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.
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.