Fans of pinball will flip over this new movie

Originally published at: Fans of pinball will flip over this new movie | Boing Boing


I met Roger a few years ago at an event in Montreal. He is a very kind and warm fellow, eager to share his love of the game.

I think at the time I had one game in the basement. Since that time, my collection has taken over much of my home and some of the offices of the non-profit where I work. I regularly repair and restore games for folks that live near me: anything to keep these treasures working well for decades more.


Years ago I worked with a gifted pianist who had two hobbies aside from music: Corvettes and Pinball machines. He had a warehouse with literally dozens and dozens of both. Until he showed me I had no idea how many pinball machines have been made all over the world.

A real life pinball wizard. He had machines he liked especially because he could play songs on it with his gameplay… He had a few that were “muted” (he disconnected the speakers) so he could simply revel in the physical noises they would make for him. Neat guy, amazing collection.


In high school, a friend had a Fireball in his game room. That spinning disk was almost addictive.


Hmm. There’s got to be a twist.


That’s really cool.
Have you ever been to the Pinball Hall of Fame in Vegas?
I went with some friends a few weeks ago when we all met for a long weekend and we had a blast playing the games there. It’s basically a big warehouse with hundreds of machines (and other assorted video games) that you can play, some of them dating back to the 40’s and 50’s.
Though I wish they would secure their website…


Made it to the HoF last summer, and it was just as I expected: a wide selection of machines across eras, obviously loved, in various states of working (as pins tend to bash themselves apart), with families, fans, newbies and wizards all enjoying them. And the warehouse cat. :heart_eyes_cat:

High points for me were the vintage souvenir machines, to stamp an aluminum Good Luck coin for the Mrs., and to make a finger-scorching Mold-o-rama for myself.

Completely worth the visit, A+++++ would flip/scorch again.


So fun.
I took a picture of every game I played. I won’t post them all, but here’s a couple so people can get the idea.
I liked that most of them had note cards with date made and other info.
The first one is from 1956, and the one below it is from 1968.

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Yep, spent a whole day there just before Christmas 2021. They had very recently opened the new location.


For some strange reason New York Lawmakers of that era couldn’t tell the difference between Pachinko and Pinball. The first is a game of chance the second is a game of skill.

I never miss a chance to visit a pinball museum but my favourite was in Budapest. The off-brand Beatles one was far and away my favourite.


Even with pachinko, there’s some skill to it. If you have none, you won’t even get any chances to win.

It’s a bit more complicated than that. Pachinko wasn’t a presence in North America when these laws were created, so it wasn’t about that. There were pinball machines early on with gambling elements. Bingo machines, for example, are a real gray area between pinball and other pure gambling machines. Mostly it was a classic moral panic though.

Early pinball didn’t have flippers, so the distinction between it and other pin games was pretty blurry. The flippers were added in part to lean into it being a game of skill and try to get around the laws. It didn’t work until Roger came along and proved it was a skill game with his dramatic in-court demonstration.

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