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(Topic ID: 194037)

What Keeps People In The Hobby


By LTG

3 years ago



Topic Stats

  • 156 posts
  • 124 Pinsiders participating
  • Latest reply 3 years ago by MattS
  • Topic is favorited by 11 Pinsiders

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    There are 156 posts in this topic. You are on page 3 of 4.
    #101 3 years ago

    - What I wish I could do all the time as a kid, I can afford to do now
    - Enjoy the art, appreciate the design that goes into making each game unique
    - Love to introduce the game to others, to share my collection in a a friendly environment.
    - Especially to coworkers who grew up in countries with no exposure to pinball
    - Also makes a great excuse to get industry associates together to catch up outside of conference venues
    - Tons of community support - both locally, and virtually

    On this last point, we've done what we can to help out at the "nearby" museum; up until a job change that made the timing difficult. I still put in time for special events. I actually feel bad about not being able to do more.. -- but the paying job has to come first.

    #102 3 years ago

    I just like to play pinball....like a lot

    #103 3 years ago

    I recently got into it and I just find it fun. I also think that the communities built around it have some really accepting and friendly people.

    #104 3 years ago
    Quoted from LTG:

    What keeps people in the hobby?

    A) Being tied or bound to a game with ropes or chains.
    B) Being held in a game room against their will at gun point.
    C) Tricked by being told they were going to a Tupperware party.
    D) Or just the pure love of and fascination with pinball machines.

    #105 3 years ago
    Quoted from littlecammi:

    A) Being tied or bound to a game with ropes or chains.
    B) Being held in a game room against their will at gun point.
    C) Tricked by being told they were going to a Tupperware party.
    D) Or just the pure love of and fascination with pinball machines.

    if it was a SF2 or xfiles i'd have to have choices A or B to play them.

    #106 3 years ago
    Quoted from littlecammi:

    A) Being tied or bound to a game with ropes or chains.
    B) Being held in a game room against their will at gun point.
    C) Tricked by being told they were going to a Tupperware party.
    D) Or just the pure love of and fascination with pinball machines.

    Soooooo your saying I'm NOT getting the bonus lock and seal set?

    #107 3 years ago

    lol, what a great thread. I think I echo what a lot have said. I enjoy the "working on them" part of it. Quite frankly I've read articles about retirees driving their wives crazy hanging around all the time and I wanted a hobby that got me out of her hair. I looked at restoring classic cars but the cost is too high and I knew she would not go for having a bunch of junkers around.

    Pinball fit the bill quite nicely and I really enjoy the repair process, not only the visual stuff (paint, repairing plastics, etc.) but the internals. I didn't know much about electronics- still had my soldering iron I got from Radio Shack in 1975 in a box - but I am learning.

    Plus the actual playing is a lot of fun and my goal is to have a few games available and looking good for when friends and my sons come over.

    I've only been into this for a year so its all still new, I think it is the wide variety and fun factor that keeps people in the hobby. Tired of this pin, swap it for a different one. Tired of working on electronics, make your own translite or slide on decals, or learn to airbrush art or start modding, etc. there is so much to do.

    #108 3 years ago

    I love the women. Its like a penis extension "how many pinball machine's do you have? Are you married? "

    #109 3 years ago

    Watching documentaries like the one on Vimeo dedicated to Spooky keeps me in the Hobby.
    People like the Emerys are a blessing.

    #110 3 years ago

    at this point it is mostly self serving, now that I actually own a game. The day I sell it is the day I
    shut down most interest. Until then, I will continue to seek out machines in the wild, attend the Chicago Expo/ PBL Explosion when possible, and polish, wax and replace balls religiously.

    #111 3 years ago
    Quoted from fugus:

    I love the women. Its like a penis extension "how many pinball machine's do you have? Are you married? "

    Besides the passion for pinball, have to agree with this!

    #112 3 years ago

    A young lady at our last meet said that to the host when we had our local meet I thought it was funny and the host couldn't answer the question. Flustered.

    #113 3 years ago

    The young lady is quite a character.

    #114 3 years ago

    Hi All,
    Pinball is a great hobby. If you look at all the machines made from the beginning until now you will see a reflection of American culture. Pinball is iconic and should follow apple pie when we examine the hobby. Unlike video games each and every game of pinball is unique. It appeals to the core child in each of us. From Humpty Dumpty to the Creature from the Black Lagoon to Popeye and the Addams Family one could go on and on. The flash of the lights , the glint of the silver ball, feeling the pulsing electricity as we press the flipper button making the shot we need to . I am a dealer , not only do I sell new pinballs but we also sell reconditioned pinballs. In our show room we have 100 different titles give or take. I mention this because I want to illuminate the hobby. You have to be careful on this site. It can jade you quickly. When I see the look on peoples faces as they come through our front door, I know not only what keeps people in this hobby but why it is growing. When they see all the machines lit up in every direction their eye grow so wide. Pinball has that magic. Some people are immersed in fond memories of their past. Some people are excited to begin their game room that insulates them from a hostile world even for a little while. The neat thing is the glow that all faces have from very young to very old. Pinball is magic. What makes the magic even better is that we are in the greatest era for pinball, ever! We have great new pinballs being made, we have wonderful after market manufacturers that make keeping our old friends a reality and we have talented people who can keep the juice flowing in all these cabinets. My grandfather (who started our business 75 years ago) would always say that if you like what you do for a living you will never work a day in your life. I love what I do. In fact my daughter Lauren has come to work for Pinball Alley (fourth generation) that is the kind of magic pinballs has. That is what keeps people in the hobby.

    #115 3 years ago

    For one thing, it's my Zen. I tend to hit the pins a lot more when I'm going through a crappy time, because it's one of the only thing that makes my brain turn off. Spending a few bucks at an arcade for a few hours is a lot cheaper than pretty much any other option.

    But it's also the people. The more people I meet and befriend, the less likely I am to leave the hobby.

    Did I mention that it's also really freaking fun? If you get bored with one pin... move on to the next. It's pretty hard to reach the end of the pintertainment options.

    #116 3 years ago

    Of course the people and the custom mods i like to create to enchance a pin.

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    #117 3 years ago

    A birth defect, being a little antisocial and being a arcade geek.
    Yep that's the truth. I was born with a sever hearing impairment so never did well in social gatherings. I can only communicate with about two to three people at a time. Pinball with its small number of players is a great way to connect to others in a close group.

    #118 3 years ago
    Quoted from fugus:

    I love the women. "How many pinball machines do you have? Are you married?"

    Quoted from fugus:

    A young lady said that to the host at our last local meet and the host couldn't answer the question.

    So either he couldn't remember how many games he owns or he didn't want to reveal if he was married or not?

    #119 3 years ago

    I'm a sucker for anything under glass and the people in real life are nice.

    If I had to think about it more, it has the same appeal that cars do for me and many others. There's an aspect of preservation of part of history and culture, style and pop culture appeal from another era, mechanical and electronic tinkery, and best of all customization. To each his own and the hobby seems to embrace the full range of expressions.

    Differently than most, playing is barely on the list. Art and aesthetic are tops on my list. What's great is the exact opposite has just as much place and friendship and support in this hobby as anyone else. How can you beat that?

    10
    #120 3 years ago

    This is a great post, so I’ve taken a little while to think about my answer, so in no particular order:

    Playing
    I really, really, really like playing pinball and used to be quite good at it. (Made 2nd place twice in local competitions and in one national competition. Never won. Dang.) Walking down to the cellar to fire up Surf Champ always puts a little smile on my face and it’s great to forget the worries of the day for a few minutes with the silver ball.
    The basics plunge, flip and nudge are explained in seconds, yet it takes years to master. Most people – myself included – never truly master it.

    Art and Design
    Within tight financial and engineering constraints designers manage to create beautiful little worlds under glass that comprise of largely identical components yet play totally differently, even games from the same era and series. And I love the mostly fantastic artwork.
    Sound
    From the warm and friendly ting-a-ling of EMs to the hair-on-your-arm raising roar of War Machine from a pimped ACDC Luci, I love that pin sound.

    The Business
    I love KISS, but it’s unlikely that I will almost certainly ever sit down with Paul and Gene for a beer. Pinball is a relatively small business, where you can meet and greet your heroes without shelling out a couple of grand for the “meet and greet” package.

    The community
    I have met or communicated via forums with many really great guys and one or two great gals. 99.99% of all pinheads I have gotten to know or done deals with over the years have been friendly, albeit sometimes a bit shy and reticent, as well as helpful.

    Hunting for pins in the wild to play
    I used to hunt them down with a view to a purchase, but due to my family situation and “governmental” restrictions I can now only own max three games. A few years ago when I had a much larger collection I met someone who had reached the finals in a national competition, but owned no games. I couldn’t understand it and asked him how he practiced. “Oh, I just look for them in pubs,” he replied. And so for several years, Thursday night is pin-hunting night. It’s hard to find playable pins out in the wild, but thanks to the internet, it’s relatively easy to find the ones that are out there. Within a 30 minute drive I have access to: TWD, GOT, Metallica, X-Men, TAF, RS, Corvette, Baywatch, IM, Transformers, T2, STTNG, POTC, JY, KISS in either bars, cinemas or bowling alleys. If I were to add to this, pins in private collections that we could access, I could add another fifty to that list.

    Live Streaming of Tournaments
    As I’m no longer able to attend tournaments, this is a massive plus for me. I know how hard it is to make those shots, even under no pressure, and it blows my mind to see the big guns calmly beat the High Score to Date in the final rounds of a major tournament. (I’d be trembling like a leaf) So a big shout out of thanks goes to tournament organizers, technicians and commentators.

    So basically as long as my brain is more or less working and can send signals to my fingers I will be staying in this fantastic hobby.

    #121 3 years ago

    I'm basically no longer in the hobby, just hovering on the edge of completely leaving it.....I definitely like many of the people I have become friendly with through the hobby over the years, and that's probably one of the only reasons I still attend the shows. I have also met a handful I'd love to run over repeatedly with my vehicle, but they have not ruined anything for me. Life just got in the way....prices are also stupid now, so I would not buy squat anyway these days. My games basically collect dust....I'd love to sell them and buy a toy I can drive around, but the wife (who does not play sh#t) wants the "arcade".... I still marvel at the individuals who pre-order every game that comes out, even though they had so many issues with the one before it..... Common Sense is a lost art in this, and many hobbies out there...

    #122 3 years ago

    Relatively new here, but I can tell you why my interest was rekindled recently

    My uncle had an EM when I was growing up (I think it was Big Indian). They hosted Thanksgiving every year, and I'd spend a lot of the day with the table. My favorite was when the ball would get caught between the pop bumpers and just bounce back and forth. For whatever reason, I just found it very relaxing, hypnotic almost. Like watching a campfire. So there's definitely a nostalgia aspect to it; particularly when I play games with heavy pop bumper action, it makes me think of those Thanksgivings (and my uncle, who died over a decade ago).

    Video games were my primary hobby for most of my life. I played them too much for years, before finally burning out on them. This happened for a lot of reasons, but two stand out. I mostly enjoy playing local multiplayer games with other people - the game being the excuse to get together with friends, essentially - and the switch to online multiplayer focus turned me off. More than that, though, I've realized I just don't want to spend my entire life in front of a screen. So much of today's world is digital and artificial that it's really made me long to spend more time with things that are tangible. (This is actually why I'm sad that it looks like LCD is the new DMD moving forward - it makes total sense in a lot of ways, but if I wanted to play a video game, I'd play a video game. I generally don't even care for video modes in DMD games. But I digress...)

    I've got several non-screen hobbies - I've been reading books more, playing music, rediscovered the joy of going for walks, etc. - but I do also like the competitive aspect of playing a game. I really enjoy board games, but the trouble with them is that most of the ones I like are fairly complicated, or at least hard to explain. Pinball is very accessible - not everyone is going to be IFPA ranked, but even my 4 year old can walk up to a table, take at least one solid shot and smile as she watches it bounce around. While most of the good games are deep, "shoot the flashy thing" is usually good enough to get casual folks started - there aren't a lot of games of any type that you can get people going with a one-sentence explanation.

    I haven't truly "met" anyone yet, but I had a lot of nice exchanges with strangers at ReplayFX this year. I went with a friend who's more of a video gamer, and he and I both commented that the crowd was extremely friendly compared to other types of gaming conventions we've attended. I wouldn't say that's why I stay, exactly, but it definitely is a nice benefit to know that the community tends to be kind.

    So, TL;DR, nostalgia, accessibility, and the desire to spend more time in the physical world are most of it. Oh, and fun, of course!

    #123 3 years ago
    Quoted from volcanolotus:

    I really enjoy board games, but the trouble with them is that most of the ones I like are fairly complicated, or at least hard to explain.

    I am in the same situation. Boardgames are great; my current favorites are complex as well, and require several players (up to 6) and 2-3 hours or more. In other words, this can't be improvised.

    Pinball, on the other hand... got a 5' break? Let's

    #124 3 years ago

    Two things:
    1. The WOW factor when people walk into my basement and the ease with which anyone from age 4 to 90 walks up and has a good time on the machines.
    2. I love playing them!

    #125 3 years ago

    I like to play pinball, I like to get a good deal on a game that needs work, and get it working right. I like the way it sounds when several folks come over and play my games and raise a ruckus, with all the dinging, and clackety clacking, lights flashing and all. I like the DMD, the EMs the early SS, I like shrimp gumbo, shrimp dejonge, shrimp creaole, buffalo shrimp, shrimp etoufe, shrimp, oh yeah I got sidetracked! I like it a lot but I think most of all I've always been into games where there are physical things flying around, and not just something on a screen. Games where you hit stuff, and balls fly around, and I like fixing them too because I've always been a tinkerer!!!
    It's just fun too play pinball, and also can be quite relaxing when things get a bit overwhelming in the real world, I can find an escape in the little worlds in the big boxes in my basement!

    #126 3 years ago

    What keeps me in the hobby:
    1) Pinball is so much fun, much better than a video game. I love the physics, the strategy, the "realness" of the game.
    2) Pinball is beautiful. The artwork, The shine of the play field, the glossy balls, the call-outs, the light shows.
    3) Pinball is unusual, you don't find one in every house....You should! But you don't.
    4) I love electronics and tinkering, pinball is fun to work on when you are not playing.
    5) Pinball is fun to share, its great to invite people over and watch them have fun!

    #127 3 years ago

    I have been fascinated with pinball machines since I was 5 years old, I'm now 47 and nothing has changed in that regard.
    I don't really tinker much with them, I just like to play.
    Playing and enjoying them with family and friends is what it is all about for me, there is nothing better than spending a few hours playing with my two sons. Eventually my games will be passed on to them.

    #128 3 years ago
    Quoted from LTG:

    UltraPeepi brought up a good question in the "Why Do People Leave The Hobby" thread.
    Do a little soul searching. And post what you love about pinball that keeps you in the game.

    LTG : )

    It's certainly a valid question. I've been staring at this playfield all night, with its question mark graphic, wondering about the answer.

    Having read this thread, with all of pinball's positive aspects articulated herein, it's hard to imagine anyone abandoning pinball. Surely there's someTHING noteworthy that cajoles some of us to relinquish the hobby. Conclusion. . .nope, anyone who leaves the hobby is crazy.

    On a serious note, I've been fascinated with pinball most of my life (born in 1959). I did some soul-searching on this topic in college. I concluded that pinball's greatest appeal was its escapism factor, its unique ability to transport the player to another place. For a poetry writing class, I wrote the following poem back then, entitled TILT, as follows:

    Fingertips press glass.
    the moist prints linger,
    then melt to velvet traces.
    The dime dissolves.
    Lights flash once.
    Metallic sphere races,
    reflecting in its surface,
    the scenes and faces.
    Distorted counter-world,
    where Tarzan swings from laces.
    Where the only way out
    to Alpha Centauri
    is a crate on stilts.
    And the only way back
    to Atlantic City is. . .tilt.

    Of course, the metaphor of space travel in a pinball machine (a crate on stilts) is meant to evoke the fragility and impermanence of adolescence. So too is the image of Tarzan swinging upon laces, sneaker laces being a common image of youth. The fingerprints melt and the dime dissolves. Everything about the transition from youth to adulthood is fleeting.

    For me, pinball is a vehicle to a counter-world, where the rules are defined, the objectives are clear and the vectors are inviting. Compared to the world of terra firma, pinball's chaos is inconsequential and stress-relieving. What keeps me in the game more than any other factor is the nudge that saves the ball from the drain, the impossible shot that I just witnessed and all of the lights, colors and sounds on my repeated trips as an adult-kid to Alpha Centauri.

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    #129 3 years ago

    A big factor for me is that watching TV or playing video games are obviously a waste of time, whereas repairing pinballs can claim some usefulness, even if all you do after fixing them is play them.

    #130 3 years ago

    The art wows me. The gameplay challenges me.

    The community of players everywhere I have been to, has been above awesome. Every time. Probably next time too.

    I like going to other people's arcades.

    I like to mix in a couple video games too.

    #131 3 years ago

    What keeps me in pinball lately.......
    The News!

    #132 3 years ago

    I enjoy competing in tournaments and leagues even though I'm just an average player. Even though I finished in the 70s for PAPA C division this year, I did manage to put up the top score on Ghostbusters which for me was exciting.

    The Pindigo app is also fun to keep track of your personal bests and see how you stack up against other players.

    Other than that, I just enjoy playing the machines available at various shows I attend.

    The hobby would be pretty boring if there were no machines being manufactured, no leagues, no tournaments and no shows.

    #133 3 years ago

    For me it's a few things. Primarily I've always loved playing pinball. Now that I'm an adult I can collect, restore, and preserve the games I remember playing as a child. There is also a great sense of satisfaction that comes from bring a game back from the dead. I guess I consider my self a steward of the 80s & 90s arcade era. Protecting and caring for the machines because they cannot be replaced.

    There is another factor too. I suffer from pretty bad anxiety. I don't even think that I was aware of it until a year or so ago. I just thought that everyone was like me. But they're not. Everything is so fragile in my mind always on the brink of destruction, or decay. So taking these machines (which I am fond of regardless) and protecting them, caring for them, and preserving them allows me some sense of control over that. While I'm working on them nothing else is on my mind. It's just the machines and I. Nothing to be stressed about. So the sense of stewardship and calm is hugely therapeutic in a way.

    #134 3 years ago

    i like to play pinball because of the physicality of it. my other hobbies died. my band broke up, my knees are too creaky to bowl. so i'm left with books, beer, and pinball.

    #135 3 years ago

    I think it's part retro nostalgia, part challenge that you can't reproduce in an emulator, part awesome artwork and collectability, and part hunt for the next game.

    #136 3 years ago

    Great question! I've been asked this many times about joining the hobby. Before reading other responses, this is basically what I tell them:

    1) Pinball is an interesting piece of artwork with great "Hands-on" interaction ability as an innocent, challenging amusement to people of all ages.
    2) There are many ways to enjoy this hobby, serving all types of people, (players, many types of
    fixers - restorers, those that enjoy hunting them down, those that enjoy profits from flipping - re-selling).
    3) Primarily home based, enjoyed by the whole family, and a great party-hosting pastime for any occasion.
    4) The hobby has a great, growing following, offering many things to do if so desired, (shows, tournaments, day trips, internet forum referencing, etc), with many interesting down-to-earth people to meet.

    All of the above have kept me, "In the game" of collecting for 30 years, and can honestly say I'll continue to be here enjoying and helping others, "For the duration."

    1 week later
    #137 3 years ago
    Quoted from LTG:

    UltraPeepi brought up a good question in the "Why Do People Leave The Hobby" thread.
    It's been 13 hours and he didn't start the topic yet. So I'm doing it for him.
    Please don't just respond. Do a little soul searching. And post what you love about pinball that keeps you in the game.
    Your responses may well help others. Especially if they are thinking of jumping ship because they lost their way and forgot what they used to enjoy about pinball. Your response may help you too.
    LTG : )

    I simply can't afford it anymore. I'd love to work on new project games, but they're gone and flipped before I can even respond now. The days of $300 junkers SYS11 games are over and done. It was fun while it lasted. I still play the two I held onto a few times a week though.

    #138 3 years ago
    Quoted from thedefog:

    I simply can't afford it anymore. I'd love to work on new project games, but they're gone and flipped before I can even respond now. The days of $300 junkers SYS11 games are over and done. It was fun while it lasted. I still play the two I held onto a few times a week though.

    Just means it's time to go classic Bally... picked up two junkers with great backglasses and cabinets for under 300 just a couple weeks ago. There are also some really fun EM's out there.

    I know some don't like them because the ball moves slower but they are challenging in a different way and in lots of ways are actually harder than many more modern games.

    #139 3 years ago
    Quoted from merccat:

    Just means it's time to go classic Bally... picked up two junkers with great backglasses and cabinets for under 300 just a couple weeks ago. There are also some really fun EM's out there.
    I know some don't like them because the ball moves slower but they are challenging in a different way and in lots of ways are actually harder than many more modern games.

    I'm an electronics guy, so even though I like EMs, I wouldn't like working on them as much. I like debugging roached hacked up SS games.
    I'd love to find some early SS Bally junkers for under $300.

    #140 3 years ago

    Great question and some really interesting answers. For me the draw has been something different every few years. We will call it waves of interest.

    Wave one - 2000 -home arcades were just plane cool and I built a man cave and made space for a few pins. Having loved playing pins in middle school I wanted to bring that home to my kids. At this point Pins were no longer on location in the DC area.

    Wave two- 2001-found a forum about pins on line and low and behold other people loved home arcades. They talked about build quality, depth and how much Stern sucked (RGP days) yet Stern was the only one left building Pins.

    Wave three -2003- the refurbishing of poor purchase choices. Learned how to make my route beater games look marvelous. Limited funds meant learning how to fix these monsters.

    Wave four - 2005 the hunt / hording- two pins turned into 17 at one point. This is also the find fix flip phase. I actually printed out Clays guide and bound it so I could read it like a pin- bible. Found a solid group of local pinheads which just feeds the fire. After moving to NC I met some people with outstanding collections which made me realize want to get some long term titles.

    Wave five -2008 the hit list- after owning 30+ games I started to slow down and focus. Researching each title I made a top 10 list and swore to get them and keep them. This was the longest phase tracking fixing and pimping each to my perception of greatness.

    Wave six - 2009 Pimping for myself funded by pimping for others. Yes like all good addictions my habit was funded by shopping other pinheads machines and at one point taking in strangers pins for restore. I shopped and pimped one of my friends machines and he mentioned making mods and selling them. At the time Mod'n was new, few makers were out there so I started selling on pinside and other forums directly.

    Wave seven - 2014 the creative side- Pinball is an art form and each player owner can envision how they would have designed things differently. Under the glass is its own little world- why not personalize it. My interest is more focused on how to make things better or more fun to the best of my ability with the input of others.

    So at this point pinball is 30% play 20% forum and 50% product creation.
    Sixteen years ago I couldn't envision where pinball has taken me, but I cant see myself ever leaving pinball.

    #141 3 years ago

    More money than brains and no girlfriend.

    #142 3 years ago

    Tonight, Ill blame Lloyd!

    #143 3 years ago

    Well for me it was a good idea when I had a new home with empty basement. And then I acquired another one each year. Now, I just dread the thought of moving them out. So a member for life.

    Plus I love all the craziness that goes on in the loving caring community. I wouldn't want to miss a thing.

    #144 3 years ago

    I <3 Pinball

    #145 3 years ago

    There's so many great titles.. so many machines to fix and get back out there.
    I'm old and broken from 30 years of skateboarding.. pre 65 Hot rod building and pinball machines replaced it.. plus the beutiful artwork and skills of playing..

    #146 3 years ago

    There is one thing that has kept me in the hobby for nearly 20 years - friends. Have I enjoyed the thrill of the chase and finding deals out there? Sure. I enjoy playing machines, occasionally resolving problems, and learning what I am 'supposed to do' as I play. But without a doubt, the friendships that have evolved from my involvement in the community is the reason I am still here. And some came from a simple local sale, how cool is that? And in the case of the picture below (me and Cliffy), this is someone I finally had a chance to meet face-to-face and hug at PAGG this year after nearly two decades of communication! I can't express in words what that meant to me.

    Brad

    brad_and_cliffy.png

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    #147 3 years ago

    I am 14 years old. I was 11 when I first "really" played a pinball. It was a beat to crap Funhouse that was in the typical crappy operator condition. But I didn't care. Half of that being because, A: At that time I didn't even really know what was suppose to happen inside the game in the first place. And, B: Because there was just something so satisfying about watching a pinball fly around that I didn't feel playing the other video games. From then on I would ALWAYS beg my mom to take me to pappy's pizza so I could play funhouse. After a couple months of dumping quarters into funhouse, (with absolutely 0% progression into understanding the game) I found a new pinball at another pizza place, a TSPP that was in even worse condition than the funhouse. Around the time I was starting to play the TSPP I started to try and learn more and more about different pinball games along with how they work and I just LOVED it. It got to the point where I would sit for hours and just read PDF manuals of the games because I was just so curious about the games themselves and their each special set of rules and toys and mechanisms. Around this same time the pappy's I played funhouse at switched out the funhouse for a monopoly and one complaint to the owner later I was out of pappy's and haven't been back since. From then on I was stuck with my TSPP and pin manuals for about a year because at that time there weren't really any other pins around where I lived. Then, one glorious day I was taken to the newly opened Vector Volcano Classic Arcade. I stepped through the door and instantly was filled with the most beautiful sound (without question) in the world, Dozens of video games mixed with the constant chattering of some 8 year old beating the flippers to death on a fathom. The system used there was 5$ hourlong admission or a 10$ all day admission and all games were set to free play (which I thought personally thought was amazing).I was at first a little skeptical because all the games were old. But I enjoyed them nonetheless. Not quite as much as the dmd's, but I still thought they were a blast. A few trips to Vector later I found that the owner had purchased the next dmd I was to be acquainted too. A BSD. By then I was 13 and had talked to the owner a bit and had become "friends" him. I kept on doing more and more pin-research and kept on coming to Vector more and more often and, somehow, before I knew it, I had been offered a job. I hadn't even seen it coming. I had told him that I had done a lot of research about pinball and I (of course) felt that by reading pinball manuals, that meant that I knew how to fix a pinball machine. Now, in Oregon you cannot be legally hired at 13 (14 is the minimum age requirement), so until my birthday we were doing pinball fixing "training" days whenever we could meet up. I remember the first time he lifted up a play field and I saw it in real life what a rats nest the underside of a game looks like. I wondered, " What the hell have I got myself into?" But with more and more training I found myself actually fixing harder and harder things and before I knew it, I was 14 and had a real pinball mechanic job, (huge bragging rights in 8th grade). By then I was doing daily soldering and was able to do "medium" level pinball fixes. (However most deep board stuff I still have no idea about). For my birthday, my now boss gave me a Kings of Steel for my birthday (after years of asking for a pin). I have been working there as a tech ever since and I love it. I love fixing the games almost as much as I like playing them! If you ever are are around and want to play some great pins (we have a lot more dmd's now). Come to Vector Volcano.! We have the best maintained pins (brought to you by me ) around! Well..... at least in bend. This is a (very unproofreaded) story about my introduction into the wonderful pinball world and all the great people in it! I hope that since I am starting very young I will be able to spread my love for pinball to more people and make pinball great again!

    #148 3 years ago
    Quoted from Avi8er:

    I am 14 years old. I was 11 when I first "really" played a pinball.........

    Welcome to the hobby! Definitely some serious bragging rights! With all the time spent learning and repairing, don't forget to have some fun and just play the games. It's good for the soul.

    #149 3 years ago
    Quoted from Avi8er:

    Then, one glorious day I was taken to the newly opened Vector Volcano Classic Arcade.

    Good to know, I'm headed over to Bend next weekend... will check it out.

    --- Assuming I can make it over the pass due to all of the forest fires..

    #150 3 years ago
    Quoted from jellikit:

    There is one thing that has kept me in the hobby for nearly 20 years - friends. Have I enjoyed the thrill of the chase and finding deals out there? Sure. I enjoy playing machines, occasionally resolving problems, and learning what I am 'supposed to do' as I play. But without a doubt, the friendships that have evolved from my involvement in the community is the reason I am still here. And some came from a simple local sale, how cool is that? And in the case of the picture below (me and Cliffy), this is someone I finally had a chance to meet face-to-face and hug at PAGG this year after nearly two decades of communication! I can't express in words what that meant to me.
    Brad

    This^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^^!!!
    My first pinball friend, I never got the honor/privilege of meeting in person. We had many conversations via e-mail, RGP (fun times), and phone calls. I met him through an E-bay ad many years ago, buying what you ask? Pinball plastics for my FirepowerII. We struck up a conversation via E-mail about why I needed them. I told him that I wasn't in a major hurry to get them as my PF was still curing and wouldn't be ready to re-assemble for awhile yet. He asked who restored it and I told him I did...he asked for pics. and that was when he told me I should do restores for a living. I laughed and said that would be awesome to get to work on pins all the time, his reply was be careful what you wish for...the rest shall we say is history...#33 1/3 is still missed! Now #1 has joined him! I would've loved to meet them both in person, one day I will see them all again and what a party we will have...pinball, green army men and lots of water balloons!! I call dibs on shotgun in the jeep!!
    On another note...the people I have met in this hobby/addiction are what keeps me in the pinball hobby! I have met some of the best most giving and caring people out there thanks to pinball! I consider my pinball friends among my best friends...we party together, play together, travel together...and they are there for you when you need a hand not just with pinball moving or fixing, but when you need a hand with life in the real world (not the one under glass). They support you and cheer you up when you are down or upset. Those kind of friends are hard to come by and I would never have found them if it weren't for this crazy goofy hobby!

    Phoebe

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