Saturday, April 12, 2008

I Played the Silver Ball

Every now and again I enjoy a good game of pinball. I always thought that pinball machines were a neat and inexpensive way to have a good time. The most recent fun pinball memory I have is one I have from last summer. The day after our wedding, Steve and I had a double date with my parents up at Hampton Beach. We got some yummy seafood at Brown's and then headed down to Playland Arcade where my dad got some change and we played a few games of 4-way pinball. It was a blast!

Even though pinball is a very fun game, I never thought of it as much more than just a few machines in various arcades and in the basement playrooms of fun-loving families. I never would have thought it to be a competitive thing. However, recently in Las Vegas there was indeed a pinball championship competition held at the Pinball Hall of Fame/Museum. How freakin' cool is that! Now, I'm no where near good enough at pinball to even ATTEMPT to enter this contest, but I guess it just goes to show that there are contests for everything and always a way to satisfy our competitive juices.

When I started this posting I was going to go a bit deeper into competitive pinball, but then I read about the Pinball HoF/Museum a bit more. The place is run by just a regular guy named "Tim" who one article described as a "Big Lebowski" type guy. The facility is home to 200+ pinball machines of all ages and all fully functioning. Additionally, this Tim fellow is not at all in the pinball business for the money - for himself anyways. Once the money is counted and mandatory expenses like rent, electricity, insurance, and endowment savings (the guy that owns it is a member of the Las Vegas Pinball Collector's Club) the remainder goes into the pockets of the Salvation Army. What a better way to dispose of your quarters in Vegas than in a slot machine in a loud smelly room!

I find this Pinball Hall of Fame so fascinating. When I first clicked the link I was expecting some flashy, showy place with a gift shop that sold soundtracks to The Who's "Tommy" musical*. Instead, I was pleasantly surprised to find a regular guy who has the opportunity to do what he loves AND to do something good for those in need. How cool is that?

Oh yeah... incase you're wondering who won the World Championship of Pinball, it was a 32-year old dude from Salem, MA.

*That's where the famous song "Pinball Wizard" is from, incase you weren't aware.

1 comment:

silverneurotic said...

I love Pinball. It's one of the few games I enjoy playing at an arcade.