So as some of you may know I have only been into this thing since November, so 11 months. In that time I have fallen deep into the rabbit hole and have bought many machines, sold a few, and generally become obsessed/infatuated with pinball as a hobby and a interest. Can you blame me?
What really brought me into the hobby full force was being invited into a great group of owners here in DFW, a group called the DFW Pinball and Arcade Club. These guys were having one of their pinball parties, which I had never seen before, and once I was there the magic of it really took grasp. I realized later that the excitement and enthusiasm of genuine pinball enthusiasts made me want to become one myself. I had that "ah ha" moment where I realized that these things were so much deeper, so much more meaningful than just a game where you hit a ball...
As time went on my passion for wanting to host, create, promote or be involved with any/all pinball related events in my area of North Texas increased. I hosted my first ever pinball event just a few months ago and over 150 people came and nearly 40 pins were there to play. Remarkably, doing this actually soured my reputation with some locals as I used my tried/true aggressive marketing I have utilized in the car industry over the last 9 years to achieve those results. I never meant to, but I quickly became a "love me or hate me" kind of guy. Which sucks honestly, but it is what it is. I'm not letting that stop me or hold me back from my goals.
So my next plan/idea has been to convert my own garage into a game room, not unlike many of you pinsiders have done yourself. However, my game room has a little bit different agenda than just serving my own personal passion for pinball. The goal all along has been to use it as a catalyst to convert normal people into pinball hobbyists.
You see I realized after my own experience, that today no-one is going to go out to a Pizza Hut and fall in love with a pinball machine. There is no pinball machine. If they are to find one, its either in disrepair due to a operator or its $1 a game and someone who does not understand pinball is unlikely to pay $1 to learn. So pinball is stuck in the mud.
I want my garage to be a place where I can host events, parties, shindigs and how-to-seminars for regular folks. Not established pinballers, but normal people like we all have in our life who may be interested but have never actually touched one in 10+ years. By having a place that people can come and play, for free, in a welcoming and safe environment with well maintained and fully functional pinballs representing machines from 1977-Today I believe I can make a difference (locally) in the overall interest, awareness, and promotion of pinball in general.
I have 5,000 facebook friends, 21,000+ facebook followers for a combined network over 26,000 people. I am exposing these people to pinball and arcade related content several times a week, which itself has led already to pinball purchases and requests to visit my home arcade.
I am not a whole solution, or even a small one, but a tiny piece that can have a difference in my area.
Passion about pinball is truly contagious, and sharing it with others in my opinion is the #1 best way to grow our hobby.
Here is a video walk through of my arcade made tonight during a open/public pinball event I hosted. Thanks for reading.