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Ball 1 Locked: A Brief(ish) history of Pinball


I love pinball.
Cool story, bro, but I do.
There's something about that idea of a kinetic universe under glass. A fast, exciting journey through alleys, ramps and bumpers, with flashing lights, blaring music and wild sound effects all providing a visual and aural soundtrack to the chaos.
Pinball is built around Pavlovian satisfaction, with the addiction for many players coming from the brain recognising success. A small self-congratulatory feeling sent throughout the body whenever a solid shot is achieved or a difficult goal reached. You know that feeling you get when you hurl a ball of paper into a bin and nail it? Imagine if, every time you did that, a fanfare played, lights flashed and a sultry voice screamed "JACKPOT!!!" at you.
A lot of people would probably chuck out a lot more paper, that's for dang sure.

Thanks for reading. This is a VERY-abridged version of Pinball's storied, 70-odd years of history. But I just wanted to share a basic synopsis of how pinball came to become the global monster of the 80s/90s.
This is part of a short series I intend to write, keep an eye out for a list of my fave games, some of pinballs worst art, and some fun trivia.
Are you a pinball fan? Is it an era that passed you by? What licensed themes would make good Pinball today? Do you play Pinball video games? I'm very interested in hearing your thoughts and experiences.
Thanks again for reading. The floor is open, so grab the mic friends.

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About Chris Moyseone of us since 4:22 AM on 06.18.2010

Chris has been playing video games since video games began... still terrible at them. Former Saturday Night Slam Master, rambles nostalgically like Abe Simpson. I ain't here to fight, so let's not waste our time.

Mind like an encyclopedia.
Face like a phonebook.

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"My pen shall heal, not hurt.”
L.M. Montgomery