Dialed In! Camera - Disabling It as a Player?


Well, time to revisit this, namely that on Anime News Network, someone asked about why in Japan, comic book artists and writers tend to go to great lengths not to have their faces seen in public. (In fact, this is the norm among them.) The comments, meanwhile, have people replying essentially with, “Isn’t it obvious?” or “Why WOULD people want toget their pictures taken in public?” Here are some quotes from within those comments.

I… don’t know why people don’t get this.

I’m a writer/artist and I don’t want my photo taken. It’s not because I’m ashamed of my looks or anything. I just… don’t want to be recognized when I’m walking down the street. Why is that hard to understand?

Uh, I don’t think it is hard to believe that certain people valued privacy. Hell, I’m a nobody and I don’t want my picture to be spread online at all. All those answers given in the article spoke for themselves as well.

Of course, there are also people out there who enjoy being famous, or dream of being famous, who can’t understand why anyone wouldn’t want to be famous. But that mindset is as alien to me as I’m sure mine is to them.

It does not matter why someone doesn’t want to be photographed. That they don’t should be reason enough not to photograph them.

It seems I have found myself in two different worlds here…though maybe not as much as it may seem, as there are people here who are like me and really would not like getting their pictures taken. Still, what constitutes as the majority opinion seems to be quite different among anime/manga fans and of pinball fans.

That’s the thing though: It should be extremely easy to program something in that tells the player, before they start playing, that this machine has a camera and will take their pictures unless they choose to opt out in some way. As was mentioned earlier, there are some countries where Dialed In! would be outright illegal, as it stands currently, because it doesn’t have a warning that the player will be put on camera.

There are many video games, particularly motion control games and touch screen games, that have a left-handed option, for instance, even though left-handed people only make up 10% of the world population. Do you really think the percentage of people who are nervous on camera is less than 10%? (As a lefty, I can play video games the right-handed way because this is only a recent thing, but I still appreciate the extra mile these game companies go through to make sure that people who are very left-hand dominant can still play the games to their fullest.)

I also don’t think there are quite as few people who are camera-shy as you might think. It sounds like you are an extrovert. Something I’ve repeatedly encountered through my experiences is that extroverts tend not to notice introverts for the simple fact that introverts don’t like having attention drawn to themselves, but extroverts notice people based on their self-directed attention and charisma. (Consider that the most common phobia is glossophobia, the fear of public speaking. It is a natural thing for people to choke when all eyes are on them.)

That sounds like a great idea, really. Do you mean the prompt appearing the moment a game begins?

“In game” experience? Do you mean the machine taking photographs of yourself? If you’d rather the game not have any options whatsoever to disable the camera as someone plays, then I’d rather not play Dialed In! at all. That you’re addressing only the issue of persistence is missing the point. Those of us who don’t like having our pictures taken, even temporarily, are stressed out not simply by photographs of us being available, but by the attention drawn to ourselves. It’s the attention that’s the source of our stress, and stuff like that Selfie frenzy mode is incredibly stressful and embarrassing, as the screen then gets filled up with the player’s mugshot the entirety of when it’s played.

This is why we tend not to have issue with stuff like security footage: That’s not going to be displayed in public for everyone to see (with the exception of those TVs hung from the walls for demonstration or to indicate that the camera system is present in a store). It’s also why we usually don’t have issue with pictures of us in large crowds, as it’s unlikely we’d be identified.


No - I simply chose my position on the topic.

No I didn’t miss your point - I simply chose not to embrace your position. My proposal was to address the legalities - not embrace the idea some should be able to disable the feature… as I explicitly said… KEEP the in game experience.

I am not moved by the concern raised. Instead of bowing to every variation people can come up with, I am of the belief sometimes its better to push then blindly comply.


Why are we comparing writers and artists in Japan to American-based companies? Two different massively countries, two massively different cultures, and one is a major market for pinball and one is not. Your argument seems pretty flawed to begin with.

Also, as a lefty, I’m gonna call you out on your lefty-games comment. Mirroring an existing set of digital assets is far easier than creating new assets and a new place in the code in which to set those new assets, and add more room for player input. Unless you and I are playing drastically different games and yours have massively more complex left-handed modes than mine, it’s not nearly the same as what you are asking for.

And as an interesting data point, I play in most tournaments around NC. We have around 10% lefties, and 0% players who don’t play Dialed In. So I’m gonna say it, I fully believe less than 10% of the population is put off by the camera. Which even if that population is 10%, I’d expect revenue generated by Dialed In being such a good table to be 10% above average. Considering how many tables I see and how often I see them played, that’s a fairly plausible situation.



Maybe they’re just trying to avoid crazy fans? Writers have assumed pseudonyms for decades… Stephen King’s Misery , anyone? This is quite different from Dialed In’s camera taking shots of random pinball players. Fans will actively seek out their favorite authors, but nobody cares whose mug is up for High Score 3 at the local arcade…


For what it’s worth, I’ve found the ledge/lip just below the camera to be a surprisingly stable spot to place a smartphone or beer coaster.


are you aware that while you’re playing you can be seen by anyone who is there, camera or not?


I don’t see why people are so eager to dismiss these concerns. Is it legal to take someone’s picture in this way? Sure. Does the person involved know they can be seen? Of course. Neither of these is relevant to the matter at hand, which is that there are people out there for whom this is a bad experience, and that these people feel the need to raise the matter to the manufacturer of the game in question. That manufacturer can then respond as they wish. Sitting around trying to prove these people “wrong” or circling around the fact that you think their concerns are stupid is a bad look for all those involved, and I strongly encourage you to cut it out.


The issue was raised, the manufacturer has responded and likely a software change is coming. The thread was dead for a month, then SunsetShimmer posted a bunch of responses from another forum regarding comic authors’ desire for privacy.

I don’t think this comparison is valid to the situation regarding Dialed In. Authors are by nature public figures; by publishing a popular book or comic, an author becomes the focus of interest of a lot of people who read their material. Safety can even become an issue. OTOH, playing a pinball game in an arcade outside of a tournament setting is basically anonymous; there are no crazy fans, no paparazzi…you are not famous, no one is actively looking for anyone pictured on that scoreboard. The situation is different, even if the underlying introversion is the same.

I understand some people’s objection to the camera and have no problem with that, or their wanting a way to disable it; but comparing this particular issue to authors’ pseudonym usage is a bit off.

Also, FWIW the amusement parks bury the photograph release in their fine print or website… example: https://www.visitkingsisland.com/legal , it’s about 3/4 of the way down: “The registered holder of a Regular Pass agrees to these and other conditions of usage, and grants Cedar Fair L.P. permission to use his or her photographic/video image in advertising, promotions or other publication without payment or compensation to the holder.” And yes, they take your picture a lot more than just on the rides…


This is a discussion forum, correct? Trying to suggest that only one set of opinions is valid is also a bad look. Those that feel impacted by the way the game is set up can, as you suggest, take up their concerns with the manufacturer. I think those concerns are valid just as I think discussion about a multitude of ways to avoid the situation, up to and including choosing to not play the game are just as valid.

FWIW, a search of this thread shows the only instances of the words “stupid” or “wrong” are in your post, so let’s not get hyperbolic about what people are or aren’t posting.


The issue isn’t with posting other opinions directed at the topic, it is with the argumentative nature of the posts being directed at the individuals. You can argue the validity of a topic, but these posts have been very much in the spirit of arguing the validity of someone’s feelings, and that I think is crappy.

When someone posts things like “are you aware that while you’re playing you can be seen by anyone who is there, camera or not?” or “If you don’t like having your picture taken you should not go outside” then I feel that the connotation is pretty obvious, and it doesn’t take a brain surgeon to read the insinuation at play there. I would ask that we also not get disingenuous about the intent behind such comments, and pretend that what is happening isn’t.


Fair enough. The issue with Dialed In has been explained enough. If JJP feels it needs to make an accommodation here for the small percentage of people who don’t like having their picture taken, they’ll do so. If not, those players can choose to deal with it however they want. Those points seem pretty well made.

I know that the brass around here likes to lock threads that don’t have any further value, so I would submit we’re nearing that point.


Good point. I had spent the entire month kind of thinking about this every now and then, and I was pretty rash about reviving this. Looking back, I guess it DID run its course, though I didn’t really feel that way due to some dissenting opinions having popped up every now and then. The best course of action, now that I realize I had to look at this from a distance, is to see what will happen in the future. (Part of the reason I got so riled up is also the reason I put up that link in the first place–the western fans of these artists tend to share their aversion to having pictures taken, meaning I came from a fandom where “avoids getting pictures taken of themselves” is the majority, which I’m guessing would be quite weird to a lot of pinball fans.)

Sorry about it all.


Coming soon…


That’s a nice addition. I don’t feel the need to use it, but I’m sure some people will really appreciate the opt out.