience as a youth coach and am married to a K/Pre-K teacher.
    Monopoly is an awful game for new players. There are very few Roller Coaster Tycoons on location anymore that actually work. Kids don't care about daytime TV themes like Wheel of Fortune. I have only seen one Shrek machine ever and that's in the back of a beaten up arcade inside an amusement park with a billion better things to do. Never seen a Stern IJ or BDK anywhere. Ironman is a brutal game for new players, Avatar is almost as brutal, and kids didn't care much about Tron. Avengers and X-Men are both complex and a dollar a credit in a lot of places.
    Keep in mind in there is an arcade in my area, that my son and I visit weekly for league play, that has over 90 games. There is another that is specifically high end LE Sterns. It's not like I live in a place desolate for location pinball.
    If those games were good introduction games for new young players they would have performed as such. If they had done so we wouldn't even be having this conversation.

    It appears that to support your position you are saying:

    1) Regardless of theme, women aren't playing pinball at locations full of high school and middle aged males.
    2) Regardless of theme, little kids won't play shitty machines or at locations full of high school and middle aged males.

    But what I'm saying is... well, the same thing. Unless you think having an arcade full of machines in a place where women never go equates to, "Women don't play pinball because of the theme", which I maintain is a fairly illogical stance, I think we are in agreement.

    Quoted from ChadTower:

    Kids these days expect structured activities run by adults. They literally don't know what to do with themselves, other than watch TV or surf the web, if there is no structured activity.

    While I respect that you and your wife must enjoy and feel fulfilled being around kids, as a home school parent I obviously view the traditional system differently than you do. I would say it is more the case that parents, teachers and society literally don't know what to do with kids other than let them watch TV or surf the web.

    #46 7 years ago

    I don't think women avoid pinball because of theme but the themes sure don't attract women. I think women avoid pinball because the arcade environment in general doesn't appeal to them. Women are emotionally social creatures. There is nothing emotionally social about an arcade. They like to have conversations and interact in ways that are difficult at best in a loud flashy environment. Men actively avoid these things and enjoy shiny things with flashy lights. Men like to be around each other, but not necessarily communicate with each other, except for a limited amount of generally agreed on common subjects (e.g. sports and movies). The arcade environment is perfect for men as it is designed to appeal to the way men like to socialize.

    It's really not more complicated than that. If people want to open the arcade up to the average women they have to soften the environment and make it more emotionally social. Maybe the Barcade/coffee arcade concept is the way to accomplish this. Half arcade so women can get in some pin and then half pub so they can go sit and talk with their friends in between games.

    Yeah, that's a whole lot of generalization, but it probably has a lot of truth to it.

    #47 7 years ago

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    #48 7 years ago

    Chad, as I said earlier, I believe it is a given that pinball owners' kids are an obviously faulty sample space. I think we're in agreement about just about everything except what we consider "on location" to mean. If location means big arcades full of men, then yeah, I agree we're doomed. But I live in an area with a lot of interesting hip pinball locations. These aren't big vacuous impersonal arcade caves, but more intimate, cool, artsy collective social environments. And what's cool is that pinball isn't an afterthought in the corner, it's at least half the mystique. Women and kids play at the Full Tilts. Women play at Shorty's and (to a lesser extent in my experience) John John's.

    Folks just need to be more creative in where these things go in. There's always a cyclic retro push in popular society, where people realize there was worth to be had in the past and new != better. Look at all the fad video games with their 8bit graphic aspirations. I'm not saying this wave will last forever or get as big as it once was, but I think it's a decent enough swell to try and ride, and most people, when given the chance, REALLY enjoy pinball. It'd be a shame to miss out on that because of old notions, persistent stereotypes and faulty prejudice.

    And, I think theme is tertiary to that, at most.

    #49 7 years ago

    At the SF Pinball league we have around six women out of 30 total. That's the typical ratio I see at shows and at my tournaments.

    Quoted from Rick432:

    I've ALWAYS felt MAGIC: THE GATHERING would be a brilliant theme because it cuts across SO many demographics, including genders and ages, in a crowd that spends money on strategic entertainment, appreciates art, spends time anchored to common physical locations (imagine a M:tG pin on location at a game store!), and have probably never played a real pin, though are likely tech savvy!

    It would probably do well in comic book stores. A key driver of Magic, however, is the competitive aspect. More specifically, it's man-vs-man, not man-vs-machine. For the same reason, I don't expect a new Street Fighter themed pin would be particularly popular with the fighting game crowd, even if it was well-designed, unlike the old Gottlieb game.

    #50 7 years ago
    Quoted from navajas:

    Chad, as I said earlier, I believe it is a given that pinball owners' kids are an obviously faulty sample space. I think we're in agreement about just about everything except what we consider "on location" to mean. If location means big arcades full of men, then yeah, I agree we're doomed. But I live in an area with a lot of interesting hip pinball locations. These aren't big vacuous impersonal arcade caves, but more intimate, cool, artsy collective social environments. And what's cool is that pinball isn't an afterthought in the corner, it's at least half the mystique. Women and kids play at the Full Tilts. Women play at Shorty's and (to a lesser extent in my experience) John John's.
    Folks just need to be more creative in where these things go in. There's always a cyclic retro push in popular society, where people realize there was worth to be had in the past and new != better. Look at all the fad video games with their 8bit graphic aspirations. I'm not saying this wave will last forever or get as big as it once was, but I think it's a decent enough swell to try and ride, and most people, when given the chance, REALLY enjoy pinball. It'd be a shame to miss out on that because of old notions, persistent stereotypes and faulty prejudice.
    And, I think theme is tertiary to that, at most.

    We're definitely converging here. There are no such locations in this area of that type of which I am aware. Not in Boston, not in Providence, not in MA or RI. Not in NH. Here we have arcades, we have gamerooms in larger entertainment centers, and we have bars. I don't know of anything else open to the general public.

    I think the intro curve here would shorten greatly when there are some older games in those combo type places. Games that give people the pinball feel without a burdensome Stern ruleset.

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