Author Topic: We may be in the "Most Golden Age" of pinball right now  (Read 248 times)

Offline NormaJ

  • Level 4: Cobra Kai
  • ****
  • Join Date: Aug 2013
  • Location: Florida
  • Posts: 430
We may be in the "Most Golden Age" of pinball right now
« on: December 05, 2018, 11:49:43 AM »
My husband likes to remind me that 100-year-olds today were born before cars ruled the roads, jets flew, television and Internet were born, and space travel and satellites became commonplace. Those seniors alive today have enjoyed watching and using the full range of modern technology. They lived through the true "golden age" of civilization, and those born afterward can only imagine what those days were like.

I believe we today are living in the "Most Golden Age" of pinball. It's an age those coming after us may not be able to fathom, despite our best efforts.

Think of the tournaments we play, the playrooms we enjoy, and the arcades we frequent today! You may see a videogame/pinball hybrid with a TV screen, camera, headphones and Bluetooth app. Or you might see a game with vintage bumpers, artwork and mechanical devices built a half-century ago. You can play them side-by-side, plus every era of pinball technology in between. You grew up on these games, or your dad used to play them. (And maybe you can still play together and swap stories of the past.)

You can jump in and out of the pinball time machine practically at will, thanks to the loving care of those who are rescuing and reviving the old games while pushing the envelope on the new models. But despite people's desires to keep this most golden age alive, the sheer age of the games we play may make it nearly impossible.

We have already lost countless "bingo" games, seen other pins succumb to natural disasters like fire and flood, not to mention many fun games from our youth were carelessly thrown to the trash heap. How long can we as a group keep these old jalopies running before time catches up to them? I believe the more we pass on the love and skill to others, the longer the age lives on.

I am thankful we live in this most golden of pinball ages, where every new game is different, every old game is treasured and appreciated, and where almost everywhere you go the games are set on free play!

Offline number six

  • SysOp
  • Administrator
  • Level 10: Timelord
  • *****
  • Join Date: Sep 1992
  • Location: Valrico, FL
  • Posts: 12959
Re: We may be in the "Most Golden Age" of pinball right now
« Reply #1 on: December 05, 2018, 01:07:15 PM »
Things are definitely better now than they've been in the last 20 or so years.. however I'm stilling thinking the 'golden age' of Pinball was probably still the early-mid 90s when the Arcade Scene had it's last Hurrah and we had so many great games coming out from a variety of different manufacturers.

There were also a lot more places to play since every mall still had an Arcade, etc.

Once again though.. things are really good right now. Much better than Pinball's worst time which was probably around 2001 when Williams quit and Stern hadn't really got going yet.. so we've come a long way from then. I honestly thought Pinball was dead-dead for awhile there.

Offline pinballcorpse

  • Level 10: Timelord
  • *****
  • Join Date: Nov 2008
  • Location: Probably in the tournament area
  • Posts: 4036
  • Flipping the Dream
Re: We may be in the "Most Golden Age" of pinball right now
« Reply #2 on: December 05, 2018, 02:12:40 PM »
I am thankful for the amount of places to play competitive pinball without travelling far distances.  It was not that long ago that there were no pinball tournaments in Florida aside from what local clubs were doing. (Look back to the early FLiPS days and see what has spawned from that era). Now there are tourneys all over the place, public and private. It is fantastic!

With respect to the actual games, I don't find this to be the golden era, unless you mean you have to have a lot of gold to buy games. 

I feel games are now simply too expensive for what they offer.  A lot of pinball fun can be had for a fraction of the price with older games.  I feel the encyclopedia set of rules is required for home collectors, because the game must have something to do long-term for the price.  The irony is as I play in more tourneys it is abundantly clear that NOBODY is able to achieve, or even trying for, the deep rule stuff anyway.  So it really does not matter how deep the game is.  It just needs to be exciting with front end candy and some moderately challenging mid-game objectives to shoot for.  Wizard modes are not part of the tourney equation.

To bring it back around to something more positive, there are more places to play, more games in the home, more choices for buying games, more places to compete, and overall more places and ways to enjoy pinball. So yes, things overall are looking good for pinball.               
Losing with integrity is better than winning with arrogance.

Offline NormaJ

  • Level 4: Cobra Kai
  • ****
  • Join Date: Aug 2013
  • Location: Florida
  • Posts: 430
Re: We may be in the "Most Golden Age" of pinball right now
« Reply #3 on: December 05, 2018, 03:07:14 PM »
Hi again. Just to clarify for folks, I am trying to say that we can actually experience virtually the entire history of the game of Pinball, as we stand, right now, today. The old and the new coexist together in our time on earth, everything works (more or less), and the games themselves are available in our world today.

And we even have Jeff in Vero who can help us reach back even further into the "pre-history" of the game!

Yes, I am not a fan of some of the other things going on around us in Pinball, for sure, like price hikes and some of the changes in the games themselves.

But to me it's a great day to be alive when it comes to experiencing the timeline of the sport. Most everything is still here and (mostly) works, and you can play it yourself. In comparison, I probably won't find anyone who will let me take their Packard automobile out for a spin just so I can experience it. I'll just have to look at it from behind a rope or look at an old photo. Pinball owners are great sharers!

Offline Rich Jax

  • Level 7: Khaaaan!
  • *****
  • Join Date: Jun 2009
  • Location: Jacksonville, FL
  • Posts: 1426
  • ...and sometimes the baar eats you.
Re: We may be in the "Most Golden Age" of pinball right now
« Reply #4 on: December 05, 2018, 06:08:52 PM »
I agree with Number Six.  During the early/mid 90s there were pinball machines everywhere, several different manufacturers coming out with several games a year and you could find used machines cheaply and easily.  That was the Golden Era.  Pinball was an everyman pastime back then.  The pricing and scarcity of machines has made the hobby too elitist IMHO.

Offline weeze

  • Level 8: Psi Corps
  • *****
  • Join Date: May 2011
  • Location: Port Charlotte
  • Posts: 2813
  • 3 Inch Flippers are for the Sight Impaired!
Re: We may be in the "Most Golden Age" of pinball right now
« Reply #5 on: December 05, 2018, 11:28:39 PM »
 Cars were going down the roads of America way before the first World war so saying that 100 year old was around before the automobile is actually incorrect.
Current Pins and Stuff: Walking Dead "kill them walkers, yeah!", T2, Hurdy Gurdy, Batter Up, Flipper Pool, North Star, Ice Revue, King of Diamonds,  Flipper Clown, Bow & Arrow, Old Chicago, Cherry Bell, Astro.
 Bally 873 slot machine
 Rowe "Encore" Jukebox.
also have the revolving door going on so some games come and go!
Past Pins: way too many to list. plus a couple of vids and assorted other stuff.
 WTB:, Gottleib wedgehead add-a-balls!!!!!

Offline Wisefwumyogwave

  • Level 4: Cobra Kai
  • ****
  • Join Date: Nov 2015
  • Location: Fort myers
  • Posts: 335
  • There is no spoon
Re: We may be in the "Most Golden Age" of pinball right now
« Reply #6 on: December 06, 2018, 05:32:15 AM »
Cars were going down the roads of America way before the first World war so saying that 100 year old was around before the automobile is actually incorrect.
What she said was they didnt rule the roads.
http://www.pinballowners.com/wisefwumyogwave

Check out ID4, HOOK, POPEYE, and STARWARS PRO at Millennial brewing co.

And TRIZONE at Kava Bar

Offline NormaJ

  • Level 4: Cobra Kai
  • ****
  • Join Date: Aug 2013
  • Location: Florida
  • Posts: 430
Re: We may be in the "Most Golden Age" of pinball right now
« Reply #7 on: December 06, 2018, 09:55:19 AM »
Cars were going down the roads of America way before the first World war so saying that 100 year old was around before the automobile is actually incorrect.

That's true, Weeze. And of all the things my husband loves to research, cars are at the top of the list, which is exactly why I qualified that statement! If he ever saw me say there were no cars in 1918, he would have immediately reminded me of https://www.daimler.com/company/tradition/company-history/1885-1886.html

So, back on topic, it's true I may never get to play the very first pinball machine, wherever it was and whenever it was. But I can still play such an incredible depth and breadth of the history of the game today, much more than I could even five to ten years ago when many games had not been rediscovered and restored. And if I decided to make pilgrimages to other cities I could even play very rare games like Pinball Circus. There is still a lot to explore, and at least some companies are taking the chance to make even more games - both physical and digital.

We owe a debt of gratitude to Pinball Arcade on the mobile devices. I think they alone have spurred the hobby/industry/sport to its current heights because it exposed a lot of folks to the game at a low (or no) cost, and they, too, can experience a lot of the history of the game themselves. As we all know, in the physical world that's pretty tough to do these days. To aggregate all those games in the physical world requires a year's pay or two.
« Last Edit: December 06, 2018, 09:57:31 AM by NormaJ »

Offline weeze

  • Level 8: Psi Corps
  • *****
  • Join Date: May 2011
  • Location: Port Charlotte
  • Posts: 2813
  • 3 Inch Flippers are for the Sight Impaired!
Re: We may be in the "Most Golden Age" of pinball right now
« Reply #8 on: December 06, 2018, 12:12:06 PM »
ahhhh, I see. I stand corrected. My apologies for the misunderstanding.
 Im a "retired" SCCA official and driver. Been a "motorhead" all my life. I get carried away sometimes.
 
Current Pins and Stuff: Walking Dead "kill them walkers, yeah!", T2, Hurdy Gurdy, Batter Up, Flipper Pool, North Star, Ice Revue, King of Diamonds,  Flipper Clown, Bow & Arrow, Old Chicago, Cherry Bell, Astro.
 Bally 873 slot machine
 Rowe "Encore" Jukebox.
also have the revolving door going on so some games come and go!
Past Pins: way too many to list. plus a couple of vids and assorted other stuff.
 WTB:, Gottleib wedgehead add-a-balls!!!!!