There’s a cheerful little trend out there of refurbished pin ball, arcade, and vintage video games available for anyone to partake. From the Pacific Pinball Museum in Alameda, http://pacificpinball.org/ to “Playland Not At the Beach” in El Cerrito, http://www.playland-not-at-the-beach.org/to hipster bars in Oregon, folks can try out the games that some people were smart enough to mothball then trot out a generation later. For those who only know pinball from the movies, they will be mystified as to how one can be considered skilled when control over the rolling ball is determined only by two limited “flipper” levers on the left and right. Otherwise the score is pretty much left all to chance as the stainless steel ball bings and bongs its way to the bottom of the game to get quickly swallowed up.
So the main entertainment with pin ball machines is in analyzing the motifs and themes. Space travel, sports, fairy tales, movies, and TV shows are the usual subjects for what is basically a variation of a historic game called “bagatelle,”http://gizmodo.com/not-safe-for-play-the-evolution-of-pinball-machines-1709936073 seen here at someone’s else’s blog post featuring photos of some unique historic games.
Blair alley in Eugene, Oregon has raked in quite a few quarters from me and my sis. We might not be the biggest spenders there on a Friday night, but we do get kind of competitive on the small lane bowling games.
There’s a game for every interest when you step back in time. Even Ms. Pacman answers the roll call although she was a little glitchy when I tried her out.
So let summering folks swim and sail and surf in the lovely outdoors. Others of us are happy to hunker over a cocktail in the dim, skanky recesses of a dive bar and shake some dust out of our brains to retrieve the memories of getting lost in the power of arcade games and a few quarters.
Enough about play! Kids – get to work! School has started and it’s time to get noses to grindstones and hands off the game controls! Do some reading – maybe research the history of arcades and boardwalks in America. Think of how relieved your English teacher will be to read about something more interesting than volcanoes, yet again. ; )