(Topic ID: 26024)

Why does pinball seem go hand in hand with nerdy pursuits?


By flipperfingers

6 years ago



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  • Latest reply 6 years ago by joestro78
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    There are 86 posts in this topic. You are on page 1 of 2.
    #1 6 years ago

    Why is it that a disproportionate amount of pinballers are into superheros, comics, rpg's and the like? What came first, the chicken or the egg? What came first, pinball people are obsessed with superheroes, so lots and lots of superhero machines have been made or lots of superhero pins have been made, so pinheads have grown to like superheros? I'm certain that we can all conclude that it is the former.

    Also, when I have attended the Michigan pinball expo, I've noticed a disproportionate amount of people (compared to society as a whole) with the emo look going or at least trying their best to look like "individuals".

    It also seems like when you talk to pinheads (many, not most or all, but again a disproportionate amount of people), they tend to have quite a bit of social faux pas with behaviors that resemble autism spectrum disorder, particularly Asperger's syndrome.

    These are just my observations and they are not meant to offend anyone. I'm just curious as to whether or not anyone else has noticed any or all of my observations. I love pinball just as much as anyone here, but I almost feel like the odd man out among pinball circles.

    #2 6 years ago

    Lol. It's called nerds. They are everywhere

    #3 6 years ago

    Not into Superheros but have always loved the game of Pinball.Always benn fascinated with the engineering behind it also. Being that I have always enjoyed lighting,electronics, and audio, it fills a big spectrum for me as a hobby.
    I've always had a knack for math though...hmmm

    #4 6 years ago

    personalities vary greatly. While there are a lot of introverted pinheads, there are quite a few that are pretty outgoing (at least on the subject of pinball).

    As for the superhero thing, there are VERY few superhero movies I like. Iron man is one of the few I truly loved (mostly because he's an inventor, and uses his smarts to create "technologic" super-hero like qualities), I can relate to that.

    nerds[1].jpg

    #5 6 years ago
    Quoted from flipperfingers:

    they tend to have quite a bit of social faux pas with behaviors that resemble autism spectrum disorder, particularly Asperger's syndrome.

    I have a mild case of autism, but I'm still learning new things about pinball. On another thing, some pinheads are nostalgic and want to get the pins they played back when they were kids or teens.

    #6 6 years ago

    Pinball is a nerdy pursuit! Embrace it! Who gives a f*#k!

    #7 6 years ago

    I look at this from a different point of view. Probably most of the people you are referring to are not collectors or enthusiast but just the weekend guys that come to these shows to play a little bit. When you really start to dive in to pinball it becomes an expensive ordeal. Look around pinside and the collections that people on this forum own. Behind these collections are very successful, ambitious, intelligent, and professional people that know how to earn a buck.

    #8 6 years ago

    You can be be quite a successful nerd.

    #9 6 years ago
    Quoted from TheRave:

    You can be be quite a successful nerd.

    Of course, but the sum of my post was getting at being normal and not the emos the op is speaking of.

    #10 6 years ago

    Emos, nerds, squares, kooks, freaks, spazes, eggheads, hipsters, whatever you wanna stereotype someone as...who cares. I agree with you legacy. Except the part about being normal. I don't think a lot of people in pinball are "normal." Myself happily included.

    #11 6 years ago

    I couldn't decide whether to play pinball or simulate baseball games tonight....

    Pretty sure I'm a nerd...but I can socialize too!

    #12 6 years ago

    Do not get hung up on titles. Just knowing a lot about PC's back in the day made you a geek or a nerd. I bet they would hesitate to make fun of any nerd or geek now as they are most of the ones making the real money.

    #13 6 years ago
    Quoted from flipperfingers:

    Why is it that a disproportionate amount of pinballers are into superheros, comics, rpg's and the like? What came first, the chicken or the egg? What came first, pinball people are obsessed with superheroes, so lots and lots of superhero machines have been made or lots of superhero pins have been made, so pinheads have grown to like superheros? I'm certain that we can all conclude that it is the former.

    I think it's the latter. Pinball doesn't have a long history of regular superhero pins. There's just been a lot of them lately. Most of them are being bought by people new to the hobby. The themes are broad enough to draw in non-comic book buyers.

    Quoted from flipperfingers:

    Also, when I have attended the Michigan pinball expo, I've noticed a disproportionate amount of people (compared to society as a whole) with the emo look going or at least trying their best to look like "individuals".

    Well then the Michigan expo is different than every show I've been to. I usually see a lot of older (well fed) guys in black pinball T shirts. Different shows attract different crowds. PPE typically has an older, more laid back demographic. The Seattle show has plenty of emoish folks, but that's part of the appeal.

    Quoted from flipperfingers:

    It also seems like when you talk to pinheads (many, not most or all, but again a disproportionate amount of people), they tend to have quite a bit of social faux pas with behaviors that resemble autism spectrum disorder, particularly Asperger's syndrome.

    Huh? If that means there's a lot of characters in pinball, you're right. I believe it goes back to the arcades many of us grew up in. The arcade was always neutral ground back then. The jocks, nerds, stoners and the loners all had a place there. What you see at pinball shows now is not much different than what you saw in arcades 20 or 30 years ago. The characters in pinball are a big part of the appeal to me. Some day I hope to be considered a character.

    There are slightly more nerds in pinball than the general population, but not by a disproportionate amount. Video games (gamers) are way, way more nerdy than pinheads.

    #14 6 years ago

    Pinball gives me a chance to focus my OCD into a game and not constantly worry about replaying conversations I have had, making sure a door was locked five times, and playing worst-case scenarios in my mind.
    Basically, it gives me an outlet to something I can control that has real goals I can meet.

    #15 6 years ago

    I am a pretty typical nerd/geek, except that I love partying my face off.

    In my mid 30s, with a wife and twin 3 year olds. I wear superhero t-shirts to work most days, even though everyone else at my level wears button down shirts and slacks. I am a pretty typical eccentric nerd, until you get me to a few drinks.

    #16 6 years ago

    Embrace your inner nerd.

    #17 6 years ago

    http://pinside.com/pinball/forum/topic/ot-are-you-married-pics-of-wifehusband-to-win-a-bet

    Digging this thread up might be fitting.

    Nerds were the smart kids, the very smart kids. Smart enough to be different than everyone else. Smart kids grow up to be smart adults. Smart adults make good money. It takes good money to buy pinball machines.
    When your different than everyone else as a kid your alienated. When your alienated you don't develop social skills and conform. You look like your mom wants you to look instead of how the other clicks want you to look.
    You have time to learn about nerdy things like switches and diodes and PCB,s. You have time alone. You escape into comic books and video games. You have more time to learn about things that interest you instead of what's cool. The funny thing is, these days geek is the new sheek. In high school the cool kids are not what they were when I was a kid. The cool kids are environmentalist and activists. They are the kids that were nerds in my day. The world has realized the nerds succeeded in life. Women realized nerds could provide stability where jocks just told stories about their high school championship game. The funny thing is we all shaped each other. Growing up and trying to discover who we were is the school system told us who we are in life. Kids are not kind. If you went to school and for 12 years you were told you were the coolest kid around that's who you believed you were. If you were beat up and told you were a looser for 12 years you start to believe it. Some people overcome things and some don't. I don't believe people were born geeks or sheeks. The world is changing and its not all for the worse. This is all generalizations of course. All this being said there are a lot of guys at pinshows I wouldn't leave alone with my kids. Go figure.

    #18 6 years ago

    what a bunch of nerds..

    dont understand this comment "Behind these collections are very successful, ambitious, intelligent, and professional people that know how to earn a buck."

    Most of these types are uber-nerds.. is how they made their money

    #19 6 years ago

    * I like pinball (playing/cleaning/fixing/dis-assembly/re-assembly/ordering parts/buying-selling machines)
    * Also enjoy reading and learning about pinball.
    * I have a degree in mechanical engineering.
    * Earlier this year I went to TX Pinball Festival.
    * Quite comfortable hanging out with pinball fanatics just as much as with other "normal" people.
    * Would rather spend $1000 on pinball or other outdoor activities/hobbies than on a cruise ship vacation or season tickets for sporting events.

    Guess I'm a bigger social nerd than I realize. How high is my nerd factor?
    Guess I'm getting older (51 now), .... don't care as much now about what others think about me compared to when I was younger.

    Seems to me like there is a lot of great people here on Pinside.
    Cheers,
    Mike

    #20 6 years ago

    that's a good point... age / generation

    I'm in my twenties and would be branded a nerd by most due to my pinball en devours.

    Someone in their 40/50 grew up more with pinball and it was not considered nerdy back then.

    #21 6 years ago

    I too had that impression when I first got into the hobby. I went to my first auction and thought I was at a star trek convention. My teachers always told me Nerds have all the money ...from some of the collections I have seen there are quite a few nerds in the hobby .

    #22 6 years ago
    Quoted from Pinball-is-great:

    * Would rather spend $1000 on pinball or other outdoor activities/hobbies than on a cruise ship vacation or season tickets for sporting events.

    +1

    #23 6 years ago

    I will just answer your first question...the chicken...an egg can't keep itself warm. Oh and just some more food for thought, in order for there to be sound three things must be present, a source, a median, and a receiver, therefore if a tree falls and nobody is there to hear it it does NOT make a sound...

    #24 6 years ago

    #25 6 years ago

    Maybe the common denominator is a mix of nostalgia for those old boxes and the love of games/gaming in general. While we differ in detail we still may relate to each other in general. (For instance I don't like the american superhero comic style, but the enthusiasm in collecting comic books - yes, that's something I understand.)

    A few years ago at university I talked to a stundent of applied social studies and we chatted about hobbies. The conversation went from boardgames, RPGs, wargaming, reenactment to SF-/Fantasy-novels, comics, favourite bands, TV-series and movies and so on. He surprised me when he said "You know what? You roleplaying guys are in fact a quite homogenous group."
    Never considered that, because we nerds are able to debate endlessly about why Star Trek is superior to Star Wars or such and never realize we're quite alike...

    #26 6 years ago

    Well at least now we know who the "cool" one is...that doesn't have any social Faux Pas. Might consider the fact that you don't fit in (as you say) as your own little social disorder.....maybe you fit in better than you think! Just raz'n ya. There are all different walks of life in pinball, cool and uncool. But coolness is in the eye of the beholder.

    #27 6 years ago

    The group of people I have met in my local area is anything but the types you describe. In fact I was expecting the "star trek" convention types when I first got into the hobby - but I have witnessed many A type personalities albeit with a little bit of flair - as well as many successful people at what they do and are very friendly and nice.

    #28 6 years ago

    I used to really love and buy individual comics, but lately I'm into graphic novels. I feel like I'm accomplishing more.

    Also, I am still into superheroes, and I haven't had a chance to play a good RPG in a while. I grew up with Chrono Trigger and Final Fantasy VII. Just played through Earthbound and Mother 3 a few years ago.

    For me, pinball was an evolution. I was looking up Chris Bucci's Turbografx reviews on Youtube, and I stumbled upon his pinball videos. So, I checked out a local pinball joint for playing pins, and, ever since then, I've been hooked.

    I think that I have always had a fascination with pins (my uncle had an old EM machine, Hang Glider). For me, the randomness and unpredictability of the ball really got me into playing it. I get so tired of FPSs and newer games that are sequels to sequels...

    #29 6 years ago
    Quoted from Pinball-is-great:

    * Would rather spend $1000 on pinball or other outdoor activities/hobbies than on a cruise ship vacation or season tickets for sporting events.

    Since you got a +1 on this quote, I'm gonna counter with a -1.

    I do both. I collect/play pinball, I purchase season tickets to my alma mater's football games, and I go on a cruise ship probably once every couple/three years, and I spend money on my other hobby (fast cars). It's all about balance in life. There are times when I'm 100% focused on pinball and the chase for new machines, and there are other times I get away from them and enjoy something else in life. If you're 100% focused on anything, 100% of the time, burnout comes pretty quick.

    #30 6 years ago
    Quoted from robertmee:

    Since you got a +1 on this quote, I'm gonna counter with a -1.
    I do both. I collect/play pinball, I purchase season tickets to my alma mater's football games, and I go on a cruise ship probably once every couple/three years, and I spend money on my other hobby (fast cars). It's all about balance in life. There are times when I'm 100% focused on pinball and the chase for new machines, and there are other times I get away from them and enjoy something else in life. If you're 100% focused on anything, 100% of the time, burnout comes pretty quick.

    Its true, but sometimes you are just out of disposable cash, so there is a choice to be made. $4000 on LOTR or a cruise for the family. Thats a personal choice. This year we are going on a cruise, but now the tax return wont be going to a new machine like it does every other year. (Drooling over AC/DC and XMEN.....must resist.......)

    #31 6 years ago

    My wife always says you are the King of the "Dip S#it's". I completely disagree with her, I have found the pin community just a great group of people with different backgrounds, we are like a big salad bowl. Every body has a different take on pinball. I go to shows to see the latest greatest and old time favorites, but also I could care less what people look like or if they have any special needs.

    #32 6 years ago

    I'm with you guys on balance in life. Was trying not to type a book report.
    I included "or other outdoor activities/hobbies" in my above post, to cover my outdoor fun & exercise activities. It's a good idea to get away from the computer and off of the couch.

    Last 4 yrs or so, a fair amount of weekend time (and some $$) is spent on canoeing/kayaking and hiking (with others in local paddle club and local hiking club), some fishing, and going to festivals & concerts, along with visiting family & friends.
    I go on long weekend vacations occasionally, but rarely any major excursions requiring big $$.
    I go to a few college & highschool football & basketball games every year, but never seem to be motivated to buy season tickets. Only gone on one 4-day cruise thus far in my life. Not that into it.

    #33 6 years ago
    Quoted from Pinball-is-great:

    *
    * Would rather spend $1000 on pinball or other outdoor activities/hobbies than on a cruise ship vacation or season tickets for sporting events.

    if I were to add up how much unrecoverable money on golf i've spent its easily in the $75,000 range... probably alot more.

    Pinball is more like a temporary hold on cash.. which you can just bring your chips to the counter and go home if you want out.. not too many Nerdy Hobbies like this one.

    #34 6 years ago

    Oh, yeah, I should have said I do enjoy sci-fi (currently on Fringe) and comics as well. But I'm also a hardcore baseball fan, can talk boxing all day, and enjoy keeping my old 57 Chevrolet in shape to run me back and forth to work.

    #35 6 years ago

    "Nerds". "Geeks". Whatever you want to call them. They all have one common denominator. It's that they are drawn to things that most people would not consider mainstream. Pinball used to be mainstream, but that's certainly not the case these days. Growing up, I always felt like I sort of straddled the line between being a nerd and being like everyone else. I was a very good athlete, but I was also into some nerdy things like sci-fi, laserdiscs, Dark Tower, etc ... I've met a lot of people in my life, and in my experience, the ones that society labels "nerds" are not only the nicest, but usually the happiest as well.

    #36 6 years ago
    Quoted from jwwhite15:

    ...therefore if a tree falls and nobody is there to hear it it does NOT make a sound...

    You can sure as hell bet that the squirrel in the top of that tree heard it... or most of it anyway.

    #38 6 years ago
    Quoted from Pinball-is-great:

    * I like pinball (playing/cleaning/fixing/dis-assembly/re-assembly/ordering parts/buying-selling machines)
    * Also enjoy reading and learning about pinball.
    * I have a degree in mechanical engineering.
    * Earlier this year I went to TX Pinball Festival.
    * Quite comfortable hanging out with pinball fanatics just as much as with other "normal" people.
    * Would rather spend $1000 on pinball or other outdoor activities/hobbies than on a cruise ship vacation or season tickets for sporting events.
    Guess I'm a bigger social nerd than I realize. How high is my nerd factor?
    Guess I'm getting older (51 now), .... don't care as much now about what others think about me compared to when I was younger.
    Seems to me like there is a lot of great people here on Pinside.
    Cheers,
    Mike

    +1000 for this post. I'm 42 and it took a while to get over "what other people thought of me." I don't do drugs, I don't drink a lot, I don't watch a lot of TV but I DO have a kick ass hobby. I've been around long enough now that I recognize names and faces at shows, love talking to people there etc. Pinball has brought me a host of new (and really smart) friends. Yes there are some a-holes but they're easily avoided.

    I'm jealous of Mike's degree in mechanical engineering. I can follow elementary engineering but honestly my brain gets tied in knots trying to figure out the advanced material.

    BTW here's a "nerd test." Is this guy a nerd or not? I thought "YES" until I saw that his mask was made of a Miller High Life box. Hahahaha that's actually pretty funny.

    #39 6 years ago

    What, a guy with a Miller Lite box on his head can't be a nerd?

    #40 6 years ago

    Total Nerd

    Video games, Comics, LOTR, Star Wars/Trek, Computers, Cartoons, RPG's, You name it i probably love it.

    Ive come to accept it.

    #41 6 years ago

    Being a nerd is great the interest that go with it can be enjoyed for a life time handed down to your children then sold for a good amount. Nothing wrong with comics. They inspired a whole generation of pretty good movies. God bless Christopher Nolan. Nothing wrong with LOTR great books/movies and pin. So I would say a majority of the US is into these nerdy subjects maybe not full blown but they at least have taken some type of interest.

    #42 6 years ago

    All the freaky people make the beauty of the world.

    #43 6 years ago
    Quoted from Wolfmarsh:

    What, a guy with a Miller Lite box on his head can't be a nerd?

    He had a Miller High Life box on this head, not Miller Lite.

    Miller Lite box = NERD

    Miller High Life box = close to NERD with a side of hilarious

    #44 6 years ago

    I fight my nerd-ness on a daily basis... but ultimately i almost always succumb to it.. The only nerdy thing I can't really get behind is these fully grown men who follow wrestling religiously. Just don't get it.

    #45 6 years ago
    Quoted from gweempose:

    Pinball used to be mainstream, but that's certainly not the case these days.

    While I agree, I think this is the case because people are simply unaware. When I bring my friends over most of them can't believe what they are seeing. I don't know how many times I've heard "I can't believe you can still buy these". Everyone always has fun playing pinball and it doesn't stop us from drinking plenty of beer and partying. As a direct result of my one game room, I know of three of my family members and friends that have bought one machine for their house for personal enjoyment.

    #46 6 years ago

    Does volunteering on occasional local trash clean-ups go under the nerd category or cool category, or just falls under socially conscious?

    #48 6 years ago
    Quoted from Pinball-is-great:

    Does volunteering on occasional local trash clean-ups go under the nerd category or cool category,

    Definitely the cool category.

    #49 6 years ago

    I never got into Super Heros or comics...in fact it was the theme and busy artwork of XM that turned me off to that game.

    I'm glad I looked past it...

    #50 6 years ago
    Quoted from robertmee:

    Pinball-is-great said:

    * Would rather spend $1000 on pinball or other outdoor activities/hobbies than on a cruise ship vacation or season tickets for sporting events.

    What! I wont call anyone names but this statement and half the discussions clearly leave me feeling like the oddball. A cruise wins everytime or drinking beers with friends at the Nats games. Pinball is my fun instead of watching stupid TV but it certainly wont come before riding or partying. Ideally they go together. I assumed I would run in to a bunch of partiers in the hobby but have realized most seem to be very technical engineer types. Thats ok, we share the like of a fun game.

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