Quoted from Razorbak86:
Jared, don't take what Josh said TOO literally. I think he meant, "anything [good] that can actually make it to market would be a huge step in increasing the [positive] awareness of pinball to the masses."
Lol . . . I've had this conversation with production companies and enthusiasts many times.
Here's my stance . . .
At this point in where the world is with people having any idea that pinball exists, I've far more forgiving into what I'm willing to personally believe in as being 'good for pinball'.
I've moved forward with treatments for shows that I thought were incredibly stupid, because of what that viewership could possibly mean for pinball awareness (See the episode treatments I posted earlier - while the playing Fire! in a building set on fire was obviously a joke, the Dunk the Dummy challenge episode was not). I would love for the World Series of Pinball to be on TV, and if it means that we first have to get through any kind of crap that the world would take for pinball to be something on the minds of the general public, that's a step I'm personally willing to take. I can't wait to be picky with the shows that the IFPA is willing to partner up with, but that time to be picky isn't yet.
I would much rather start a conversation about pinball with someone who saw a show and couldn't believe how stupid it was, and then fill them in on the 'real' pinball world . . . compared to the blank stares I get from my wife's relatives when we talk pinball. Half of them think I'm talking about ping pong, and the other half thought they stopped making pins in the early 80's when video games hit.
A perfect example is Game of Arms. I have no idea if that's what the real professional arm wrestling circuit is all about or not, but it at least makes me aware that professional arm wrestling is "a thing". If I want to know more about real professional arm wrestling the internet is a great place to go learn more about it.
If someone watches American Pinball Pickers Storage Wars, and they are intrigued enough about pinball as "a thing", that could lead them into potentially searching the internet about pinball. That search leads people to learning that new companies still exist making games today (hello Stern, JJP, Heighway, etc). That search leads people to see that there's actually a world ranking of competitive pinball players out there. That search leads people to see that there are apps where people can play these actually tables (hello Pinball Arcade). That's all available on like page 1 of a google search for "pinball".
Anyone that is willing to take a reality show as the end all/be all of what "a thing" is all about isn't someone I would be worried about anyway. These shows when done right (or wrong) are a gateway into people being interested in learning more about "the thing".
Just my $.02 . . . YMMV