But the golden age was destined to be a very short one. Walter Day told writer Tristan Donovan, author of the book Replay: The History of Video Games, that the industry was "off the rails by" 1981, opening more arcades and ordering more machines than its players could ever support. By early 1982, cracks were already starting to show in the newly flourishing industry: that $400 a day machine, Time Magazine reported, was often "sucker bait, dangled to obscure the dreary truths that markets are becoming saturated and that dud games... bring in no money at all."
posted by Horace Rumpole
on Jan 16, 2013 -
Friday afternoon has arrived and what better way to celebrate that on a Spring day than with a snowy flash pinball game...
posted by caddis
on Apr 20, 2012 -
In the 1930s in Chicago, it started pouring heavily, and ex-forestry ranger Steve Kordek ran into a building to get out of the rain.
The company was Genco, and Steve was hired to work there at 26, which began a long, long career in pinball. Designer of over 100 games, he worked at Genco
, Bally and finally Williams, retiring along with Williams' exit from Pinball with the ignoble shutdown of the Pinball 2000 project, a story told in the documentary Tilt
(which has extensive interviews with Kordek). Here's a video of Steve in 1994
. This week, Steve Kordek passed on, having celebrated his 100th birthday
last month. Here's video of his 100th birthday party
, with heartfelt tributes from friends and colleagues, and a few words from Steve himself.
posted by jscott
on Feb 19, 2012 -
Pinball machines, when you can find one, have gotten pretty complex over the years (for a notable example of pinball complexity, check out the Twilight Zone pinball machine
). The average person likely plays one for a bit, figures it's about keeping the ball alive as long as possible, and hopes for the best. Why did I just rack up a million points on that go-around? Who
knows. [more inside]
posted by SpacemanStix
on Aug 10, 2011 -
The first official pics of Stern's new Tron pinball machine have been released.
According to Stern, this game will continue their recent trend of keeping games "short" and "random". Features include a miniature (non-working, of course) arcade cabinet over a cellar hole, a dropping three-target assembly (as seen on Attack From Mars
) with a whirlwind disc behind it, and a third flipper. Like Avatar, it looks like Tron will have a "normal" and "LE" release, with the LE version adding lots of EL wire
all over the playfield.
posted by luvcraft
on Apr 30, 2011 -
Pinball retailer Jersey Jack Guarnieri
has started a new pinball company
to challenge Stern
. Stern is currently the only major manufacturer of pinball tables. However, their recent Avatar table has been criticized for its simple rules and lack of mechanical toys. Jack is already accepting pre-orders for his official Wizard of Oz pinball table. But will he be able to take on Stern and return competition to the industry?
posted by Lovecraft In Brooklyn
on Feb 21, 2011 -
The Pinball Ninja
has assigned himself a daunting task: repair 500 pinball machines in the 365 days of the year 2010! He's a little behind at the moment (#289 at last count), but the journey is still entertaining, and filled with insights into pinball repair. [more inside]
posted by luvcraft
on Aug 24, 2010 -
One two three, four five, six seven nine ten, eleven twelve
. [6.5mb .wmv]. An excellent remix video of the the Sesame Street 'Pinball Song'. Features the Pointer Sisters on vocals, apparently. The remix was done by Braces Tower
, who also have the mp3
up on their site.
posted by tapeguy
on May 18, 2004 -
Save pinball! "It's an American icon," said Stern, ever the salesman. "Pinball is cool because it is retro. It's a Volkswagen bug, a PT Cruiser, khaki pants."
posted by justgary
on Aug 3, 2002 -
The Internet Pinball Database
has shots of backglasses, playing tables, and promotional flyers for just about every pinball machine ever created. I loved pinball. Now, it seems impossible to find a machine to play on. Back when I worked at a local pizza shop, we had a rotation of some great machines. I really enjoyed the Addams Family
, Star Wars
, Lethal Weapon 3
(which i remember as being really easy), and especially the Twilight Zone
game, with the special white power ball. A walk down memory lane that served me well. Find a place near you to play some pinball here
. Or, you could just go pro
posted by Ufez Jones
on Jun 12, 2002 -