Quoted from Richthofen:
Adults in 30 years will collect antiquated iPads and not pinball machines.
I do not believe this would be the case. We don't see people collecting 30 year old Commodore computers. Anything that uses any sort of video screen can easily be emulated on any new piece of equipment. That's why we see all the old original 8 bit video games still out there. But not on the original machines but instead newly emulated on the new gadget of the day.
Things like pool tables, dart boards, and pinball are all entertainment devices that require a real physical object to play on. You need balls, table, and cue sticks for billiards, darts and a board for darts, and a pinball machine with flippers, ball, bumpers, ramps, etc. for pinball. Yes these have also been emulated on video screens but it will never be the same as the actual physical object.
If anything we may be in for a resurgence of such things. Video versions are a great "gateway" to the real thing. We see video versions of almost any sort of activity and from that many folks will go out and try the real thing. What will dictate if things like pinball machines will continue to exist is more related to the economic condition of the planet. If things are good in the economy people will have more disposable income and they will continue to buy pool tables, snowmobiles, tennis rackets, skateboards, and yes pinball machines. If the economy crashes these things are out the door as we will be struggling just to eat.
Now you may be thinking "we just went through a slow economic period the last couple of years so why did we have a resurgence in something like pinball?" The answer is simple. Pinball is still cheaper than a new boat or sports car. From reading the many different threads here on Pinside it does seem that most in this hobby are definitely in the upper middle class and do still have disposable income at hand. But maybe just not as much as before. So instead of the new Porsche they are now instead getting a new MMR or STLE.
So if the world economy does start really rolling again I do see a shift in pinball ownership from the upper middleclass back to the middle middleclass much as it used to be. The wealthier will start buying more cars again and the middle class may be able to afford a pinball machine again.
If the world economy tanks we may eventually see the demise of all things real as the only thing anyone may be still able to afford is some sort of computer video device that will emulate everything that is real in this world. Sadly I do see the world heading in this direction. Everything is done on the computer. There is little or no social or physical interaction with anything real anymore. You don't even need a real person next to you to even have sex!!
So lets all make sure we keep a real pinball machine in our game room and a real woman in our beds!!