I had the pleasure of hosting Robin and Martijn while they were passing through my city (Toronto) for their final night just before they flew back home, after their recent tour that started at the TPF.
It was a personal thrill to have them here, as my pinball adventure very much started with Pinside and came at a very important time of my life. I thought I’d share with you a bit about that and how much Pinside has affected me.
During the summer of 2012 I went through a very deep and long-lasting existential crisis. Of unknown origin, but it was with me for many months and was pretty consuming. Looking at my Pinside sign-up date of August 23, 2012, I can recall revisiting my childhood interest of pinball during that time.
Upon being thrown into this new world of very enthusiastic hobbyists, I had something new to take my mind off things and give me some relief. I can remember the warm welcome I got at Pinside, from rabscuttle, who identified me as a newbie from a first post and sent me an unsolicited PM welcoming me to Pinside. I’ve tried to pay that gesture forward myself by doing the same thing to newbies as I see them.
In very quick order, I began to build a new social group of friends. As adults, we have limited opportunities to meet new people. I honestly hadn’t made any new friends during the last 10 years prior. And suddenly on Pinside I was meeting new people left and right.
Then I got bit by the enablers on Pinside, and all of a sudden my first pinball was not just any one, but a giant leap to a NIB Tron. As crazy as a purchase like that seems, my wife could tell this was important to me and something that was helping me, and supported my decision 100%.
Through Pinside I sourced the seller of the Tron. And I can recall the feeling of waiting for its arrival. I had honestly not felt that way since I was a little kid waiting for Christmas. A lifetime of living can just suck the fun out of everything, and here I felt like a 7-year-old again. Of course, I got to share the thrill of when the game arrived with Pinside.
The mother of all enabler threads is that “Let’s see pics of game rooms!” and then I had a REAL bug in me as my pinball addiction was fully unleashed. “Frolic’s Arcade” was realized.
I’ve enjoyed whatever “Pinside fame” I’ve gotten (thank you for 20,000 thumbs ups!), and it has been fun to be a part of this site and part of the ongoing discussions. I hope I’ve in turn had a positive effect on others here and shared the occasional laugh.
Pinside allowed me to make friends not just online, but I quickly connected with local ones. Many I see every week, and some I speak with almost every day. My online Pinside friends are equally as great, many of whom I may never meet in real life but I think if we did we would be like old friends. I cherish all the friendships I’ve developed since my first day signing up to Pinside.
Now we live in a new house with a dedicated arcade, we host my wife’s monthly league and charity events, and it’s just fun to have people over and share my hobby. I’ve often made the analogy that if I collected cars instead, it would be like going to the car show, but handing over the keys to my cars and letting everyone drive them around the block. Pinball is such a unique hobby that way in your ability to share it with anyone, including strangers.
So, back to Pinside. It was a genuine thrill to bring everything full circle with Robin and Martijn’s visit this week, and host them at my arcade that is very much a product of Pinside both directly and indirectly. I invited a bunch of local Pinsiders to join us. There was a great “arcade energy” in the air, with the cacophony of pinball, music and conversations happening everywhere.
Pinside has been a part of my daily life since that first day I signed up. I know my story is just one of many, so I hope they take pride in what they’ve created and contributed to the world.