(Topic ID: 119143)

Why are Pins superior to Vids?


By mof

4 years ago



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  • Latest reply 4 years ago by practicalsteve
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    #1 4 years ago

    I'm a lifetime gamer.

    I played video games exclusively for 30+ years and then discovered the greatness of pinball only recently.

    I want to help translate the greatness of pinball to video gamers. (There are bazillions of them now)

    When you try to explain to a video gamer why you now prefer pinball over vids, what points to you raise?

    EDIT: (For those with no preference for pinball, then I'd like to ask you, "What points do you raise when you choose to encourage a vid-only player to try pinball?")

    -mof

    Post edited by mof: Added a second question for those that don't prefer pinball."

    #2 4 years ago

    I'll update this list as ideas come in from the field.

    Note: We are comparing pins and video games.

    (Bear in mind video games have gone through various technology stages, and you might want to consider all 4 stages when responding.)

    1. Original cabinet games like Asteroids and Pac Man (bring quarters)
    2. Home consoles games like Atari 2600 through Xbox and Play Station with titles like GTA and Madden (that use a limited controller)
    3. PC/Mac games like World of Warcraft, and other MMOs (that sometimes require you use an entire keyboard: 50+ keys to play at a high level)
    4. Android/ios mobile device games like Candy Crush (games that require one thumb or less to play)
    Android/ios games having the most marketshare, mostly played with thumbs while sitting down) and (vintage 80s/90s cabinet games having the tiniest marketshare)

    How to pitch what makes pinball unique/more (special,interesting, or challenging) when compared to video games:

    1. Universal skill set (transfers from pin to pin)
    2. Very very long learning curve (to become a champ)
    3. Randomness/Unpredictability (while ball movement itself is rather predictable, the upcoming sequence of "best reactions" is not)
    4. Talking piece (just having a pin generates conversation, even a non-gamer can explore the art package and discuss it.)
    5. Healthier (Other than playing Sony Wii and a few recent games like Dance-Dance Revolution (2 exceptions), it is infinitely healthier to stand up to play a game where you are not staring into a screen, than to sit down (like with most video games) and stare at something X inches from your head for Y hours at a time. Pinball actually is great for your eyes)
    6. Physical Interaction (vids never have a physical dimension). (This physical dimension allows the novice to have an idea what the game is about and how to play at first glance, and allows the pro player to learn every nuance of how to manipulate the box and two buttons to achieve best results. It also "feels good" to make certain shots and feel the machine, when the pops thunder into a spasm.)
    7. Easiest game controllers to learn (Two buttons and a box that "can" be nudged a little). (Yes, in 1-2% of the cases i pinball, there are 1-2 extra buttons to learn about or a firing mechanism like in T2.)
    8. Hands-on Customization. (You get to invest your handiwork skills and design flare to every game you own -- I recognize this only applies to "owning" -- but it's still a great point. You can build up "pride" in each machine you own.)
    9. Better Community than with vids. (There is no comparison here, people in the pinball community NEED each other for support in many ways, whereas with any MMO or mobile device game community, they do not, it's a "nice to have".)
    10. Making "RL (real life)" friends. (beyond the benefits of having access to a great community online, you may meet some great people that become good friends in life, no video monitor or head-set required to interact with them.)
    11. Playability in terms of becoming obsolete. (From a perspective of supporting the VERSION, video games are generally tied to other technologies such as operating systems, video hardware, or other dependencies that often make you want the newest version, or need the newest version. Pinball has them as well, but it's a much slower moving target, and thus, they don't require you to purchase "upgrades" to get the latest version every single month or year.

    #3 4 years ago

    I prefer pins to vids for two big reasons:

    1. The skills in pins are universal to all pins. The skills in vids are unique to that vid.
    2. The learning curve is STEEP and LONG to becoming a great player in pinball. I expect to keep climbing that hill for years to come, and enjoying the JOURNEY. I'm in no hurry to be the champion of the world at pinball.

    I enjoy watching myself improve a few percent each month, and all my scores going up. Any video game I ever got good at -- those skills were forever invested in that single title. What a waste of time!

    What about you?

    -mof

    #4 4 years ago

    Do you have about 4 hours?

    #5 4 years ago
    Quoted from 27dnast:

    Do you have about 4 hours?

    Yes.
    -mof

    #6 4 years ago

    It's pure analog entertainment that's unreproducable digitally. I can (and do) play Pacman or Tetris on anything with a screen.

    Post edited by TheShameGovernor: parenthetical subject-verb agreement

    #7 4 years ago
    Quoted from mof:

    I prefer pins to vids for two big reasons:
    1. The skills in pins are universal to all pins. The skills in vids are unique to that vid.

    Any video game I ever got good at -- those skills were forever invested in that single title. What a waste of time!
    What about you?
    -mof

    I agree with your second point, but I completely disagree with your first. Video games have built their own interactive language and set of skills that I think are absolutely transferable from game to game.

    #8 4 years ago

    Could be the difference between seeing a concert live vs watching a video of the concert?

    #9 4 years ago
    Quoted from TheShameGovernor:

    I agree with your second point, but I completely disagree with your first. Video games have built their own interactive language and set of skills that I think are absolutely transferable from game to game.

    Easy there, cowboy.
    Whose side are you on anyway?

    In 1981, I can't use more than 5% of my skills from Asteroids in Pacman. (I'm being generous at 5%)
    In 2011, I can't use more than 5% of my skill set from COD to help me in WOW.

    Are there vids where skill sets transfer from original idea game to copy-cat game? Of course. It happens. But it's not a guarantee. There are TENS of thousands of vids that are dissimilar, and DOZENS that are similar for each title.

    Pinball is going to be closer to 100% transferrable from game to game, regardless of title.
    Go get great at Candy Crush, and then show me how your vid skills transfer to playing WoW. LOL...

    Give me a break.
    I knew I'd get my balls busted if I didn't use "mostly" for 90%+ true... haha...

    -mof

    11
    #10 4 years ago

    Why is there a need to compete between the two areas of gaming?

    Some people simply prefer one over the other. Keep in mind that the nostalgia factor plays a big role.

    Quoted from mof:

    In 1981, I can't use more than 5% of my skills from Asteroids in Pacman. (I'm being generous at 5%)
    In 2011, I can't use more than 5% of my skill set from COD to help me in WOW.

    You're probably underestimating that.

    Hand-eye coordination, reaction time, planning & strategy, situational awareness, multi-tasking---all skills that can be drastically improved with pretty much any game.

    #11 4 years ago

    It's the physical aspect. I like the engineering, real physical interaction, light shows and unpredictable nature of the game. Video games are so static and lifeless to me. I also like that these games can be +30 old and still be entertaining in comparison to modern machines/video games.

    #12 4 years ago

    I think both are great actually. With the evolution multiplayer for online play, I've really enjoyed playing online with friends. For me though, with pinball machines...when my buddies come over...they are looking at my machines...like we are looking at muscles cars in my garage. We will stand over them with beer in hand and b.s., and talk smack for high score....wives and girlfriends will also come over and pinball gets infectious. I could go on and on....but this is the nutshell version of it.

    #13 4 years ago

    I like games, I don't have to try to convince anyone that one or the other is somehow superior.

    #14 4 years ago

    In a word: unpredictability.

    Both things ARE great, but I've recently grown tired of my Xbox (both of them!) because they're just so predictable. You can play Call of Duty, and with each level, you learn where the guys are going to pop out of so that if you die the first or second time, you learn from your mistake and get through the level successfully eventually.

    Not so with pinball. There's an actual physical/mental skill where the brain has to calculate in a millisecond when to hit the ball based on what angle you need it to go. If you're unsuccessful, you immediately need to adjust and calculate again...over and over.

    Both forms of entertainment are great at keeping the brain sharp, but in terms of sheer long-term entertainment, pinball wins by a mile.

    #15 4 years ago

    Pinball is random. the older video games have a pattern to most of the ones I have played. Once you learn the pattern the game is boring. Or it takes you forever to get to the levels where the game is challenging to you.
    I can have a great game on most of my machines, hit start again & suck. But like someone else said, the skills transfer over from game to game.
    That's also why certain repetitive pinball games don't get love. If it's just hit this ramp, or X shot over & over, that game usually won't last in a collection..

    #17 4 years ago
    Quoted from mof:

    Easy there, cowboy.
    Whose side are you on anyway?

    In 1981, I can't use more than 5% of my skills from Asteroids in Pacman. (I'm being generous at 5%)
    In 2011, I can't use more than 5% of my skill set from COD to help me in WOW.

    Again, I'm finding myself on your side while completely disagreeing with you. You've forced my hand, Mof! Honestly, I'm a little surprised that someone as thouroughly analytical as you are actually thinks this is true. - But that is a different discussion for a different forum.

    Quoted from mof:

    Pinball is going to be closer to 100% transferrable from game to game, regardless of title.
    Go get great at Candy Crush, and then show me how your vid skills transfer to playing WoW.

    Fair enough.

    #18 4 years ago

    I love both, they are different...I still lean more towards vids, but you need balance in a game room.

    Pool Table, Darts, Bubble Hockey, Megatouch, Vids, Pins...It's all good stuff.

    Don't forget how expensive pins are, to most, they look at it as an outrageously expensive hobby.

    #19 4 years ago
    Quoted from Gorno:

    It's the physical aspect. I like the engineering, real physical interaction, light shows and unpredictable nature of the game. Video games are so static and lifeless to me. I also like that these games can be +30 old and still be entertaining in comparison to modern machines/video games.

    You're kidding right? Nothing beats PacMan on an authentic cab with the original 4 way joystick, or Asteroids on a Vector monitor...Or the amazing Konami Beat em' ups with 3 other friends playing along.

    It's all good; I think snubbing your nose at Vids is silly, they are so intertwined historically; Arcades in general are what I long for.

    When you look at modern gaming, in console terms...99% of the games made are so complex and take awhile to get into; arcade games had to be simple to pick up, but have complexity to them to keep people putting in quarters, so that game design to me, is amazing. I love playing arcade games on their original cabinets, just like most pins are incredible to look at, and play and see all the nuances that go into them.

    I think it's all good stuff.

    #20 4 years ago

    Vids are fun too, the goal here is to learn what some good points are that make pinball more fun/interesting/challenging to help us persuade vid-only youth to try pinball...

    -mof

    #22 4 years ago

    I have had this conversation with my son actually. I think it boils down to a few issues for him that cause him to lean towards vids (specifically PC gaming as he scoffs at most console players).

    1. Video games are much, much more immersive. And while I can argue that pinballs are too, I can see how the story telling and the overall sensory experience can be much deeper in a video game.
    2. Video games have higher degree of interaction with others real time. Rather it be League or CS:Go, there are a ton of games that allow you to work with large groups of people and allow for all sorts of interesting real time interaction.
    3. Video games can have inherently deeper rule sets and can be more satisfying for replay (relative).
    4. Video games are a much larger industry which leads to 10,000's of options with more coming out every day. This greater variety means anyone can find games really suited to their tastes.

    Now having said all that, I can honestly say I agree with his points. However, I still prefer pinball for the following reasons:

    1. I love the mechanical/physical nature of pinball versus relying on a programmer's attempt at copying physics.
    2. Most video games I love require you to sit and play for hours at a time. With a pinball I can play for 10 mins and walk away satisfied.
    3. I enjoy making small repairs, cleaning, modding pinballs. Most games (minus sandbox type games) don't allow for this.
    4. All pinballs are fun solo or with groups (versus some games are either only solo or only fun in groups)
    5. Nostalgia and if I am being honest, I like that fact that it's uncommon. It reminds me of my board game hobby, it's a hobby most people never knew existed.
    6. Community is much more inclusive and less abrasive then the gamer communities. In many ways Pinside is one of the more enjoyable aspects of pinball for me.

    Note: I have logged 10's of thousands of hours playing video games over my life and have only been in the pinball hobby for about 18 months (DAoC and CS were my weakness, before that Nintendo). I barely play videos games at all at this point, but would like to introduce some vid cabs into my collection long term.

    #23 4 years ago
    Quoted from beelzeboob:

    In a word: unpredictability.

    That. And I also just like the physicality of it all.

    #24 4 years ago

    1) There is a common set of skills that transfers across all pins. When you step up to a new machine, you know how it works - you just need to learn the rules.

    2) The physical nature of the game. There is everything that goes on in the world under the glass, but oh yeah - *you can also manipulate the world itself* to help you along the way.

    3) The better I get at pinball - the more fun I have playing. Vids to me reach the "I've mastered this and it's now it's just repetitive" stage much, much sooner.

    4) It's very much like poker, in that there is enough randomness that the lessor player always has a chance to win, but in the long run (over a longer series of games), the better player wins. This makes it better for competitive play IMHO. (Sure, maybe if the top 5 players in the world square off at Donkey Kong, you're not sure who's going to win that weekend, but for everyone else, the better player wins every time).

    #25 4 years ago

    Pinball gaming isn't any more superior to video gaming than video gaming is superior to pinball. For starters it's a subjective topic and your opinion is not a universal truth. The way I look at the topic is that they are forms of entertainment that stimulate our brains in different ways and offer completely different experiences. To be honest I think they are both great.

    This attitude, that one is better than the other, is something that I see on both sides and is one reason that players don't cross over as much as they should.

    If you're truly serious about wanting video game players to give pinball a try and not just trolling them...the first step is to not be an elitist about pinball. When somebody loves something, but you want them to try something else...the worst thing you can do is start your pitch by telling them how superior your interest is. It's condescending and rude.

    Instead how about this, start by treating the video gamer with a little respect and not as a fool who need to be converted. Begin your conversation by talking about video gaming. That's their passion, so bringing that up first...there's no better way to get the dialogue going. Talk about what makes it special and ask what it is that they enjoy most about it. Then bring up your passion, pinball. Talk about some of the aspects of it that differentiate it from video gaming and those in particular that you enjoy most. Then go from there. They might find pinball intriguing and you might learn something new about video gaming as well.

    #26 4 years ago

    The third dimension of the game.

    #27 4 years ago
    Quoted from beelzeboob:

    In a word: unpredictability.

    Absolutely....In video games, one can learn the patterns to succeed and with pinball...you never know exactly where the ball will go...

    #28 4 years ago

    When talking about vids, I'm thinking of arcade games (80's, mostly). Haven't played much newer stuff, and haven't played new console games. Though I played (console) vids almost exclusively from age 6 to 25.

    Quoted from pinballholder:

    All pinballs are fun solo or with groups (versus some games are either only solo or only fun in groups)

    Oh yeah, this too. Pinball is a pretty good mix (to me) of board games and video games - but there are very few board games you can play by yourself.

    #29 4 years ago

    To play devil's advocate...

    Quoted from ryanwanger:

    Vids to me reach the "I've mastered this and it's now it's just repetitive" stage much, much sooner.

    Yeah I agree, but there are so many more choices, you just go buy the next game. Low price point to in comparison.

    Quoted from ryanwanger:

    (Sure, maybe if the top 5 players in the world square off at Donkey Kong, you're not sure who's going to win that weekend, but for everyone else, the better player wins every time).

    Again while I agree, this is also due to the game rules. A lot of games have random mechanics that help level the playing field. Or they have a leveling system that ensures that a gamer is only taking on what they can handle based on their experience (rankings, etc).

    #30 4 years ago

    It's virtual vs. physical to me. I like both. I've been an avid gamer and an avid pinball player for 40 years (yikes, that was hard to type).

    Sometimes I want to get immersed in a computer/video game world. Sometimes, I want to play something real in the real world and play pinball. I like to tell the video game geeks that there is a lot of code in the newer pinball games. I point them towards LOTR and tell them to try and reach "end game" on that sucker.

    #31 4 years ago

    Pinball Machines have a soul.

    #32 4 years ago
    Quoted from pinballholder:

    Yeah I agree, but there are so many more choices, you just go buy the next game. Low price point to in comparison.

    True. This makes me realize I also forgot "replayability". After about 300 games of Ms Pac-man in my basement, I don't play it anymore. Meanwhile, my first pin, High Speed (which is pretty simple in terms of rules) will probably reach 3000 plays before I sell it.

    #33 4 years ago
    Quoted from dsmoke1986:

    You're kidding right? Nothing beats PacMan on an authentic cab with the original 4 way joystick, or Asteroids on a Vector monitor...Or the amazing Konami Beat em' ups with 3 other friends playing along.
    It's all good; I think snubbing your nose at Vids is silly, they are so intertwined historically; Arcades in general are what I long for.
    When you look at modern gaming, in console terms...99% of the games made are so complex and take awhile to get into; arcade games had to be simple to pick up, but have complexity to them to keep people putting in quarters, so that game design to me, is amazing. I love playing arcade games on their original cabinets, just like most pins are incredible to look at, and play and see all the nuances that go into them.
    I think it's all good stuff.

    Why would I kid you? I enjoy pinball over video games. They hold my interest. New or old video games have always been placid in comparison. The only video games that hold my attention are either fast paced first person shooters in multiplayer or something like GTA. I also have ADHD.... so that might have something to do with it.

    #34 4 years ago

    As a computer security geek who stares at consoles a good portion of the day, it's great to get away from the screen and play a pin. Also more replayability for me.

    #35 4 years ago

    I don't explain, I just let people try them. Its cool to watch someone go from just keeping the ball in play (what 90% of the people think is the only point) to learning there are rules and structure.

    That is probably the one downside with newer DMD pins. There is so much going on with modes and scoring that its almost too much for a newb to wrap their head around. I always start people on Taxi because it very clearly tells you what to do next with its lights and call-outs.

    Its very elegantly done, and really turns people into pinball fiends!

    #36 4 years ago

    Making new friends who play Pinball in real life rather than have an kid yell racial slurs at you or go afk, etc.

    #37 4 years ago

    Arcades survived because of vids. The arcade ratio vids and pins was about 20 vids for 1 pin
    Production number of vids was far more superior than pins
    Connection between players and vids if far more intense than pins
    Vids give far more consistent games and less frustration than pins

    Vids are very popular and with only one mame machine and thounsands of games
    it is not necessary to buy and sell constantly because your tired of your games.

    Today the vids market is phenomenal, is it about billions of dollars and the commercial market of pins is barely surviving because of one manufaturer and few boutiques conceptors. I don't think that Stern will survive very long because i feel that the numbers of manufactured pins is lower every year.

    The main attraction with pins is to collect them, it's a collector hobby.

    Ask common people if they know what is Pac-Man or Space Invaders and ask about Firepower and Adams Family, they all know what are those vids but know nothing about Firepower or Adams Family.

    You like pinballs, great, but what is the point to try to convince people that they are ''superior'' to vids ? Vids and pins are two different worlds.

    #38 4 years ago

    Relatively infinite resolution

    #39 4 years ago

    Pinball is a visceral experience, physically connecting you with the ball, it's momentum and kinetics. And if that isn't enough, you also use your entire body to manipulate the arena in which it travels.

    #40 4 years ago

    the best non word description is....

    replayability!!

    #41 4 years ago

    I go pinball. Love my vids too, but I have gravitated to pinball. Owning them and fixing them is a passion now.

    I think it's my adhd tendency but pinballs flying around, multiball, lights flashing...

    Heaven.

    #42 4 years ago

    they are not superior at all. Its just a different Genre is all. Its like saying board games are superior to card games.

    I love both. Pinball and Mortal Kombat where a huge part of my youth.

    #43 4 years ago
    Quoted from beelzeboob:

    In a word: unpredictability.

    This is one of the things I enjoy the most about pinball, and it always makes me laugh when I see people here complaining about unpredictable bounces and such. It is a part of the game!

    #44 4 years ago

    Easy answer, they Kinetic .......

    #45 4 years ago

    a pinball machine is a physical object, it can and will react in unexpected ways
    Black Knight, sometimes the ball will sit at the top of the upper right flipper
    CV, sometimes the ringmaster will throw the ball onto the lock ramp
    air balls, balls jumping over flippers
    it is the randomness of pinball

    a computer program will always do what it is programmed to do

    #46 4 years ago
    Quoted from PopBumperPete:

    a pinball machine is a physical object, it can and will react in unexpected ways
    a computer program will always do what it is programmed to do

    Based on that simple logic, you should be able to kill screen donkey kong with ease The random elements in a typical video game are no more predictable than pinball, but just like pinball if you know how to anticipate things and react to those anticipations you can do well be it on a screen or a play field.

    #47 4 years ago

    They aren't. Really great games in both are really fun.

    #48 4 years ago

    Two things for me:
    1. In GENERAL: Arcade video games are almost always linear. I realize that games like WOW aren't but in general, arcade video games are quite linear, whereas most good pins are not. You can decide what to do next which brings replayability up
    2. The tactile feel of a pin. Some vids have this too, which is why when I buy a vid it's usually something that can't be reproduced on my phone or XBox (Paperboy, Virtua Racing, etc). Nothing feels quite like the "thunks," "smacks," and "pops" of a pin though.

    #49 4 years ago

    I don't feel that either one is better than another....everyone has different tastes. They both compliment each other very well in an arcade and I can't argue the fact that a nice pinball is a work of pure art. Back in the day, I played more arcade games than pins so its a nostalgia thing for me. But keep in mind this, many sought after pins can cost $4000 - $8000...and some even higher. Think of all the arcade games you could purchase with 4 or 8k......a shit load of them. So, its not entirely fair to say that a pin is not that repetitive since you can purchase 10 to 15 arcade games for the price of just one pin. I have a small collection of arcade games (18 total) and 2 pins. Each one of my pins was higher that all 18 of my arcade games....

    #50 4 years ago
    Quoted from PopBumperPete:

    a pinball machine is a physical object, it can and will react in unexpected ways
    Black Knight, sometimes the ball will sit at the top of the upper right flipper
    CV, sometimes the ringmaster will throw the ball onto the lock ramp
    air balls, balls jumping over flippers
    it is the randomness of pinball
    a computer program will always do what it is programmed to do

    Learning and exploiting the quirks of classic video games is part of their appeal for me. Williams Defender has a lot of random qualities and you can also make it do crazy things by exploiting the weakness of its processor. In other games, the memorization is part of the challenge. I'd cite another Williams game (well Irem, licensed by Williams), Moon Patrol, as the perfect example of a game that is still fun even though its linear... It continues to be fun because it rewards you for doing the levels you know faster, and also keeps throwing new challenges at you.

    Vids and pins are totally different, but to me a gameroom with only one or the other really feels like its missing something!

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