Tuesday, April 29, 2008

More from May's FUNWORLD: Pinball

As I mentioned earlier this month, for FUNWORLD's May issue I wrote a piece
on the possibility of a pinball comeback. I talked to several experts in the field and received tons of great quotes and insights, many of which couldn't fit into the article. So, here are some additional observations from the people who know pinball best:

The Appeal of Pinball
“The appeal for many players is that it’s real. There’s a real time to it. You see the ball, you can control the ball … if you know what you’re doing, you can even stop the ball.”
—Michael C. Getlan, Amusement Consultants

"People believe you get your money’s worth and anybody can play it. The idea is so basic—you hit the flippers. Even if you don’t understand what you’re doing, you get value back; you go to play a video game today and you don’t know what you’re doing … you’re dead. It’s over.”
—Garry Foreman, The Pinball Shoppe

“It’s a ball game like any other,” Stern says. “There’s a skill to it, sweaty palms, predictability and unpredictability, the same as any other sport.”
—Gary Stern, Stern Pinball Inc.

“We have a saying: Everyone loves pinball, they just don’t know it yet. That rings true with almost everyone.”
—Zachary Sharpe, International Flipper Pinball Association (IFPA)

Is a Pinball Resurgence in the Offing?
“I don’t know the answer to that question. I can tell you what I hope: I hope pinball becomes more popular, and that more pinballs are made. But I don’t know if that’s going to happen anytime soon, unless the IFPA can generate some enthusiasm.”
—Michael C. Getlan, Amusement Consultants

“My hope is that we will continue to demonstrate and grow our audience to numbers that will be undeniable and unavoidable, so location owners and operators will step up and acknowledge that maybe there is an opportunity to generate more revenue if they expand the scope of what they’re offering and how they’re maintaining it.”
—Roger Sharpe, IFPA

“Nostalgia plays an important part in people’s lives. As they age and remember things they used to play, perhaps the cycle will come back. I’m not saying it’s around the corner, but anything’s possible.”
—Steve Epstein, IFPA

“We’re all here trying to make a living, but at the same time we’ve all been around pinball for all of our adult lives. We have a mission to keep pinball going. The world would exist without pinball, but a little of the fabric of life would be gone.”
—Gary Stern, Stern Pinball Inc.

No comments: