Pinball Wizards

17 Jul 2013

Tycho Brahe from Penny Arcade:

[Gabe] also does not understand pinball. I mean, he understands that there is a silver ball and that you can’t let it go down through the hole; he doesn’t understand why I find them beautiful. I tried to find a word to describe how I feel about them that wasn’t the word beautiful, but I couldn’t do that and be honest. They’re playable sculptures; I don’t know what you want from me.

For some it was Street Fighter II or Final Fight, for others it was Contra or Gauntlet. I myself have fond memories of Konami’s X-Men (and even foolishly bought it for my iPad) and my brother and I spent far too much money on both Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles: Turtles in Time and The Simpsons Arcade Game, but I have always had a fondness for pinball cabinets. A well played nudge; the long row of dibs quarters; and replays long into the night. No worries about having to compete with joystick watchers, no frustrating time limits announced with cries of “Red Wizard needs food badly”. Just my flippers and I against the world.

To those who can’t understand the appeal of pinball I have a simple reply, “how can you not?”. Playable sculptures indeed.